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Resource ID: #25637
Subject: Criminal Justice System
Source: The Kansas City Star
Date: 06/03-12/23/2012



This two-day series uncovered a significant, serious and growing problem in Kansas City: Police routinely shut down investigations into nonfatal shootings because victims wouldn't talk or detectives had trouble finding them again. Reporter Christine Vendel spent months studying a year's worth of shooting reports, knocking on victims' doors, and interviewing police, experts and others. Her series revealed that 60 percent of the 2011 cases had been shut down, even in instances where other witnesses existed. Meanwhile, charges were filed in only 10 percent of cases, leaving nearly all shooters free to threaten, maim and possibly new victims. The second day of the series drew comparisons to domestic violence issues of 20 years ago, when those victims faced similar problems. Police, prosecutors, lawmakers and others worked on solutions back then -- but no one was working today to help shooting victims. Vendel's series changed that.

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