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St. Croix Police Sergeant Charged With Strangling Woman Released After Only 3 Hours

FREDERIKSTED — VIPD police sergeant Jamale Griffin was released from police custody less than three hours after his arrest for domestic violence and a Superior Court judge ensured that he will remain free pending trial.

Griffin, 38, of Enfield Green, was arrested Saturday night after police received a 911 call about a domestic violence incident at a home in St. Croix.

Superior Court Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris, Jr., in a telephone call at 11 p.m., told police detectives to release Griffin on his own recognizance to a third-party custodian, court records indicate.

In all, Griffin was charged with second-degree assault-domestic violence and simple assault and battery-domestic violence after one of the victim’s family members called 911 about 8:15 p.m. Saturday, police said.

The victim told police she was at her home Saturday with a male friend who went in the backyard to smoke marijuana before returning to the front porch, Superior Court records state.

The victim said Griffin arrived at the home and spoke with the friend and then confronted her, “strangled her, then threw her to the ground,” court records indicate.

Police photographed “redness, scratching and bruising” on each side of the victim’s neck.

Police said Griffin declined to give a statement following his arrest.

“He has been placed on leave pending the outcome of this case,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said.

“Once again are a select few covered under the blanket of political capital and are entitled to specific privileges?” Jelani Ritter said on Facebook. “The man on the block would have remained locked up until monday. This system is unbalanced, further Why is a struggling economical system accepting non cash bail? At best it should be a combination of property and cash and I’m sticking to that. Domestic violence is domestic violence no matter who commits the infraction. The victim is put at risk by you releasing the suspect just three hours late?. Come on judicial branch do better. We are watching.”

Police Commissioner Trevor Velinor said that there is no excuse for domestic violence, even when it is committed by police officers.

“My expectation is that all police officers will uphold the law and adhere to the laws of the territory,” Velinor said. “There are ways to resolve issues and domestic violence is not an acceptable option.”

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