- Read the case file from Brandl, Criminal Investigations, “He Hit Her Until She Fell . . . and Then consider if you were the criminal investigator assigned to investigate this case, what interview questions would you have asked the witnesses and why?
- Then, respond to the posts of at least two (2) other peers with substantive feedback.
Week 3 Hot Topic: Extra Credit
With more than two months left in 2020, Kansas City broke its record for homicides Thursday night when two people were killed in separate shootings, leaving 156 victims this year. The total includes seven fatal police shootings. Throughout the metro, 226 people have been killed as of Friday afternoon, including 42 homicide victims this year in Kansas City, Kansas.
In previous years, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she has known about every act of violence in the city. But in 2020, it has been “just almost impossible” to keep tabs on the relentless number of slayings.
The single-year record in total homicides was previously set in 2017, when 155 people were killed, according to data kept by The Star, which includes four fatal police shootings. n addition to breaking the homicide record, nonfatal shootings have spiked at an alarming rate. As of Oct. 11, 516 people have been shot and survived this year in Kansas City, compared to 401 by that time last year, according to police data. By comparison, 2019 ended with 491 living gunshot victims; 2018 with 450; and 2017 with 506. Baker called the number of living victims this year “absolutely breathtaking.” Of them, eight of were under the age of 10. Another 20 were between the ages of 11 and 15. The city is also on pace to break the record for the rate at which people are slain.
Millions of Americans filed for unemployment as COVID-19 closed businesses, creating financial strains. Killings tend to occur in the spur of the moment, and when people are stressed, the chances of violence rise. More people have also been questioning the fairness of the criminal justice system, particularly of the police, in the fallout of the officer killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville. When people don’t feel that the criminal justice system is fair, they’re less likely to participate, as victims or witnesses, and more likely to take matters into their own hands. That lack of trust is evident in one of the police department’s statistics: about 70% of surviving gunshot victims are not willing to assist detectives.
What are your thoughts on these troubling statistics and mistrust? Do you feel that there is a need for reform, reconciliation? What are your suggestions in mending the trust between the community and police officers?