Editor’s note: I am not anti-police. My father was a police officer, in fact. The actions of this small group of male officers, and one male investigator, is not meant to reflect on the Des Moines Police as a whole. During all of this, there have been two female officers investigating, who seem to be the only people actually doing their jobs. I support good cops.
The night of the incident from my previous article about the assault of a woman at District, a bar on Court Avenue, I spoke directly with the officers who were patrolling the area. I asked them to conduct a preliminary investigation, view the video footage, talk to witnesses, and gather information, informing them I was planning on contacting the chief of police, and that I was going to publish a viral article.
I expressed to the police that it would make a subsequent investigation a lot easier, for the detectives who would have to look into the matter, if the downtown officers would do a little leg work on the case.
Later, I learned that there was no report filed, the police had no record of the incident, and that they had made no effort to investigate, in spite of my direct requesting to do so.
The Monday after the incident, two of the victims filed police reports, waiting that long because it took that long to track down the identity of the attacker. Even though the night of the incident the police had said, “It will be impossible to find him,” I was already aware that I would be able to draw out all of the information needed for the investigation, as I have regularly deployed social media – in my activism career – for data mining, and intelligence gathering about toxic waste sites around the country.
Yesterday, I was contacted by the kid who was assaulted by security, and dragged out of the bar, while the attacker was allowed to go free. He told me that he spoke with the investigator, asking if there were going to be charges filed. The investigator said, “We have better things to do,” and then subsequently blamed the woman, saying she had slapped the guy, which I did not see happen, even though I was sitting right next to where the incident occurred.
What I saw was the girl walk across the bar, just past me on the right, when the guy said something inappropriate to her. She responded by saying, “Excuse me?” He said something else inappropriate to her, she walked up to him and started telling him off, which he most certainly deserved. He responded to her by getting up and getting in her face, physically threatening her. A moment later her pushed her. It was the guy that instigated the entire incident.
The police investigator said, “She slapped him,” as if she had just walked up to him and hit him without provocation. The investigator said no charges were going to be filed, because the police were busy with “real crimes” but the fact of the matter is, if the officers I had asked to initially investigate had done their jobs, the investigator would have a pile of evidence and statements from officers to go by.
Since they didn’t do their jobs, the burden of investigation was placed on detectives.
When the kid asked the police to “at least go down to view the video” the investigator refused, revealing that police had made no effort to review the security footage that Larry Smithson claims that he possess. Without viewing the footage, it would be impossible to state who was at fault and that there were no grounds for charges.
Basically, the police are blaming the victim, with no statements to go off but those of Brittney Trimble, the bartender, who is obviously making these statements to protect her Larry Smithson from a lawsuit.
The bottom line is that if the officers I spoke with the night of the incident would have taken a half hour and done their jobs, then the investigator wouldn’t have had to have worried about exhausting man hours on the case, so in my opinion, rather than the Des Moines Police blaming the vicim, they should blame themselves, and they should immediately take steps to arrest the man who assaulted the woman.
You can contact the Des Moines Chief of Police at email@example.com