A V.I. police officer arrested last July for allegedly stealing an impounded vehicle, but later had all charges against him dropped, filed suit Monday charging the Police Department, the St. Croix chief of police and others with false arrest, defamation and civil rights violations.
The V.I. Department of Justice arrested St. Croix officer Anderson Poleon on July 13, 2012, charging him with embezzlement and extortion, saying he sold a car out of the police impound yard. Two days later, Justice issued a statement saying the charges had all been dropped and that he should never have been charged.
On Monday Poleon filed suit in U.S. District Court on St. Croix, saying the arrests and previous and subsequent actions by the V.I. Police Department were part of an ongoing pattern of harassment. Poleon further alleges that Chris Howell, the St. Croix chief of police, has a longstanding personal vendetta against him, citing several instances in which Poleon claims attorneys and fellow officers have told him to “stay out of Howell’s way because he had it out for you," and made other similar statements.
In the complaint, Poleon said the affidavit that led to his arrest asserts that he claimed to have a letter releasing the vehicle from police custody from one attorney and that attorney denied writing the letter. But Poleon in fact had a release letter from a different attorney and said in his complaint that he told officers he did not know for sure which attorney gave the letter.
Neither the V.I. government nor the Police Department had responded to the suit as of Wednesday evening.