Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2017 Luke T. Bush

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Location: Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Writog: writer-photographer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Justice For Christopher: Behind The Scenes

A former Plattsburgh State professor and his students have been raising questions about the investigation of a brutal beating that occurred many months ago in Plattsburgh City.

In the early morning of November 19th, 2010, Christopher Rigsbee, age 25, and his girlfriend were brutally attacked by four men on Broad Street. Chris suffered serious injuries and was taken to the CVPH ER. He reported the incident to the police shortly after the assault.

Following the beating two events were held to raise awareness about violence in Plattsburgh. A fundraiser was sponsored by the Koffee Kat to help Chris with his medical bills. Also, friends and concerned citizens gathered for a public demonstration one afternoon near the spot where he was attacked, holding up handmade signs with messages urging a stop to violence and hate. This resulted in coverage in the local media, including photographs.

And then incident faded from public view. No arrests or further developments about the case were reported in the media. The Plattsburgh Police Department hasn't provided any updates on its investigation.

Chris says he was planning a second public demonstration when he was asked by the Plattsburgh Police Department not to go ahead with it. He was told the detectives were still working on the case and that another rally wouldn't make a difference. So Chris decided to work with the police, letting the detectives proceed with their investigation. He canceled the rally.

Time passed. Nothing happened. According to Chris he and his family would wait for more information from the PD; they had to keep inquiring from time to time, trying to contact the detectives by phone. Even though the detectives said they would get back in touch, even meet with them, long periods of silence ensued. The case was apparently still open. Or was it?

Obviously with the cancellation of the second rally the incident dropped from the radar much sooner.

But behind the scenes a criminology professor and his students at the New Mexico State University have been looking into the case. Before accepting his present teaching position in Las Cruces, Dr. David Keys was the chairperson of the Department of Sociology at Plattsburgh State University. He lived in Plattsburgh for a few years, becoming aware of local issues.

After hearing about the apparent lack of action with the Rigsbee beating case, David asked his students to write letters to Police Chief Desmond Racicot, Mayor Donald Kasprzak, and the Press-Republican. The letters were also sent with a complaint to Eric Schneiderman of the NY State Attorney General Office-Criminal Prosecution Division.

Chief Racicot has tried contacting Dr. Keys by telephone and email but David in an email response said he would not communicate further with the chief because it might be a conflict of interest. David also stated that he can appreciate the chief's situation but wonders if there's a problem with those assigned to the investigation.

More details will follow as this story develops.

[Disclosure: I am friends with Dr. David Keys and his wife. Also, I am acquainted with Christopher Rigsbee.]


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