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Tuesday, April 23
The Indiana Daily Student

Gary protesters rally for firing of cops who left bodies at crash scene

GARY– About 20 protesters rallied outside City Hall, calling for police officers to be fired for leaving two teenagers who died in a car crash behind for several hours until a family member found them.\nNeither the mayor nor the police chief met Tuesday with the picketers, who held signs and delivered letters asking that the responding officers be fired and for the chief to resign.\nFamily members of Brandon Smith and Dominique Green, both 18, have been searching for answers about the deaths of the high school seniors since the Sept. 15 crash.\nGary police Cmdr. Sam Roberts, a department spokesman, gave protesters a letter written by Chief Thomas Houston. The letter, dated Sept. 21, offered condolences and denied claims of insensitivity.\n“My hope, also, is that this letter will clarify any concerns you may have in regards to our compassion and concern for any life of any citizen in this city or in any city in the world,” the letter stated.\nMayor Rudy Clay was in a meeting and would not meet with the protesters, city spokeswoman LaLosa Burns said. Burns told protesters that Clay would respond to their letter in writing.\nThe bodies of Smith and Green were found by Smith’s father, Arthur Smith, about six hours after the crash and hours after police officers left the scene. The car was gone by the time Arthur Smith arrived, but he estimates the bodies were about 15 to 20 feet from the wreck.\nDispatch recordings show that officers were told that Smith and Green were in the car when it crashed. Police have said that the tapes may not tell the whole story, and the internal affairs department is looking into the officers’ conduct.\nThe Lake County coroner’s office has said Smith and Green both died instantly, but the families have sought independent autopsies.

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