Friday, August 19, 2011

Justice For Christopher: Big Story Now No Story

"Anytime a crime is committed or someone is assaulted I absolutely am not pleased ... and always look for answers as to why it happened and aggressively pursue prosecution to the fullest." -- Plattsburgh City Mayor Donald Kasprzak, Press-Republican, December 27, 2010. Article: "Student speaks out after reported gang assault"

August 19th marks nine months since Christopher Rigsbee and his girlfriend were brutally beaten on Broad Street during the early morning hours by a group of cowardly thugs.

As detailed previously in other posts at this blog, the police were called soon after the incident and it wasn't long before "persons of interest" were on the cop's radar. It should have been an open or shut case.

Local newspapers carried the story and how Chris was raising awareness of the problem with violence in the community through a public demonstration. He had planned a second rally but was asked by the Plattsburgh PD to hold off because they were proceeding with their investigation and another demonstration might affect that probe.

So Chris decided to go along with the PPD and canceled the demonstration. His beating quickly dropped from the public's radar.

Time passed. Nothing happened. Repeated phone calls to the PPD by Chris and his mother, Samantha Rigsbee, resulted in no movement with the case.

Dr. David Keys, former professor at PSUC, heard about the situation and had his Criminal Justice students at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, write letters expressing their concern about the apparent indifference to resolving the case. He sent copies of the letters to the New York State Attorney General's Office which passed the matter on the Public Integrity Bureau which in turn passed it out to Clinton County DA Andrew Wiley.

At this point Chris and his girlfriend were contacted by the PPD; they were told the case was still active and that follow-up interviews would be conducted.

Then nothing. No follow-up interviews.

Pressing on David Keys contacted three Plattsburgh newspapers -- the same ones so quick to cover the story months ago -- making them aware of the his students' letter writing campaign and the lack of apparent action by the PPD.

Response from the newspapers? Silence.

Unless there's recent official activity that I haven't heard about, the case grows cold.

And so months go by and for some reason the big story is nothing, despite the savage beating that Chris and his girlfriend suffered. Regarding the statute of limitations, time is running out.

Maybe someone wants it that way. Why? One of the attackers has connections? The college doesn't want the bad publicity? The PPD screwed up the case? Who knows?

Ask those questions and you will probably get only one thing for a response.


1 comment:

David Keys said...

I don't assume that I can add any facts to Luke's article, but I can comment on what I know about police in general and the PPD in particular: (1) the one element that police hold most dearly is their discretionary power to enforce or not enforce the law; and (2) the PPD specifically, true to their small town mentality, exercise this power to a degree that is intended to impress, manipulate, and if necessary, intimidate the populace. Chris Rigsbee is merely a citizen, expecting the law to be enforced, no agendas, no politics.