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Suspect Draws Weapon on Officers, Is Subdued

June 08, 2012
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 During a routine traffic stop a passenger pointed a loaded firearm at a police officer and was subdued by other officers. The firearm did not discharge. The suspect, Emmett Bramble Jr. was arrested and charged with Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm and other charges. Police said Bramble was out on bail at the time of the arrest and has two prior cases pending trial or other action by the court.

In their preliminary report officers stated that three officers were conducting a routine traffic initiative on the Bennie Benjamin Drive on Thursday, June 7 and stopped a vehicle with an expired sticker. Inside the vehicle were three passengers. The front seat passenger, later identified as Zikono Valentin told police that he had a marijuana joint. When police asked the three individuals to step out of the car, Bramble, who was in the back seat, attempted to reach inside his waist. Officers commanded him to stop but Bramble continued to reach inside his waist. Officers subdued him and forced him to the ground; however Bramble continued struggling, drew a firearm from his waist and pointed it at the face of one of the officers. Police confiscated the weapon and took Bramble into custody.

St. Croix Chief of Police Christopher Howell commended the officers for their professionalism in the face of a deadly threat. He said, “The officer performed according to training and prevented the situation from escalating to a higher level.”

Howell said a the time of the traffic stop, Bramble, who is 27, was out on bail awaiting trial in two prior cases, a 2010 Rape First Degree, Robbery, Assault and Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm and a 2011 possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.

“This is what our officers are up against,” Howell said. “They literally put their life on the line every day. You never know what people are thinking when they are approached by officers, deadly force can happen in an instant,” Howell said.

The Police Chief said he was recently criticized by a member of the public for the level of tactical gear officers wore to execute a search warrant. Chief Howell responded by saying, “I want the public to understand that police work is inherently dangerous. A police officers’ job is to proactively and aggressively target those individuals whose actions threaten the public safety. The criminal element is well armed and increasingly willing to use force to advance their illegal actions, even if that force is against police officers. I will make no excuses for providing the protective equipment our officers need.”

Bramble was held on a $200,000 bail which he was unable to post. He was remanded to the Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility pending further court action.

Zikono Valentin was charged with Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance and posted a $500 bail.  

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