23 Jul 2010

American Samoa police shooting predicted to increase pressure to arm officers

7:16 pm on 23 July 2010

The gunshot death of a police officer in American Samoa is expected to increase the pressure to arm the force.

The man alleged to have shot and killed Detective Lusila Brown yesterday afternoon is in police custody and expected to face trial within the next couple of days.

Our correspondent in the territory says the officer was shot at point blank range outside the High Court following the delivery of a not-guilty verdict in a weapons and assault case involving the alleged killer's uncle.

Monica Miller says Detective Brown had served 20 years in the police force and had led many drugs and weapons cases connected with the two men's family.

She says the community's in shock at the first killing of a police officer in the line of duty in 20 years.

"I think the Commissioner of Public Safety when he said that he thinks it's about time that the officers should be armed, I know that he's going to point to this and say that this an indication that that's justified."

Monica Miller says after the shooting the alleged killer remained at the scene shouting abuse and kicking the dead man.