On January 4th I wrote about the assault of a young white couple by three black thugs in Charlottesville, Maryland in an article titled “Where’s wasteful, Neglectful, Racist Government When You Need It?” One of the purposes of that article was to point out that in the Obama era, when the “knockout game” is primarily practiced by young black men, yet the federal Department of Justice can’t be bothered to prosecute these criminals, there just might be a double standard, and a real lack of concern for certain classes of victims.
In that initial article, I wrote:
The sluggish, apparently uninterested response of the local police is surprising. In a competent, professional law enforcement agency, the case would have been assigned to a detective the following day at the latest. The detective would have obtained all potential security camera video that same day, and would have determined, easily within a day or two, whether any officers recognized the suspects. Failing that, they would have immediately made the best photos they had public and within a very short time, had the suspects in custody. I’m not speaking of Sherlock Holmes-like brilliance here, but basic, minimally competent police procedure. Any rational police officer would want these thugs behind bars as soon as possible. Not only are they dangerous to the public in general, failing to quickly solve a crime like this is deadly for a police agency’s image and credibility, not only among the general public, but among criminals.
Finally, after an avalanche of obviously unwanted negative publicity, the Charlottsville Police have been roused from their slumber:
Charlottesville Police have arrested two men in association with the December 20 assault on the Downtown Mall.
Malcolm James Stevenson, 25, and Richard Bernard Spears, 23, surrendered on Wednesday, January 8, according to Police Chief Tim Longo, who announced the arrests at a same-day press conference. Each has been charged with misdemeanor assault. Two other people who were part of their group did not participate in the assault, said Longo, and have been cooperating with investigators.
According to Longo, statements by the accused assailants and interviews with the victims, Marc Adams and Jeanne Doucette, and several witnesses, led police to conclude the assault began as Doucette has previously described, while she and Adams walked east on the Mall from Miller’s toward Rapture at around 1:40am on Friday, December 20.
After Adams fell, Stevenson and Spears, who were standing nearby, ‘mocked and made fun of him,’ said Longo. After Adams asked the men what they’d said, ‘Malcolm Stevenson lifted him up and threw him to the ground.’ According to Longo, it was Spears who allegedly punched Doucette in the head.
There is no evidence that the assault was racially motivated, said Longo, who further noted there is no suggestion that Adams made any statements that would suggest racial or other bias against the assailants.
Hmm. For the Holder DOJ, the mere fact of race is usually more than enough to identify racial motivation, as in the case of George Zimmerman, who was investigated by the FBI primarily because he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense and had the bad fortune to be the recipient of an entirely new racial designation invented by the media for the occasion: white-Hispanic.
The police chief expressed Clintonesque concerns. After all, what difference does it make now?
Longo also addressed concerns that the department was slow to respond to the report. He said that an investigation did commence immediately and that the officers who’d taken the report had been following up, but acknowledged that it should have been assigned to a detective earlier. He first saw the file and assigned it to the investigative unit, he said, when he returned to work after the holidays on December 30.
That delay did two things, he said. ‘One, it created the perception that the department didn’t take the matter seriously, and two, it gave the impression that nothing was being done,’ Longo said.
Gee Chief, ya think?
He said a new policy instituted in the wake of the incident requires multiple captains and the investigations commander to review every new report placed in the system daily ‘to make sure it was assigned properly.
What Chief Longo is talking about is standard operating procedure in every competent police agency in the nation. Every morning, reports are categorized, sorted and routed to the appropriate people. Cases that require additional investigation are routed to the detective commanders who assign cases to appropriate detectives, others are merely filed, etc. A case like this–an active and brutal assault with multiple witnesses, photographs and at-large violent attackers–should always have a high priority and be immediately assigned to detectives who immediately follow up. Charlottsville hasn’t gotten around to adopting SOP for police agencies for far more than a century?
Longo included in his statement at the press conference:
‘This is a case quite frankly that by virtue of where it occurred, and virtue of a sense of urgency about attacks that are taking place around the country in public places would have got a sense of urgency had myself or one of the Captains actually looked at the report. I regret that when first learning about the incident that I didn’t personally come in and look at the report.’ [skip]
The Police Chief added that the case had been left in the hands of police officers but should have been immediately referred to investigators. ‘It’s not because I don’t think patrol officers can conduct an investigation properly,’ he said. ‘Patrol officers conduct investigations every day, it’s just that this is a resource-intensive process.
Chief Longo was careful to add that he doesn’t believe this was a “knockout game” sort of attack. Perhaps not, but the atmosphere of lawlessness and selective prosecution establish by the Obama Administration certainly gives one pause.