"In such cases, moreover, it is well to remember that the criminal not merely sins against humanity in inexpiable and unpardonable fashion, but sins particularly against his own race, and does them a wrong far greater than any white man can possibly do them. Therefore, in such cases the colored people throughout the land should in every possible way show their belief that they, more than all others in the community, are horrified at the commission of such a crime and are peculiarly concerned in taking every possible measure to prevent its recurrence and to bring the criminal to immediate justice. The slightest lack of vigor either in denunciation of the crime or in bringing the criminal to justice is itself unpardonable." -- Theodore Roosevelt to Winfield T. Durbin, August 6, 1903Which brings us to this: with the "short black male" killer of Amanda Blackburn - the pregnant white Indianapolis woman murdered last week - still on the loose, Indianapolis Metro Police Department officers are asking the black community to please snitch. [End 'snitching,' help find Blackburn's killer, RTV6.com, 11-16-15]:
|A pizzeria in Indianapolis is looking to help find the "short black male" who killed Amanda Blackburn and the daughter she carried|
The hour-long press conference ended in the same way it began: police asking and pleading for anybody with information to come forward and help police solve its crimes, especially the murder of Amanda Blackburn.
Members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Indiana State Police and the FBI came together Friday to warn criminals that they’re coming for them.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” IMPD Chief Richard Hite said.
Doug Carter, Indiana State Police superintendent gave an impassioned speech about how much Indianapolis' law enforcement cares about the city, and asking for help in finding the people responsible:
"We need you. It doesn't matter what you look like. Now is our time. Now is our time. I don't know what else to say. I don't know what else to say. I've seen this guy [referring to Hite] in the alleys of Indianapolis at 2 in the morning. I've seen him sit quietly in a dark room after Perry Renn was murdered. That's the level and the quality and the caliber of law enforcement you have in the city of Indianapolis. He has welcomed my agency, and the what I represent in and around the state of Indiana, into the city. It's not about what color our shirt is. Sheriff [John] Layton is the same way for more than the 30 years that I've known him. We can give you the answers, but we need you to help us. We need you to help us. Reverend [Charles] Harrison, I see you all the time doing extraordinary work for people you don't even know. Now is our time. Now is our time. For those responsible for killing Amanda, we are coming. We. Are. Coming. And I hope it's not long."
Layton said the crime has became worse since he's been in law enforcement, but that the different organizations are coming together to fight the problem.
"It has kind of stepped up," he said. "I think anyone who's been in a uniform, of any color, for any length of time can see that things are not progressing well. They're going in the direction that we fight every day as police, sheriffs and faith-based community."
The black male who killed Amanda Blackburn (pictured with her husband and son) is still at large because the black community clings to the policy of "no snitching"
The presser also focused on ending the stereotype of “snitching” on each other to the police.
"There are some issues with community trust,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said. "The most odious and insulting name you can call anybody in a middle school or a high school is a snitch. They define a snitch as anybody that talks to law enforcement -- ever. ... Somebody needs to turn that around."
Even Rev. Charles Harrison, who is not law enforcement, but a community advocate, discussed the problem of “snitches” in Indianapolis.
“We have to address the code of silence in our streets,” he said.
They also shared the latest developments of the Blackburn case, which police say “threw them for a loop” because of the non-violent nature of the neighborhood.Amanda Blackburn's killer is black, and the police had to ask the black community to step up and snitch. Not much has changed since President Roosevelt wrote his letter to Mr. Durbin in 1903, regarding the propensity of black people to protect black criminals from the law.
"We have a lot of tired detectives," IMPD Captain Craig Converse said. "A lot of angry detectives."
Meanwhile, the white neighbors of Amanda are working hard to bring her and her unborn daughter justice. [Amanda Blackburn’s neighbors working to help track down killer, WISH-TV.com,11-14-15]:
Community members went door to door with Crime Stoppers flyers for five hours on Saturday.
Participants said they wanted to let as many people as possible know what happened to Amanda Blackburn.
While her husband grieves, the neighbors took to the streets on a mission to help IMPD track the gunman down.
More than 50 people posted flyers on street poles and talked to homeowners and business owners Saturday.
They distributed flyers with Blackburn’s photo and home address.Even a local pizzeria is getting involved in trying to find the "short black male" killer. [Pizza shop near Amanda Blackburn’s home pleas for clues in murder case, Fox59.com, 11-17-15]:
A week later and still no answer to who killed Amanda Blackburn.
The pregnant mom was shot in the head during a home invasion.
Amanda’s husband and local pastor, Davey Blackburn, was the one who found her in their home.
“We’re confused. We don’t understand why. We’re angry. We’re not really sure what to do,” Davey said.
Investigators say a neighbor found a gun a block away from Amanda’s home. The gun is currently at the crime lab being analyzed. It’s still too early to determine if it's connected to Amanda’s murder.
Detectives released two surveillance pictures of a man they are calling a person of interest in the case.
“The trail is not cold. I know we all saw those pictures and we wanted to see that person’s face and we want to find him,” said Ryan McConnell, the captain of the neighborhood crime watch.
Piezanos, a pizza shop a few miles from the Blackburn's neighborhood, has started attaching the Crime Stoppers flyers to all pizza boxes. The restaurant is making sure all their customers have the number to call if they have clues.
Neighbors are trying to increase the $1,000 reward.
“We just want some answers and we want some peace to know this guy is caught and we will not stop until he is,” said Becky Vandenburg, Blackburn’s neighbor.Only one group is actively fighting to suppress making those answers public. The black community, which for more than a century in America has committed to the practice of "no snitching."