My good friend Charles See sent the following letter to law enforcement, public and elected officials, and others who have the ability to address his very serious concern.
Dear Public Guardians:
Thank you for your commitment to keeping the public safe and for enforcing the laws which protect us all. I read with great alarm, chagrin and concern the article in the Sunday Plain Dealer (6/16/18) “Witnesses reportedly silenced by threats.”
This article graphically depicts a series of threats made against citizens who witness horrific crimes, murder and assaults against other citizens of our city. These witnesses, out of their own sense of decency and obligation to their neighbors, volunteered to stand up in court against the tyranny imposed upon them and their neighbors by the heartless villains who plunder, pillage and commit murder in their neighborhood.
The new mantra reverberating around the nation’s urban areas by the law enforcement community is “If you see something, say something.” These courageous citizens who come forth as witnesses to “say something” must not be abandoned by the courts, government, police agencies or their fellow citizens.
Witness intimidation, assault or murder is an affront to the very foundation upon which our system of justice is founded. Those courageous citizens who come forth as witnesses must, must, must be protected and accorded every measure of support and safety that they and their family require, including relocation assistance, witness protection programs and/or personal security.
The lawless marauders who threaten our witnesses are sending the entire community a message: “Say something and we’re coming for you and your family.”
We need to answer this message loud and clear: “Touch one of our witnesses and we’ll not sleep until every one of you is brought to justice.” If witnesses are not assured that every resource will be expended to protect them and their family, we can expect that the number of citizens willing to come forth will soon diminish, leaving those who break our laws with a free pass to operate with impunity.
I call upon you honorable people to join together and commit the resources of your respective agencies to protect those citizens who find the courage to become witnesses for the state. And to relentlessly pursue anyone who threatens or harms a witness in any way.
Believing that you all share my desire to have a community free from witness intimidation, I forward my sincere appreciation in advance for the actions you will take to secure the safety of the brave men and women who “see something and come forth to say something.”
Charles R. See, Chairperson
Prevention Committee, STANCE
Standing Together Against Neighborhood Crime Everyday
From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.