FSM seeks shooting answers

Giff Johnson
The Marshall Islands Journal - JULY 2017
DC envoy Susaia’s concern on Tulsa shootings

The FSM Embassy in Washington, DC is looking into the deaths of two Micronesians that occurred in early June in Tulsa, Oklahoma — at least one of them an officer-involved shooting. “We have spoken to the Tulsa Police Department and were directed to the Detective Homicide Division, but so far have not received any information,” Federated States of Micronesia Ambassador Akillino Susaia told the Journal this week. To follow up the June 2 shooting deaths of Naway Willy, 18, and Rabson Robert, 36, Susaia sent a diplomatic note to the State Department last week requesting the US government’s aid to obtain information from local law enforcement authorities. News reports indicated that Robert had been killed and Willy was initially thought to be a suspect in the murder, but later police said they didn’t believe Willy was involved and arrested another suspect. In the diplomatic note, the FSM Embassy notes the “request for assistance is necessitated by the incident that took place on or around 2 June 2017 in Tulsa in which two citizens of the FSM, both of them young men, were reportedly shot to death by local law enforcement officers.
” The ambassador told the Journal they were requesting the US State Department’s assistance under the terms of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the provisions of the Compact of Free Association. The carefully worded request to the State Depart- ment also pointed out “the long history of law enforcement cooperation between FSM and the US” under the Compact. “Their (Robert’s and Willy’s) families and friends have sought to obtain information from the Tulsa Police Department but were not successful,” the FSM diplomatic note explained. “They have turned to the Embassy for assistance.” Susaia expressed condolences to the families and friends of the victims. He said he didn’t want to “make specific judgments on the police-involved shootings while all the relevant facts of the case have yet to be confirmed.” He took the opportunity to “remind us all about the importance of conducting ourselves appropriately to avoid harm and, just as important, for law enforcement authorities to exercise prudence in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities to the public.” While noting that “the Embassy is aware of the rise in police-related incidences in the United States,” Susaia said the FSM is “grateful for the basic decency and fairness of the American people, whom we hope will continue to be the advocates and tireless moral pillars of support for the friendship and historic ties between our peoples that are enshrined in the Compact of Free Association, and which serve as the founda- tion of the special partnership between the FSM and the US.”