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Police didn't do their job. What can we do?


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On Friday night while I was busy at work there was a whole lot of commotion going on at my mom's house.  After everyone returned home from a party, a neighbor got out of his car and shouted over, "You dirty snitches, I'm going to kill all of you."

I'm assuming it's because that house he was parked in front of was notorious for getting raided at least twice a month.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that house is a drug house.  Never before, though, has anyone from my mom's house called the police to report them. 

Anyway, the first mistake my sister's dumb boyfriend made was going across the street to confront the guy.  The two got into a physical fight and the dude who said he was going to kill everyone pulled out a knife and slashed the dumb boyfriend's knee open.  The dumb boyfriend backed off and retreated across the street, where a woman followed.  The woman threw a beer bottle at the front door, shattering the glass all over my dad, who was standing at the door. 

My mom, being the only one with a decent head on her shoulders, went outside to see what the problem was and this woman that threw the beer bottle kicked her and spat on her.  Momma called the police.

The police now, rather than arresting the girl that broke the window and got physical with my mom, went into the house across the street to check on the guy that slashed the dumb boyfriend's knee.  Nobody was arrested.  The girl had taken off and the police said, "Well, if she's not here, how can we arrest her?"

Everyone went their separate ways for the night.  Momma had gone to the store to get bandages for the dumb boyfriend and medicine for one of the three babies that were playing inside.  Daddie left to go to the emergency room to get his huge, cut up gut looked at for police report purposes. 

Momma opened her bedroom door to go to the kitchen to get a bottle for the babies.  As soon as she opened that door she heard glass break and gunshots.  She raced back into her room, got the kids on the floor, got herself on the floor, and called the police to say someone was shooting inside the house.

Nothing happened.  Nobody came, nobody called back, nothin'.  For the remainder of the night everyone in that house sat around petrified that someone would break in and kill them all and the police, when they called to ask what the delay was, just said, "Well, we drove by and didn't see anything."

If someone is shooting inside a house, wouldn't you expect someone to knock on the door and say, "Is anyone hurt?"

I'm very upset about this and I know the holiday is a busy time for everyone.  But hell, even I had to go over there and call the police to find out why almost 10 hours after the shooting happened there still wasn't ANYONE at that house to file a report.

Is there anything we can do about this?  Cause a stir with the media, get these police officers even more negative attention and hopefully have a change with the way they do their jobs?  Or are we just going to get ourselves flustered and piss off the wrong people in the process?

The last I heard from my mom, they believe they have a suspect in custody and my mom and everyone that was there during this all has to go to the police station to file a report on a week day.  I told my mom to keep everything, the busted door, the shot up microwave, the bullet fragments, and the pictures of all the damage, along with the original and copies of any police report, emergency room visit papers, and to write down their accounts of everything that happened that night.  Dad's going to take advantage of his lawyer and press as many charges as possible on the two people involved (suspected to be a father and a daughter). 

Which is great and all, but what can we do about the police?  They just left my family to be afraid for the remainder of the night and all day until someone finally said, "We think we have a suspect in custody."

Edited May 05 2013 13:16 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
32 Replies (last)
#1  
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First of all I'm so sorry your family is dealing with all this drama.  This is a very bad situation. Unfortunately law enforcement doesn't always work in your favor. I would keep filing reports, like everyday, for EVERYTHING, every disturbance there is should get reported. Then after a while of doing that, there are piles and piles of police reports that you have on your side if you choose to take it a step further - with the media or through court. Thats all I can think of.

Wholly Crap! Where do your parents live? Doesn't sound like it's a very safe neighborhood; or did it change with the residents of the house that you're speaking of?

I'd make sure they contact someone at the PD like a Commander, Deputy Chief or the Chief.  If they don't get any satisfaction there, go toyour City / Township commissioner/ councilman.  If not there, then the Mayor. 

If they just don't care, you're family will have to "make them care" by shaking them up a bit. Remember, everyone has a boss.  I'd make the media the last resort.

I'm in public service and I know that those that govern will usually take up your cause and make things right. They want to get re-elected.

 

They actually live in a decent neighborhood.  Aside from someone once throwing a rock through the car window (which happened shortly after the drug house neighbors moved in), nothing has ever happened in that neighborhood.

Going to the police chief sounds like a good idea.  He's always in the newspaper apologising for the police and their **** performance.  Thanks for throwing that one out there!

I definitely think going to the "higher-ups" in the city will be a good idea and the media should probably be a last resort if they decide to do nothing. Most news-networks have their contact information on their websites for people to report stories.

I'm so sorry the police didn't do as much as they should have to ensure your family's safety. I hope everything works out.

*offers CD a bagel*

CD, you're a very adept writer and can get your point across eloquently.  I would write a letter to the City Chief of Police, the Mayor of the Editor of your city paper.  That was really slow response for such violent behavior.  Granted it was the Holiday weekend, you are going to hear all kinds of "we were busy" stuff, but this urging from you and possibly others may support hiring more officers of the peace in the long run if that is what your district really needs.  Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Under Ohio law, your parents should be able to file a formal, written complaint with the police department which outlines and alleges their belief that the local police department mishandled/failed to respond/failed to investigate the incident(s).

They should check online or with the local department (non-emergency number) for the procedures/forms that are needed to file such a complaint.

Are they in Toledo? If so, here is the LINK to the Toledo Police Department.

MOLLY

Heh, the kicker about this all.  By the time I got there the morning after this happened and called the police, they said there were no available patrol units available.  We passed three cars at the gas station, everyone was standing around drinking coffee.

