'No Snitch Culture' Making Shooting Investigations an Uphill Battle

Published 03/10 2014 06:10PM

Updated 03/10 2014 06:21PM

Monday has been beautiful sunny day in Evansville, but when sun rays are out unfortunately gun shots ring out too. Over the weekend Evansville Police responded to several shots fired calls including one on Highway 41 and Virginia where a storefront window was shot out. No one was hurt, but Friday night Demetrius Fingers was shot seven times on Blackford Avenue. Evansville police say they're working with limited information making it difficult to find the shooter.
"That's the reason things are out of hand because people are sitting back and acting like this really didn't happen." Danny Thomas is Demetrius' uncle. A man that has been on both sides of the law. He spent two and a half years in prison for assaulting a police officer and recreated the event at a city council meeting last year. "As I turned around I hit him with a six piece combo and next hing I know he was knocked out." But today Thomas says he wants to work with police urging witnesses to speak out about the source of gun violence on Evansville's south side. "The police department that's their job and I think Evansville's got a good police department. But i know they have to go off tips," said Thomas.
Evansville police say they continue to reach out to the minority community and that communication needs to be open not only when it's convenient, but all of the time. "When they're the target of law enforcement investigation they fall back on accusations of rudeness, racism, things like that, but when they need us for their own benefts then they want to go out and publically rally the troops for the support of law enforcement. That type of mentality allows those type of neighborhoods to deteriorate," said Sgt. Jason Cullum of the Evansville Police Department.
Evansville Police say the 'no snitch culture' is part of the problem during investigations, but the issues of gun violence go much deeper. "When you talk about snitching that's a symptom. The disease is violence, it's crime, it's disrespect for any in authority including their own parents," said Sgt. Cullum.

In an odd twist of fate the police officer who Danny Thomas was convicted of assaulting is now the detective assigned to finding the shooter of Thomas' nephew. So far no arrests have been made in the shooting of Demetrius Fingers.

If you would like to provide a tip you can call the Evansville Police Department at (812) 436-7896 or the WeTip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME

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