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An Open Letter To My Congressman

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“Senator Todd Young and Congressman Larry Buschon were in Evansville talking to local law enforcement about the current issues they’re facing. Senator Young tells us he’s walking away with a better understanding of what our local officers are feeling during a time when some Americans are asking officials to defund the police.”

Following a news story that appeared on local television I emailed Congressman Buschon’s office the following letter. 

I’m thrilled to see that Congressman Buschon and Senator Young have cultivated a passing interest in law enforcement and while I’m willing to withhold judgment on Sheriff David Wedding this forgiveness does not extend to the Evansville Police Force or any member thereof. Most of us in our neighborhood are too old to appreciate the what is becoming the perpetual sound of gun fire. From Channel 14 News:

August 7, 2020 at 5:43 AM CDT – Updated August 7 at 5:43 AM EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) – Evansville police say at least 30 rounds went off during a shooting overnight. That happened just after midnight on South Kerth and Cherry Street. Officials say a car was parked outside a home and two people shot at each other. Once they arrived on scene, officials say they weren’t able to get anyone to cooperate with officers. Police say no one was hurt and no arrests have been made.

So law enforcement is dependent upon the cooperation of felons? The fact that no arrests have been made pretty much runs to form for Evansville PD’s lamentable performance. What that article does not say is this is the second time the police have been called to that address in less than two years because of a shooting. The first shooting occurred in the early afternoon. The police noted that even juvenile delinquents had rights and inasmuch a no one had enough ambition to get a warrant to search the home the investigation ended. The lady across the street opined to police she had yard work the needed to get done. Too dangerous! Everyone should remain inside for the rest of the day. That said, the police left the neighborhood evidently not wanting to subject themselves to the danger that had befallen mere citizens. 

The August 7 shooting was followed by another shooting four days later. That time only about a dozen shots were fired so maybe it can be scored as an improvement. Again the police responded and left but it should be noted some of them actually exited their cars. There is a rumor that I cannot confirm that the police were called back a few hours later when someone found a video of the shooting on his outdoor surveillance camera. 

This neighborhood has suffered dearly since the economic implosion that created many home vacancies and the Winnecke-Bolin policy of benign neglect has not been a winning strategy. Three houses and one garage within a hundred yards of this house were destroyed by fire and not a single person was ever arrested. Arson was shrugged off as the natural result of a homeless population that was allowed to infest the surroundings. If there were actual police investigation they must have been an online Zoom equivalent. 

Let me be clear. The Evansville Police Department does not regularly patrol this neighborhood and it obdurately refuses to enforce the law. Before the house across the burnt down people wanting to purchase drugs would park in front of it and walk the driveway to the ally to the drug dealer’s home before it burnt down. When imploring the 911 operator to at least investigate the drug dealing proved fruitless my wife and I took pictures of licence plates and took them to the Heidelbach Street substation. It was a complete waste of our time. The drug dealing continued until the house was burnt down, probably by its occupant. Somehow the house and the unattached garage caught fire simultaneously in mid afternoon. 

The city exhibited yet another example of inexcusable, we don’t give a damn misfeasance when a lady friend called the mayor’s office and begged that the source of dirty needles be prohibited from camping in the ally lest her grandchildren be seriously injured. She wasted her time but if that call was made today it’s probable she would have been lectured on the need to keep her grandchildren’s faces masked. 

Frankly I don’t give a damn if they fire every one of Evansville’s “finest”. Please explain why they would be missed. If you would like to hear from ordinary people who are neither BLM nor police apologists I have half a dozen neighbors who will give you an earful. 

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