This year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women came a day after a Vincentian diplomat at the United Nations allegedly punched his wife, a newly-appointed diplomat, in the face in Brooklyn, New York.
But officers with the New York Police Department (NYPD) said they couldn’t arrest him because he has diplomatic immunity.
Police sources told the New York Post that Sehon Marshall, 43, who serves as a counsellor for the Permanent Mission of St Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, “allegedly decked his wife, Sandra [also spelled Xandra] Marshall, 36, after a verbal fight broke out at their Canarsie [Brooklyn] house at 1:15 am.” on Friday.
Marshall was recently appointed Deputy New York Consul General, a post that her husband previously held, according to New York Consul General Howie Prince.
A spokesman for the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines told reporters on Friday that it was aware of the issue but will not comment until further investigation is conducted.
Marshall first served as Deputy New York Consul General before transferred to the UN Mission.
Sources claim him and then New York Consul General Selmon Walters were constantly at loggerheads. On November 23, 2014, despite initial outcry over his would-be appointment, St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves presented the embattled Marshall, then newly-appointed Deputy New York Consul General to his compatriots at a town hall meeting in Brooklyn.
Marshall, who officially assumed office the week before, was dogged by controversial remarks he made on local radio in August 2014 regarding jobs that he said some Vincentians in the Diaspora, particularly in the United States, hold, such as “baby-sitters” and “dog-walkers”.
As the controversy brewed, Marshall apologised for his comments, and then Foreign Affairs Minister Camillo Gonsalves, the prime minister’s eldest son and now Minister of Finance in the Gonsalves administration, urged nationals, at a town hall meeting, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, in September, to give the potential diplomat “a chance.”
Marshall, who apologised for his controversial remarks, had replaced Edson Augustus, a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor, who was recalled earlier in 2014 over reports of alleged mishandling of visa and passport matters at the New York Consulate General.