A news conference is set to take place today for six Brooklyn tourists that were arrested overseas. Rachel Henry, 27, Shoshannah Henry, 24, Dolores Lalanne, 25, Nancy Lalanne, 22, Joshua Jackson, 25, and Mike Pierre-Paul, 25 are on trial in Antigua and accused of assaulting police officers.
The incident happened on September 4 when the party of six and six of their friends left a carnival cruise ship docked on the island of Antigua. Upon exiting the vessel they negotiated with a cab driver to tour the island for $50 but argued with the man after he demanded double the amount. The cab driver drove the tourists to a police station where a fight between the group and police took place. The six say they were arrested and beaten by officers in uniforms and plain clothes. Of course Antiguan police tell a different story and claim that the overaggressive tourists started the fight even leaving one of the officers bitten.
Now nearly three weeks after the incident a news conference updating Americans on their status will take place today. The news conference will take place at Brooklyn Moon Café on Fulton Street in downtown Brooklyn. Community activist and unofficial spokesperson for the group, Kevin Powell is speaking out on their behalf. Powell claims that the Antiguan Judicial system is purposely taking their time with the case and told the NY Daily News:
“We think the court system is a bit of a mockery. It’s being dragged out. They’re hoping the young people surrender and say they’re guilty and pay the fine.”
If convicted, the tourists could face up to two years in jail and a $4,000 fine. Their trial resumes today at 2:30 p.m.