South Bend Police Chief on shootings: 'Nobody is saying anything but people know'

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski took to Facebook Thursday night to express his frustration about their inability to fully investigate shootings because "Nobody is saying anything but people know."

Here is the full text of his post. It is also embedded in the story below the text. If you have any information about a local crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 800-342-STOP. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

As I sit here yet again-late at night, running the same or similar scenarios over and over in my head, nothing has changed. Meetings, marches and vigils, extra patrols and overtime… nothing has changed.

It’s been 7 days since a 15 year old was shot, doing nothing wrong. Nobody is saying anything but people know.

Since then, 4 more people have been shot, 3 of them criminally, 3 in their teens, one 19 year old young woman…dead. Nobody is saying anything but people know.

Some have said, and will continue to say, “it’s your [police] job to investigate and figure it out.” Absolutely right, it is our job to investigate, which is unfortunately what we’ve had to do in many of our shooting and homicide cases. We’ve had to track people down (i.e. investigate) because they left their family or friend laying in an alley because they didn’t want to be a part of it, or they dropped them off at the hospital entrance and sped away leaving them on a cold sidewalk because they didn’t want to be a part of it. Watched the drama then violence unfold at a gathering along with dozens or more people but then ran or drove away…and didn’t say anything. Maybe stuck around for the police to arrive but then claimed no knowledge of what happened… I could go on. These are some of the same ‘family’ or ‘friends’ who are screaming that we’re not doing anything. We weren’t there, they were. Nobody is saying anything but people know.

If they tell us what they saw, what they know, we’ll ‘investigate’ and work for family and community justice, not have to work a shooting or homicide for months or years waiting on microscopic evidence to be processed by a state or federal lab that has years and lists of backlog, and then blame the police or prosecutor for “taking too long.”

How does not saying anything, or going by “street code” end up and worked so far? I’ll tell you, as if it’s not obvious already…with another person shot, or worse, another person dead! And the cycle continues…

Another mother, father, family and friend notification; bringing them the worst news they could ever receive. It’s always someone else until ‘someone’ happens to be your sons/daughters/brothers/sisters/friends name when that knock on the door happens.

Another vigil, service and burial, tears, anger, frustration, sorrow, loss and unimaginable pain and still… Nobody is saying anything but people know.

There is seldom a violent crime that doesn’t have more than one person who knows what happened, and often why. Nobody is saying anything but people know.

More than one person knows who shot someone, more than one person knew it was going to happen before it did. Nobody said anything but people know.

There are almost abundant options for people to remain anonymous and tell the truth about what happened. Nobody said anything but people know.

Yes, this may be a “national trend,” but we’re South Bend, and we need to focus on South Bend first.

We are asking you, begging you, to stop the next knock on a mom’s door, the next sheet over a lifeless body, the next grieving family. They don’t deserve this and neither does our South Bend family, 103K strong!

If you see something, if you know something, say something!!

Scott Ruszkowski-

Chief SBPD

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