Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm not off base about the Cleveland police

Yesterday I posted about the A. Berry, G. DeJesus, etc. case, and I mused "[I]mmediately I thought 'Does this say something about law enforcement around here?'" I don't like saying that; I like cops around here in general. Even when they burst into an old office I used to lease because some lunatic biddy reported that I'd broken in, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. "You guys are just doing your job," I told them, amid their apologies. And I told the kids when I was pulled over for speeding that the policeman was right and I was wrong.

Well... wow, turns I'm not being paranoid or anti-cop.

Cleveland Police missed something. That much is clear. Despite the department's obviously extended effort to find the victims, the sheer volume of tips that would have led them to the Castro home is starting to looking pretty condemning. While some are calling the USA Today report "mostly hearsay," it's hard to believe that so many different neighbors would've made such similar calls. Some reported inexplicably large amounts of McDonalds being carried into the house by Ariel Castro, one of the three brothers and a school bus driver. Others reported seeing women standing in the windows of the Castro house and at least once incident of a woman pounding on a window, after which they called the police.

The leash stuff really is twisted, though. "[Neighborhood] women told Lugo they called police because they saw three young girls crawling on all fours naked with dog leashes around their necks," the report reads. "Three men were controlling them in the backyard. The women told Lugo they waited two hours but police never responded to the calls." Again, this is just one of several incidents that neighbors say they reported to police, incidents that the Cleveland Police didn't follow up on. It's not just the USA Today piece that's making these claims either. Local news outlets are issuing similar reports.

Despite the volume of reports — The New York Times published a similarly condemning story after USA Today's — Cleveland Police not only say they did nothing wrong. A police spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that they never even received any calls. Hard to believe? You bet. Understandably evasive? Sure. But it's certainly no get-out-of-jail free card. (Pardon the bad pun.) As Reuters' Jim Roberts put it, "Hard to see how this Cleveland story ends well for the Police Department there."

The stories are going to get worse. Wait until these women recover enough to give statements. Ten years of freaking HELL, take out to go.

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