Since July of 2011, there have been 180 people charged with murder or attempted murder in the Monroe area. That’s a staggering amount of violence in our local community, but there is much more that goes unreported.
Some weeks it appears that we had breathers with no violence, but that was deceptive. It happened, but just was not reported by the media.
For example, Monday morning Roderick Young was shot in the head on the parking lot of the Antioch Baptist Church. It was not reported by any of the television stations or the daily paper. Except for the people who live in the area, it appeared that we had a relatively peaceful day. It happened, but it just wasn’t reported.
Last month Jeffery Dean was charged with attempted murder, but it was not reported. Dean jumped into the bed of a truck, broke out the back window, and climbed through the window of the truck causing it to crash. Police say Dean then stabbed Chasity Conway multiple times in the back causing a punctured lung. Conway had to be airlifted to the hospital. The people who were in the vicinity of Carroll High School and Miller’s Funeral home saw the airlift, but it was not reported on the news.
In February of this year, Tyson Norman was stabbed to death in the Trichell Apartments while he was sitting in his car. The suspect dropped her phone, but that did not conclusively tie her to the murder. No charges were brought, Tyson was buried, and the murder was never reported on the news.
There are other examples, but these are sufficient to illustrate the point that if there is a week when it appears that there has been a lull in the violence, it may be a false assumption since all the public knows is what’s reported.
The fact that 180 people have been charged with a violent crime such as murder, or attempted murder may in itself be deceptive because it does not include the crimes of aggravated battery or aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. What’s the difference? A person who throws a knife at you in a family fight and misses you by inches, is charged with aggravated battery but could have been charged with attempted murder. That’s left up to the police department.
The news media is not to be blamed because it does not cover an incident. Murders and attempted murders are getting to be routine, sometimes they miss one if something more exciting happens.
One of the problems with our growing violent crime problem is that very little, other than lip service is being done.
This summer the city seemed to be on top of the issue when it began what it called Operation S.A.V.E. Between 200-300 people came to the first meetings in June. Since then the crowds have dwindled to a handful of people in its eight subsequent meetings.
The Mayor paid $25,000 to an expert consultant to tell the city what it can do to solve the violence problem, but as of this week, the city did not get a written plan of action from its consultant. In response to a freedom of Information request from the Free Press this week, the city said it has not received any written report or documents from the consultant, only oral discussions.
The consultant pocketed $25,000 for his oral advice, that’s some powerful and expensive advice, but the city has not created any reports, documents or initiatives in response to his advice.
In the meantime, the violent crimes continue.