“Crime is taking its toll on this community and we are tired of it.”
Those were the first words of SCMPD Major Larry Branson just hours after the latest homicide in the city.
Investigators say in the 23 homicides so far this year, more than 3/4 of the suspects and victims knew each other.
That means in most shooting or assault cases someone knows who fired the shot. Police say its time to stop being quiet and speak out.
“Tomorrow it could be your brother your mother, your sister,” explains SCMPD Major Larry Branson. “There is no honor dying at the hands of another.”
And Savannah-Chatham Metro Police say there’s no honor in keeping the identity of these shooters secret.
“A lot of times people don’t tell what they know about the crime,” says Major Branson. “Even if they themselves are the victim even if they themselves are shot even if they themselves almost die from their injuries. or are permanently injured they won’t talk to the police, they don’t want to be considered snitches.”
Its that “no snitching” culture that has kept many suspects on the streets and out of jail.
“The popular response is I don’t know anything, I didn’t see anything,” said Branson. “And what really hurts is seeing those very same people become victims themselves.”
Victims that won’t talk, witnesses that won’t say anything. Each afraid of being the next person surrounded by police tape.
“We can protect your identity, we can protect your information,” said the Major. “But we have to know someplace to start, who to look to, where to look for information.”
Investigators say even if you don’t believe police will protect you, find someone you trust. A parent, a neighborhood leader, even your pastor. Because if you don’t speak up then the criminals walk and could strike again.
“For folks who know but don’t tell us, then shame on you.” says a defiant Branson.
Major Branson hopes to build trust through a police park, walk and talk program.
It makes officers get out of the car, talk to residents, make them see police are people too.
If you want to make an anonymous tip on Lawrence Bryan IV’s killing or any other crime in the area, call anonymously to Crimestoppers at (912)234-2020.
Use Tip Submit:
Or you can send an anonymous tip through the Savannah Crimestoppers website:
Just click on the “submit a tip” button.
You can also text message CSTOP2020 plus the tip to CRIMES (274637). TipSubmit, a Mobile App, can also be used and is available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets through the App Store.
All information provided to CrimeStoppers is ANONYMOUS and can be reported 24/7.