I'm trying to give these people the benefit of the doubt here.  If my job has taught me anything, it's don't expect prompt responses 100% of the time.  We've got circumstances that cause us to be a little tardy even though it looks like we're all sitting on our asses.  But still, almost twelve hours before someone shows up at their door?

What if someone had gotten shot?  What if my dad wasn't at the emergency room when the shooting happened?  I can guarantee he would've been in the kitchen with my sister and her boyfriend, and my mom would've been too afraid to leave her bedroom with three little babies in it to see if anyone had gotten shot.  And if they'd all been taken out before anyone had time to scream, nobody would've been able to help them until the sun rose and she finally came out of her room.

I typed out a few letters and eMailed them to myself.  When I get home and can search around for eMail addresses, I'll be sending them off.  I'd search here, but you know how jobs like to prevent you from finding useful things on the internet. :D

Watch the Punisher, learn from it. Then burn their GD house down. And if they come on your property and threaten in any way, you can shoot them dead on the spot. It is very legal in ohio.

#9  
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Original Post by cstefan:

Watch the Punisher, learn from it. Then burn their GD house down. And if they come on your property and threaten in any way, you can shoot them dead on the spot. It is very legal in ohio.

I would vote for you for President.

Shoot them dead with what?  My dad's orange, wooden rifles he carves when he's bored?  I think instead of making fried **** with mustard he should make **** grenades.

I'm not the violent type, Chris.  Neither is my momma.  Now, my dad, when he's off his medication, he'll go over there and raise some hell.  With his little, orange, wooden rifle.

Well the police do nothing, you throw oranges, nothing gets solved. Good luck. I do hope the police do help but by the time they do it might be to investigate someone in your house being severely hurt or worse. Just sayin.

Sorry to hear that you are going through this I had to move house last year after similar drug house neighbours finaly started taking notice of me and my boyfreind rather than just focusing on there own drug fuelled street figths.

I hope the police do something for you but to be honest I hold little hope.

The final straw with my neighbors was that a guy broke in to my home with me and by boyfriend in it, he demanded money, food and to be allowed to make a phone call. He was already wanted by the police and when they tracked to phone call the police came rushing to my house to demand to know why we let him in and almost arrested my boyfriend but I got home in time to back up his story.

While this is a UK incident and yours is a US im betting there is a massive difference in the police service so I have no advice in that area. Can you try to get them evicted maybe?

Just wanted to say I know what your going through really

CD, you said "they called the police" so I am taking from that that they called the police station...am I right with that assumption?

They called 911.  Every time I say, "They called the police," I mean they called 911.

Well if that's the case then you have a case, but first you will have to find out (if you don't already know) what the response time to an emergency call should be?

In the UK (but of course we are much smaller than you) our response time to a 999 or 112 call is 3-7 minutes, obviously it depends on many factors like traffic etc, but when someone makes that call the service(s) required must respond with a reasonable period of time, and they are usually dispatched whilst you are still giving details to the operator. The fact that they did not in your case, and gunshots were the main reason for the call then you have cause for complaint. Remember all 911 calls are recorded, so there is your evidence.

The reason I asked the question before was to be sure before I said anything, because a call direct to the police station can be regarded differently, and you would have a harder time proving the case. 

My best suggestion is to call the actual police station, not 911, and ask to talk to the Chief. They probably won't connect you and will instead ask for your information, the reason for the call and tell you that he or she will contact you. Tell them where to reach you and that you'd like to speak with him about some of his department's misconduct in the (insert your mom's last name) case.

If they don't call back that day, call the next. And the next. Sometime multiple times in one day. Trust me, you will get on his nerves so much he'll call you back, or you go down there and sit and wait for him to see you.

Emails are nice, but you don't know who is actually reading them and if they will ever get to where you want them to go. So, if you're going to email, also call alot. Saving the emails will also give you written proof of your contacting them.

good thing you dont like violence cuz unfortunately, you cannot shoot someone for just setting foot on your property, in the state of ohio.

since your dad is already going to talk to his lawyer, all of the questions you have asked should be directed at the lawyer.  he will be in the best position to say if you really were ignored and mistreated by the police such that further violence was done to your home and threatened to your person.  he might even be able to talk to you about ways of redressing this-- both legally and in the court of public opinion.  he should also be able to get info for you on filing a complaint administratively.  all of this advice probably doesnt come cheap though.

in the mean time, what is being done to ensure that you are all safe?

Original Post by drea99:

good thing you dont like violence cuz unfortunately, you cannot shoot someone for just setting foot on your property, in the state of ohio.

Setting foot on is different from coming after you with a knife or throwing glass bottles at you which both have happened. Not necessarily on said property but if they had...

even then cstefan you have to use reasonable force-- deadly force can only be used when you are in reasonable fear for your life-- bullets yes, throwing beer bottles-- its iffy.  good rule of thumb: when you start seeing your life flashing before your eyes or the barrel of a gun, then you can shoot.  until then you might end up like the poor sods who get sued by their burglar, and the burglar wins.

in at least one other states, however, you can kill someone for trying to break into your neighbors house, if you are watching the house for him.

cd-- i hope you all are getting this figured out!

Sorry, but the police don't generally owe any duty to keep any particular person safe.  You can read a decent summary of the law here

Because you're unlikely to have any legal recourse against the police, your best bet is to hurt them politically.  Complain.  Write letters to the editor.  Post signs on your lawn.  Start going to city government meetings and making comments.  I can pretty much guarantee you that you won't get an "I'm sorry," and you may just make some enemies, but if it makes you feel better ...
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