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As murders rise, most go unsolved in East Baton Rouge: ‘Our detectives are working hard’ | Crime/Police – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-10-23 05:00:00 –

Jeska Carmouche was asleep when her uncle came into her room early in the morning in the dark and gave the news. Her brother, the boy she raised, was dead.

On July 10, 2020, 26-year-old Ja’Marcus Thomas was shot dead in the front yard of his ex-girlfriend Sherwood Forest’s house.

Carmouche says he can hear his uncle’s voice to this day.

“They got J’Marcus,” she recalls what he said.

“What do you mean?”

“He died.”

Her heart is as competitive as it was then.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she says.

Carmouche rushed to the crime scene, where her brother lay face down on the ground. She said she saw three wounds where the bullet pierced his body.

More than a year later, the Thomas case is one of the unsolved scores in East Baton Rouge.

The East Baton Rouge Parish recorded its seventh murder in eight days after reports of two more deadly shootings on Tuesday night and early Wednesday …

“Definitely a challenge”

In the Louisiana capital, homicide clearance rates are declining, while homicide cases have skyrocketed since 2020.

That trend is reflected across the country, but more pronounced in the East Baton Rouge.

This week’s parish recorded the 119th murder in 2021, surpassing last year’s highest record. With more than 100 vacancies among sworn police officers, the Baton Rouge police station, which handles the majority of murders and non-fatal shootings, is thinner than ever.

According to records maintained by The Advocate, the Baton Rouge City Police, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, and other local law enforcement agencies in the parish have so far accounted for approximately 49% of 2021 murders. solved. Although it is a gradual decline from the previous year, it is a large deviation from the national average, which was about 60% before it fell to 54% in 2020.

Thomas Hargrove — Former research journalist who founded a non-profit organization Murder liability project In 2015, to provide more accurate accounting for murders in the United States — he said the decline in clearance rates speaks to how law enforcement agencies across the country are overwhelmed.

“They lack enough resources to handle the caseloads they are receiving,” he said. This is especially true for murder, one of the most labor-intensive cases to resolve.

After years of worsening staff shortages, the number of swearers at the Baton Rouge police station has dropped to the lowest point …

“If a murder investigator is overweight, it’s impossible to do the job he needs,” Hargrove said.

As a result, more than 256,000 Americans have died in unresolved murders since 1980, according to the Murder Liability Project. Meanwhile, clearance rates are steadily declining, with about one-third of domestic homicides unresolved, resulting in 5,000 homicides annually. Run away with murder.

The FBI recommends that departments that handle more than 50 murders a year handle up to 5 cases at a time for each detective.

Instead of guns and handcuffs, a new team of Baton Rouge residents rely on another tool that tries to stop high and rapidly in the city …

At the Baton Rouge Police Station, a team of 12 detectives is tasked with resolving 94 murders in 2021 alone within the city limits. Three of those twelve officers are supervisors, so that’s about ten per detective — a case load that far exceeds FBI standards.

Baton Rouge Police Spokesperson Sgt. L’Jean McKneely Jr. said the division lacked the resources to strengthen the staffing of the units.

He acknowledged the burden of heavy incidents and emphasized the importance of cooperation from witnesses and other community members to help detectives get the job done.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” he said. “Our detectives are working hard. They are doing their best, but the act of resolving the murder involves many factors, not just the police.”

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He said the advice from the residents was very helpful and under investigation.

“Many things happen behind the scenes that the average person doesn’t necessarily see,” he said. “They can’t arrest anyone from hearsay, but they absolutely look at everything.”

Accurate comparisons of clearance rates are difficult because they often remain in other years before the case is resolved. However, supporters’ records show that the proportion of the entire parish has typically exceeded 50% over the past few years.

It reached 60% in 2018, when the parish recorded 83 murders that year. Despite the surge in gun violence in 2020, the clearance rate remained relatively high at 58%.

If an arrest is made, or if the suspect is identified but cannot be arrested, the case is considered clear in most cases because the person died.

Newspapers simply calculate the percentage of homicides resolved in a particular year. However, law enforcement will include the murders of the last few years resolved in the current year in the clearance rate calculation, so the total edited by the FBI each year will almost certainly be higher.

Dennis Lee didn’t want this job.

“Another person died”

Over time, some families of murder victims say they are dissatisfied with what is called police lack of communication.

Carmouche said the lack of up-to-date information about her brother’s case only exacerbated their grief. She said her brother, one of the hundreds of black men in the United States whose murder remains unresolved, feels they are being set aside.

To relieve the pain, she tried to solve the problem with her own hands. She began to rake in all possible clues, hoping to gather as much information as possible to pass on to the detective.

Carmouche said she submitted some tips to the police. A few months after the death of her brother, her family noticed that someone was still applying for unemployment using his name. However, she did not receive a reply from the police as to whether the advice was relevant to the case.

Carmouche said he doesn’t seem to have a lead, but he’s worried that his death could be another statistic: “another person in the news, another person died.”

McKneely said the Ja’Marcus’ case was never cold, and families of murder victims were usually directed to victim liaison officers in departments created within the last few years after the 2017 murder surge. He added that. However, there is not much that police can share about aggressive investigations.

“Our guys are taking full advantage of these cases,” McNeely said. “We do not disclose all the details we have.”

Silence from the police can be difficult to take.

“There’s one thing we’re still working on,” Carmouche said. “It’s another thing to reach out to someone and say,’Hey, we haven’t forgotten everyone.'”

Debra Ross headed for the first Bible study in 2020. She stopped by to change clothes and stepped into a nightmare. she…

“He looked bright”

Carmouche ponders the last time he saw Ja’Marcus.

After a rather confusing childhood, her brother, who has lived with her and her three children since the age of 11, finally seemed to be on the right track. He loved working as a restaurant cook and wanted to move out of Baton Rouge someday.

On his last visit, Carmoush said J’Marcus said he wanted to take his 7-year-old nephew to a local amusement park. He also repaid the small amount of money he had borrowed from her — what his sister saw as a newly discovered sign of maturity.

“He was like,’You always give me some, I just want to give you back,'” she says.

Others have noticed the change.

“He looked bright,” says Carmouche. “He finally seemed to be in peace in his life.”

A few days later he was gone.

In a dire staff shortage and ongoing efforts to diversify city police, the latest class of new Baton Rouge police officers added:

As murders rise, most go unsolved in East Baton Rouge: ‘Our detectives are working hard’ | Crime/Police Source link As murders rise, most go unsolved in East Baton Rouge: ‘Our detectives are working hard’ | Crime/Police

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