Finally, some action from the island of St. Maarten. But is it too little too late? St. Maarten’s top tourism official called last week’s attacks “barbaric and inhumane” on Wednesday, adding, “These kinds of crimes won’t go unpunished on St. Maarten.”
According to the island’s Daily Herald, three detectives are investigating and a probe is underway by the public prosecutor into the police department’s non-response to the attacks.
The incident also opened up a difficult situation for Ryan Smith’s family. Smith’s boyfriend Justin essentially had to out Smith to his parents when he called them to report the incident. Talk about your difficult phone calls! Smith’s mother seems to be handling the news with tact and love, even if she may not be ready to deal with her son’s sexuality: “Smith’s parents did not know who he was and yet he had to tell them their son had been gravely injured. When he was pressed to explain why the assault happened, Swensen said, he finally explained that it was a hate crime because he and Smith are gay. ‘Ryan hadn’t told them that before,’ he said. Patricia Smith is not ready to talk about those issues. She is unwavering in her love for her son and her sense of injustice. ‘It doesn’t matter if I know, if my husband knows,’ she said. ‘What’s important is that these hate crimes are unjustifiable for any reason.'”
Amen. Our wishes are with Ryan and Richard.