Louisville, KY

Murder Accountability Stalls When No Witnesses Come Forward

Ken

Who is in charge and what is being done to stop these killings?

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In the first 9 days of 2022, the city of Louisville has experienced six murders, with scant details being provided about who inflicted the harm.

Here are the victims:

  1. Jakia Holt was shot and killed.
  2. An unidentified woman was shot and killed.
  3. An unidentified adult male suffering from gunshot wounds.
  4. Erik Girton Jr. was shot multiple times and killed.
  5. An adult man inside a vehicle had been shot multiple times.
  6. Thaddaeus L. Hudson was shot and killed in a vehicle.

Gun violence is continuing virtually every day. An eight-year-old boy was shot shortly after I started writing this article. As usual, there are no suspects and the police put out their normal catch-all statement, asking for help in finding the offender.

"The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) is asking anyone with information about these homicides to contact the Louisville Metro Police anonymous tip line at 502-574-LMPD (5673) or provide information online at p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=563."

This leads me to ask, once again, what is being done to curb the violence in our surrounding communities? How much longer are we expected to wait until improvements in tactical policing and community outreach programs start dealing with the problem in an effective manner?

On January 4th, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer symbolically signed a new $24.8 million ordinance into law aimed at addressing some of the big challenges the city has. Five of the six deaths listed above occurred after the ordinance became law.

After a record-breaking 187 murders in 2020, Louisville is fast approaching a "rubber meets the road" moment with its law enforcement efforts. A substantial 20% of the allotment will be used to attract new applicants to critical public safety positions.

The recruitment process is slow and deliberate for obvious reasons, which means immediate help may be delayed until the hiring and training process has been completed. Meanwhile, six murders in the first nine days of a new year don't make the city's streets and neighborhoods any safer.

The LMPD's Community Engagement Unit is responsible for enhancing the department’s community policing initiative by building public trust and addressing crime issues. The unit works on a comprehensive plan with community organizations to reduce crime through partnerships, problem-solving, and non-enforcement strategies.

Perhaps a review of the unit's and community organizations' goals needs to be performed more often, and more routinely. If the current strategy, Plan A, isn't working, what collaboration is happening in the background to effect changes for a more positive result? If nothing is happening in the background--a.k.a. no Plan B--it is a sure bet the next move after Plan A is exhausted will be a failure.

The entire Metro Louisville community on both sides of the Ohio River has a vested interest in positive results being attained. We all want safer neighborhoods, streets, and shopping districts. We want to feel safe whether we are out in our community or sitting in the safety of our homes.

We should be willing to participate in keeping our streets free of thugs, druggies, and other undesirable factions. That means we should not turn a blind eye to violence and lawlessness when we see it happening before us. It is our duty to our community to not only stop these events by immediately reporting crimes to the police or other proper authorities but to also do our best to prevent these events from happening in our neighborhoods.

Metro Louisville reminds me of my high school prom. No one attended the affair looking ragged. We dressed to the nines, looked clean-cut, smelled good, and had great manners as we enjoyed the evening out on the town with our dates. We worked at maintaining a clean appearance and environment.

Somehow we seem to have slacked off on the upkeep portion of policing and maintaining our communities and we desperately need to re-boot ourselves and take whatever actions are necessary to make Louisville a First-class city again. The city of Louisville should shine on every week throughout the year, not just on Derby Day.

Thanks for reading this!

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Being a "Lefty," my writing tends to lean a little to the left, but I consider myself an Independent--I'm willing to listen to all sides. Writing gives me a chance to gather my thoughts. All my life I have been a glass-half-full believer.

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