Altercation raises litany of questions
In fact, our readers gave us plenty to think and ask about in both their public comments on the site as well as private emails and phone calls.
One of the first people we chose to contact was Dare County commissioner Warren Judge, who on the night of the Voice debate, mentioned there was a “time and place for information” about such incidents to be revealed.
Judge told the Voice he was referring to the fact that there may have been an on-going investigation at the time the media was trying to gather facts.
That situation has arisen before and we are willing to acknowledge that possibility. But, as we noted in prior articles, two other incidents locals have talked about on internet sites have yet to be officially acknowledged.
While we understand law enforcement wants to make sure facts are related to the public correctly, we would also point out that social media has shortened the news cycle considerably.
In each of the three incidents our own personal cell phones were filled with text messages and emails from employees, patrons, other witnesses, and yes emergency personnel or their family members.
Once this information is published on sites such as Facebook or Topix, neither of which are moderated, “facts” go by the wayside and emotion takes over.
It would be better for all if law enforcement released information sooner rather than later (or never), even if it is only bare-bones information in order to keep fact from becoming fantasy.
Some readers raised other questions.
In an offical release from Kill Devil Hills, ther police chief noted “Some known gang members were identified by law enforcement as being present at the party.”
Were these indentificatons made before the fight and stabbing? If so, did they alert the owner of the establishments in the area of the presence of gang members? That location is home to three popular spots; Fuji, Five Guys and The Pit.
Going further, has law enforcement made pictures and other information available to all nightspots regarding known “gang” members?
Many, if not most establishments would refuse entry to potential troublemakers.
Another set of comments seemed to focus on the music, presumably hip-hop, featured by several local clubs and its relationship to these incidents.
Here, I would urge local community members to check out these establishments for themselves.
Hip-hop is the favored style of dance music among much of our youth.
The fact that a subculture of the genre is built around glorification of drugs and violence doesn’t change the fact that this type of music is also preferred by significant numbers of young adults-people who have absolutely no ties to “gangs”, drugs, and violence.
Banning hip-hop music from local nightspots is not a viable solution.
There has also been concern about the use of the words “gang” and “gangs” by law enforcement. The media relies on official press releases when referencing gang activity in aritcles, but added informtion from law enforcement would be useful.
When an incident occurs, the public wants to know what the name of the gangs these individuals belong, how they were identified as gang members, and whether they are local residents or out-of-town visitors.
Finally, there were some comments from readers who stated the police overreacted, as did the EMS crew that called for help.
One reader even attempted to boil the entire thing down to a “love triangle” gone bad and the incident with the ambulance as “buddies trying to save a friend.”
The radio call from the first police officer requesting mutual aid suggests, just by the tone of voice, that the situation that night was far from normal.
Subsequent radio communications indicated a large fight did indeed take place, although again, no details have been released to the media about the actual violence taking place near Fuji and The Pit.
Listening to the 911 tape, it is hard to dismiss the encounter with the ambulance “as buddies trying to help a friend.”
There are a hundred ways to attract the attention of an ambulance. Banging on the doors, dropping “f-bombs” and blocking the vehicle with a car are some of the few methods one would not use.
The EMS crew did exactly what they should have done-refused entry to the victim until backup arrived.
Secondly, these so-called friends fled the scene once the ambulance crew loaded the victim and can be heard on the audio declining to follow their friend to the hospital.
And, according to police reports, the victim also refused to cooperate with police.
Finally, when does a “love triangle” or “a fight over a girl”, as another reader nonchalantly noted result in a stab would to the chest?
If all of the above is considered everyday behavior by local patrons of nightspots, perhaps its time to pull more law enforcement off the bypass at night chasing down teens with drug dogs, and focus on what appears to be a more serious group of problem individuals.
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