Friday, October 03, 2008

After Some Confusion, Youth Services Locates Salemtown Shooting Report; Detective Out of Town

According to the Salemtown e-mail list, the head of Youth Services expressed some initial uncertainty about whether the case of a teenager shot last week had been assigned to her division or to the precinct.  The day before yesterday Captain Marlene Pardue wrote an association member who contacted her about the case that she could not locate it by the address.  She was also uncertain about the date of the incident.

Yesterday she followed-up with a message that the case had been located and a detective had been assigned:
This case has been assigned to Detective Elrod, who works in the Youth Services Division.  Please be assured that this case is being investigated.  However, as an open case, and the fact that the victim is a juvenile, I can not release any information regarding the case.

Det. Elrod is currently out of town, but I will make sure that he contacts the family on his return, if he has not already done so. 

I will also forward this email to Commander Huggins who is over the Central Precinct to ensure that they are familiar with problems in the area.
While I think it is great that a single neighbor here could rescue this case from oblivion, I am also disturbed that the investigators allowed an entire week to lapse without attending to this case. The Central Precinct says that the report went to Youth Services almost immediately. If that is true, then something went horribly wrong at Youth Services.

Was there some kind of obstruction in the clerical pipeline to the detective? Did the case get assigned to a detective who was already out of town? Is the case growing colder and colder while waiting for the detective to return? And finally, if this had been a case involving the shooting of a white teen, would Youth Service have jumped on it without delay, including assigning an available detective?

Finally, why does a blogger have to be asking the questions of the case of a Salemtown shooting when the professionals in mainstream media should be working on it? Is racial and class prejudice involved in the media silence on this incident?

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