Tahlequah Daily Press

Letters to editor

May 21, 2014

Good ol’ boy system at work

TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

I am concerned for the citizens of Tahlequah in the way the officers with the police department conducts themselves with regard to the public safety and well-being of its citizens.

I, like so many others, fell victim to a burglary and had to fill out a police report of the occurrence. I took extra precautions and enlisted the help of an online site with the intent on locating the items. The individual(s) did attempt to sell the items and were told the police were on their way to the location. I was alerted by the administrator of the site and was asked to identify the items for the officers once they arrived.

The cops took 29 minutes to arrive, and once at the location, I asked that they retrieve the other suspect from the neighboring fast-food restaurant. The officers did not do a background check on the other suspect at the scene and arrested the individual who was attempting to sell my items.

I checked On Demand Court Records to do a background check when I got home and saw that the other suspect has outstanding warrants for his arrest. I contacted the detective division of the police department and was told the other suspect was the son of an individual that he can “vouch” for.

The detective said the other suspect at the scene stole a gun from his father the same night I reported the burglary and he was not pressing charges because it was recovered at the arrested suspect’s house. This situation was totally separate from my burglary, the detective said, even if the father of the suspect is my immediate neighbor. The detective got statements from the other suspect, which were used in recovering the gun for his father.

A couple of weeks later, [my car was vandalized]. I filed a police report and told the officer it could have been the neighbor’s son and that he has bench warrants for his arrest. I called the detective again, asking questions about the bench warrants for the suspect, and was told that he had called the sheriff’s office and the suspect didn’t have warrants.

I went to the courthouse and provided documentation to the detective that, indeed, the suspect – whom he has remained in contact with in retaining statements from – does have two bench warrants for his arrest. After numerous documented contacts with the chief of police about the matter, I was told the suspect will be in court, but that statement was not true. The district attorney is still looking for the individual.

The “good ol’ boy” system has failed me and the citizens of Tahlequah too many times to count. By protecting your rights, I am protecting my own.

Shannon Dawson

Tahlequah

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