June 16, 2009 Store Clerk Murdered; Customers Keep Shopping Reporting Pamela Jones GARY, Ind. (CBS) —I'm still appalled at the reporting. The video shows that the suspects were all black. (So is Commander Titus and Pamela Jones, the reporter.) Probably the callous shoppers were black, too. But here's how the robbers are described in the story:
A 26-year-old convenience store clerk was shot and killed in broad daylight in Gary, Ind., and police say witnesses stood by and did nothing. CBS 2's Pamela Jones reports there are critical clues that may help crack the case.
Police say one of the four men caught on surveillance video bursting into the clerk's booth at the convenience store was about to commit murder. The video shows a man in red run up an aisle and kick in the door to the booth. Within seconds, the clerk, Gurjeet Singh, was shot in the neck.
"It was senseless. And really all homicides are senseless but what we gather from this, there was very little resistance," said Gary Police Department Commander Anthony Titus. "It didn't have to end the way it did."
But Titus says what's even more senseless is the apparent inaction of bystanders standing near the front door almost the whole time.
Police say there were several customers walking around the store after the crime. But only one called 911 for help.
When asked what he finds most disturbing about the surveillance footage, Titus said, "The fact that people went in and out of the store and didn't call police. There is a man laying there. Nobody thinks to dial 911 or check to see if he's OK or anything."
Investigators say two suspects were dressed in black shirts, like one man on the tape who looks to be holding a gun. The other two had red shirts. Police think they were driving a burgundy compact car.The only thing you can gather from this is the presumption that everyone in Gary, Indiana is black, so they don't have to say. In fact, Gary is about 84 percent black. This is partly due to the closure of the steel mills, partly due to white flight. As a result, parts of Gary look like a ghost town. And police, as is usual in these cases, aren't getting a lot of cooperation from "the local community."
Police want to talk to people who saw the four men at the mini-mart on 15th and Grant just before 5:20 p.m. Sunday.Right.Â But the other point is that this looks like a classic hate crime. Three men of one race burst into a store and shootÂ a man of another race dead. Meanwhile, people apparently of the same race as the shooter ignore the crime, don't call the police, don't render first aid, won't cooperate with the investigation, and continue shopping. The hatred of African-Americans for convenience store owners is well known, and there's even been "hate rhetoric" about it, not only from rappers like Ice Cube, but from Andrew Young, who was Jimmy Carter's Ambassador to the UN.
At a news conference on Wednesday, community organizers demanded Gary police offer a reward for information about the case. They said the people of Gary needed financial incentive to come forward.
So where are the headlines? Where are the calls for new laws for the prevention of rap music and editorials blamingÂ Andrew Young? Don't hold your breath.