Chief: lack of witness cooperation frustrating

Unhelpful Citizens At Shootings
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police were called out to a disturbance involving weapons late Sunday night in North Jonesboro.

Despite the fact that the victim told police nearly 30 people were there, a suspect was never developed in the crime.

Police say potential witnesses "would not provide any information," and said they didn't know anything.

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said, unfortunately, that is common.

"There's a lot of times we just won't get information while these crowds are gathered," Chief Elliott said.

He said it has happened all too often in his roughly 35 years of being in law enforcement.

"Some look at it as snitching but either way, they're just not forthcoming with information," Elliott said.

For officers, he said it's frustrating when potential witnesses don't cooperate.

"It just compounds the amount of investigative time that we have to put into a case, trying to track people down that were standing out there when we could possibly solve a case a lot quicker," the chief said.

He said in the time it takes them to pin down a suspect, a vicious cycle of crime could occur.

"There's the potential for that individual to come back and do more, and it could be them, or one of their family members hurt the next time, and then they'll want police to do something," Elliott said. "But then you'll have the same situation. People standing around will still not come forward. They don't want to get involved unless it involves them or their family directly."

As a result, Elliott said some crimes simply go unsolved.

However, he did say that after a crowd diffuses, witnesses are more likely to tell officers what they saw.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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