Arrests made

Arrests made

After more than a month, authorities have made a breakthrough in the investigation of a horrific crime.

The arrests last week of two area men in connection with the July 4 shooting death of a Champaign woman is good news.

Authorities have charged Anthony Meads, a 20-year-old from Champaign, and Treshaun Jake, a 19-year-old from Danville, in the shooting death of Desirae Dearmond Austin.

This is a heinous crime, all the more intolerable because it was so utterly senseless.

Mrs. Austin, who was married and the mother of two young children, was killed after being caught in the crossfire between two rival groups in a north Champaign neighborhood. The incident occurred about 10:20 p.m. at Thornton Drive and Cruising Lane.

This shooting is more reflective of the kind of senseless carnage that takes the lives of so many young people in Chicago, but is rare here in Champaign-Urbana.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz attributed the shooting to "miscommunication, ego and rumor." In other words, the dispute really was about nothing.

That the individuals involved would engage in gunplay over such trivia is difficult to fathom. That an innocent bystander would lose her life because of it is beyond sickening.

Equally sad is the difficulty Champaign police have had in determining what happened and who was involved. That's because witnesses to the incident have declined to discuss what they saw with investigators.

Despite that, authorities said good police work by a pair of determined investigators — Robb Morris and Jaceson Yandell — was sufficient to produce enough evidence to file charges.

Authorities said they are not certain whether more people will be charged in connection with this tragedy. But they said they still can use the assistance from those who might have seen something and not yet talked to the police. Witnesses can call Crimestoppers at 373-8477.

What occurred is a tragedy on many different levels. A life has been lost while other lives have been damaged — all for nothing.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion
Categories (2):Editorials, Opinions

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EL YATIRI wrote on August 22, 2012 at 9:08 am
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Yes very lamentable.  And all the result of the dysfunctional relationship between a minority community and the police who are supposed to be serving them.

After years of birther mayor Schweighart, with his corrupt chief of police Finney, the relationship between Champaign police and minority communities was in tatters.

Hopefully with a new mayor and chief of police there will be a CPD culture change and hopefully the minority community can trust while an ideal police community relationship is developed.

 

 

Tom Napier wrote on August 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I had to read this post several times to make sure I was reading it correctly.  To my disgust, I was. 

I am sickened by the notion that the individuals responsible for murder, literally, aren't being held accountable for their own actions; that they shot and killed an innocent bystander, another human being, because of a former Mayor and a former Police Chief.   Somehow, two morons who care nothing about anyone or anything beyond their own pathetic selves think it's perfectly acceptable to shoot at each other or at other humans with total disregard for the consequences.  And you make excuses for them!  Amazing!  Appalling!  Sickening!

"And all the result of the dysfunctional relationship between a minority community and the police who are supposed to be serving them."  Did the former Mayor say it's OK to take a human life?  Did the former Police Chief say it's OK to endanger the community?  Two, and maybe more thugs started popping off on the streets all on their own; no mayoral or law enforcement intervention whatsoever.  Themselves ... no one else.   Your cause and effect relationships are so terribly convoluted.  I can't fathom what thought process would lead you to write such stuff; certainly not one grounded in any sense of moral responsibility or respect for human beings.  I can't imagine where your head is.  No, I can imagine, but I'm not allowed to write it here. 

You are an enabler for murderous, primitive, feral behavior, devoid of any sense of social order.   You excuse this behavior and relieve the murderers of accountability for their actions and the tragic consequences.   You lay the blame on others. 

"Hopefully with a new mayor and chief of police there will be a CPD culture change and hopefully the minority community can trust while an ideal police community relationship is developed."  You think so.  What do you think they should do with these social deviants; put them in time out?  Maybe have a talk with them?   Or, how about a good hug?  Say "Oh, it's OK.  It was an accident" and conjure up another excuse for their next murder. 

I'm just guessing here, but I suspect you'll respond saying you're NOT defending the murderers.  Bullocks! You are indeed.  "And all the result of the dysfunctional relationship ...." defends them.   This "dysfunctional relationship" is what killed the young lady, not two cowards pulling triggers.  Sickening.   

What will Ms. Austin's children think when they read your defense of their mother's murderers?  Oh, that's right.  They're too young to read.