Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cleveland Police Dept. Should Be Locked in Basement for 10 Years

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Castro brothers alleged kidnappers
I understand that law enforcement can be a challenging, oftentimes dangerous job.  But the failure of the Cleveland police department to investigate neighbors' complaints of female screams and pounding as well as a naked and bruised woman crawling around in the backyard, was unconscionable.  As a consequence, three women, kidnapped as teenagers, were chained to the walls of a dungeon-like basement of the Castro brothers' Cleveland home, and violated for ten years.



Police have now arrested the three brothers, ages 50 to 54.  One of them, former school bus driver Ariel Castro, owned the home, situated in a poor neighborhood south of downtown Cleveland.  His brothers,  Pedro Castro, 54 and Onil Castro, 50 have also been arrested  in connection with the alleged abductions.


The only hero in this dismal affair was a dishwasher named Charles Ramsey.  Ramsey reported  to CNN that he heard a girl scream "like a car had hit a kid."  The news report describes how he "ran from his living room, clutching a half-eaten McDonald's Big Mac, to the house and helped free a woman identified as Amanda Berry." The sobbing woman explained: "I've been trapped in here. He won't let me out. It's me and my baby."

One neighbor, Israel Lugo, had "called police  three times between 2011 and 2012 after seeing disturbing things at the home of Ariel Castro."  But the police found nothing unusual.  In fact, they knocked on the door of the Castro house and walked away when no one answered.

Sadly, the Cleveland Police Department's neglect of female victims of crime is not new.  According to an Associated Press article: 
"Four years ago, in another poverty-stricken part of town, police were heavily criticized following the discovery of 11 women's bodies in the home and backyard of Anthony Sowell, who was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death. . . . For months, the stench of death hung over the house, but it was blamed on a sausage factory next door."

Is kidnapping and sex slavery such a low priority for law enforcement because the victims are women? 
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