Hidden Camera Unveils Street Violence
In Louisville, Kentucky, the West End is home to a lot of violence and crime. However, no one seems able to tell exactly what the root of the problem is. A recent hidden camera report tried to get to the bottom of the situation.
Some of the incidences of violence are incredibly graphic, including a gunfight which resulted in the injury of three children. This incident and others like it were all caught on tape as part of a brief undercover investigation by a local news report using a hidden camera. And perhaps the biggest problem is that either no one understands what the problem is or no one wants to talk about it.
Many sources say that the problem is an obvious one, but no resident is willing to talk about it for fear of violence against them. But behind closed doors, they say that the problem comes from drug dealing in many different areas, such as the Beecher Terrace public housing complex.
The reported, as part of his investigation, spent two weeks recording activity using a hidden camera. Not even the police were aware of his covert actions during the investigation. The reporter said that the first thing he noticed was the alarming amount of drug activity and dealing in the area, and the he witnessed and recorded a drug deal happening first hand.
This happening occurred on an almost daily basis, with many deals transpiring and drug dealers’ presence always being felt. They have found many new ways to hide their drugs from police officers, and watching them at work is not too different than watching a business manager take care of his inventory.
On May 23, four hours after the reporter had finished recording drug deals on camera, police responded to a homicide at Beecher Terrace. A man was shot to death at 12th and Cedar, the same corner where I was videotaping.
The next day, after police and reporters cleared the scene, more recordings were made of drug deals and a handgun being doled out with the drugs. The drug activity was going on next to the “Stop the Killing” signs posted by community activist Christopher 2X.
“The best way I can relate to this issue is, as far as what you documented is, I’m disappointed,” 2X said after viewing our tape. “This isn’t helpful. I feel as that what this report will reveal, hopefully, is an urgency of us to do our own internal cleansing. Because I don’t believe law enforcement is a solution to get us out of this problematic situation.”
Sometimes law enforcement passed every 15 minutes. Sometimes two hours passed between patrol cars. But the people flashed signs, motioning to buyers and sellers when police officers approached. The residents walked by drug and gun activity. No one called the police.
“They’re numb to it,” said Lavel White. “They just dismiss it because they don’t want to be involved in it.”
White lived in Beecher Terrace. He graduated from college, and recently was appointed by Mayor Greg Fischer to a group that is tackling the violence problem.
“I knew my days might be numbered,” White said, “but you live in your environment. You’re used to it. So it’s like you live in a war zone or something, but you don’t know the war’s going on.”