Neriah (NeNe) Miller and Cierra Miller (Source: Sherrie Miller)
Sherrie Miller (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Lt. Todd kessinger (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Minister Jerald Muhammad (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Hameem Muhammad (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The day after a baby girl was shot dead and her mother critically wounded, community leaders are demanding men in Louisville's West End take action and called for the killer to turn himself in.
Louisville Metro Police say they have neither a suspect or a person of interest and only the barest of descriptions. The silence early on, they say, has been deafening. It's why organizers are calling for men to step up and say police aren't unwelcome, but not necessary.
If Sherrie Miller, the group Brother-to-Brother and Louisville Metro Police agree on nothing else it's that somebody knows who murdered Miller's great-granddaughter, Neriah (NeNe) Miller. NeNe's mother, Cierra, was wounded in the shooting as they stood near their porch in the Shawnee neighborhood around 6 p.m. Aug. 27. They also said fear's no excuse for silence.
"Please, whoever did this; please turn yourself in," said Miller while choking back tears. "Y'all done killed an innocent baby."
"There's really not a lot of difference in the person that fired the shot or the person who has the information of who did it and keeps it to themselves," said Lt. Todd Kessinger, commander of the LMPD Homicide Unit. "They're both cowards."
"This is not snitching when a woman is shot," said Minister Jerald Muhammad of the community group Brother-to-Brother. "It's not snitching when a toddler is shot."
Rather, Muhammad and other community activists assert that promoting order and calm will deter neighbors from exacting their own brand of justice.
“If you're afraid to turn yourself in, contact one of your organizations and we will escort you in,” Muhammad explain.
Short of that, business owner Hameem Muhammad, no relation to Jerald Muhammad, maintains that West Enders are doing little more than running for cover.
"They need to get some money, get out and protest," said Hameem Muhammad. "Let these people in the neighborhood organize and teach them how to protect themselves."
But Minister Muhammad maintains it's about men failing to accept responsibility. And blame. For at best, police are outnumbered.
"We're willing to work with the chief to see if we can help find good young black men who want to become part of the police department,” he said.
Investigators want presence.
"Citizen presence as far as information," Kessinger said. "They should provide us with information, but we can handle every other aspect."
For NeNe Miller's family, there is but one question and one certainty.
"You come up and do the things that you do," said Sherrie Miller addressing her great-granddaughter's killer. "Why? I won't even get to see her dance no more."
Anyone with information about the persons involved can call the LMPD Crime Tip Line at (502) 574-LMPD (5673). All calls are anonymous.