LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - "There'll be a vigil and then everybody kind of goes on about their business," Col. Yvette Gentry spoke those words with both force and sadness when explaining what could be called the circle of death in life because of homicide.
That heedfulness often does not last much longer than the candles lit in memory of the victim. Veteran officer of 22 years, Col. Yvette Gentry, is pained at how quickly our attention turns to the next gruesome scene or the crime that is causing the most dissension.
"There was a six month old, Ariah Phillips, that was murdered here and there's case after case that happens here in our own community. How we kind of cherry pick the cases that really bother us as a society. You're proud of people for feeling something and taking some action," Gentry explained with great emotion. "You had a lot of people at a rally for Trayvon Martin. You shouldn't be able to beat a six month old to death in this community and people sit silent and don't say anything. It shouldn't happen here. We're a better city than that. We're better people than that I believe...I know," she said as she wondered why no crowd for Ariah.
Unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin lost his life on February 26, 2012. The shooter, neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, claimed self defense. The killing was hundreds of miles away yet it set off outrage and protest nationwide. Neighborhoods in Kentuckiana gathered to protest and rally. Hundreds gathered at Jefferson Square Park, Waterfront Park, and there were two protests at the University of Louisville.
Gentry does not mind people protesting the death of Martin. It is just the reasoning or lack of it fueling the crowds. But never mistake motion for action. More than a gesture is needed to fix the problem we have in our neighborhoods.
Detective Jon Lesher said if you hear the news and you wonder what is wrong with the world, the answer literally starts at your door step. "The whole city of Louisville needs to get involved and start reporting wrong doing," an answer that seemed simple to Lesher.
Citizens can get involved preventing and solving crimes without the fear of retaliation. There is the anonymous tip-line, the 24-hour a day staffed hotline, text tip, web tip and your good old fashion block watch where you see neighbor helping neighbor. Whatever we do will be significant. It is just very important that we do it now.
Losing the force in his voice from moments ago Lesher shares what crime can do, "You hear a mother at 2 o' clock in the morning when she finds out it's her baby lying in the street. Goosebumps....I....I get goosebumps. It hurts. It hurts real bad. I'll remember that scream. I'll remember that cry. I'll remember that momma dropped to her knees."
We will either act or accept what is happening in our neighborhoods and to our loved ones.
Gentry questions us again, "Who killed Stephanie Fletcher when she came back from Walmart two years ago? Who killed her? Who did that? It's not acceptable here and somebody knows who did those things. Say something. Say something. She deserves you to say something."
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:03 AM EDT2013-05-21 11:03:20 GMT
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Monday, May 20 2013 10:23 AM EDT2013-05-20 14:23:02 GMT
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