Saturday night 'gun grab' from on-duty cop by lieutenant governor, a former police officer and current gubernatorial candidate raises questions about legality of his behavior, police handling of the case and whether he was intoxicated. Guam Attorney General Barrett-Anderson gets to sort this all out
Outside of heavy rains, a popular Guam tourist attraction, the Pleasure Island BBQ Block Party in Tumon was going well Saturday night until late in the evening when Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio--by his own account--decided to educate a working police officer on the importance of having his service weapon securely strapped into its holster.
By various accounts, including his own, Tenorio approached the officer from behind and yanked the weapon out of its holster. Beyond that, incident reports turned in by police, video surveillance in the area and and accounts of other witnesses vary. As of Wednesday, the Guam Police Department had turned the case over to the Attorney General's Office for investigation.
"So as not to politized [sic: politicize] the investigation, no further comment will be made," said a news release from the Attorney General's Office.
The alleged educational effort by Tenorio, who once trained Guam police officers, got bad reviews from former police chiefs. Former Chief Frank Ishizaki told KUAM-TV that the action was "Very, very reckless." “Going for an officer’s firearm, and pulling it out of the holster – really presented a risk that the gun could’ve gone off and discharged – someone could’ve got hurt,” former GPD Chief Fred Bordallo told the station.
It did not go over well either with Senator Telena Nelson, whose legislative committee has oversight of police matters.
Said Nelson in a news release: "I want every member of our law enforcement community to know that the law is blind to the powerful and the powerless. Regardless of who might be involved in these events, no one has a right to grab your sidearm. No one has a right to put you in a potentially compromising situation, most especially those who’ve worn the uniform before you. And no one has a right to punish you for speaking up. Titles come with responsibility and those who don’t know that disrespect the title given to them by the People of Guam. I don’t want to speculate as to what the Lieutenant Governor’s intentions were, but I do know that, regardless of his intentions, his actions were reckless and unwarranted. We need to ensure a transparent process takes place as we resolve this issue. Thousands of people attended this event and they had every right to feel safe.
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