Virgin Islands Police Officer Arrested and Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter


Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer said today that Virgin Islands Police Officer David Stephens, Jr. was arrested for involuntary manslaughter and other related charges in connection with the shooting death of Kendall Petersen, Jr. on

January 5, 2012.  Officer Stephens along with several other members of a law enforcement search team were in the process of executing a search warrant during the early morning hours at Petersen’s house located at #29 Hospital Street, Frederiksted, St.Croix.

Stephens, a police officer based on St. Croix, turned himself in upon learning that a warrant was recently issued for his arrest.  He was advised of his rights and arraigned by Superior Court Magistrate Jessica Gallivan. Officer Stephens’ bail was set at $50,000. Upon meeting bail conditions, he was released into the custody of a relative.    

Frazer said the V.I. Justice Department determined, based upon a careful review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the execution of the search warrant of Kendall Petersen’s home, that Stephens improperly discharged his police-issued service weapon killing Petersen.

At the time of the incident, Officer Stephens was assigned to the Special Operations Bureau of the Virgin Islands Police Department. Police Commissioner Henry White, Jr. was briefed of the findings by the Office of the Attorney General prior to the arrest of Officer Stephens. Police officials confirmed Thursday that Officer Stephens has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against him.