Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Second report on Metro Police malfeasance is a shocker; NewsChannel 5 provides public service; demand creation of civilian police review board

NewsChannel 5 Investigates journalist Ben Hall's report tonight on the homicide of a Tennessee veteran provides conclusive evidence of Metro Police's incompetency and possible complicity in excusing a security guard in the killing.

A married couple, whose truck was next to the murder scene, witnessed the incident two years ago and called 911.

They told Hall: The guy(veteran Tim Alambaugh) was on the ground and had a gun to the back of his head. A security car was yelling at him. He was yelling at him and telling him that he was going to kill him. The guy was complying. His hands were behind his head.

Police spokesman Don Aaron sadly tried to defend the indefensible in comments to Hall.

Hindsight being 20/20, their truck should have been knocked on. The couple should have come forward, Aaron said..

Sorry, Don, you are defending the indefensible. And you know it.

The couple did come forward. They called 911. Isn't that enough, Don?

They were not even asked by the police to comment even though an officer came by and knocked on the window of their truck, the couple said.

The security guard, Robert Mangrum, had just put in his application to be a police officer, Hall reported. The first call he put in was to cell phone of a police officer, not to 911 after shooting Alambaugh to save his life.

Metro Police did not interview the Johnsons. They claimed self defense by Mangrum. The Johnsons' truck was next to the victim's car and had yellow police department tape on it.

"My son was murdered," Alambaugh's mother said. "I want a jury to decide."

Damn right. The police are completing a second investigation because of Hall and NewsChannel 5. The DA should not wait and have Mangrum arrested and charged. The DA also should issue obstruction of justice charges against the police officers involved in what should have been an investigation.

Chief Serpas, who likes to yell at the school board, should be summoned before the full Metro Council to answer for this travesty of justice. Someone should yell at him.

This outrage is far from the first one. Ask the Rev. Enoch Fuzz who was has lobbied Serpas and the DA for change, with little luck.

And the rest of us should demand a civilian police review board to prevent this and other injustices by the people -- who are supposed to preserve the law -- from betraying our city again.

When you see the mayor at a public event, tell him to do the right and courageous thing, or contact your council member. Next time, it could be your son, no matter if he served his country in uniform or not.

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