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Cedar Rapids Police say cooperation with witnesses played key role in arrests after violent past weekend

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the first warm weekends of the year, and Cedar Rapids Police are investigating a rash of violence this past weekend.

Chief Wayne Jerman says there were four incidents, between a homicide and shots fired incidents. Arrests were made in three of the cases.

“I think the incidents that happened over the weekend are really the result of poor decision-making,” Jerman said.

That and the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions likely played into the violence this past weekend, Jerman said. Several people have been arrested and charged in the incidents, something that cooperation from the community played a key role in.

“Without that information, it’s very difficult to solve cases, so building on these relationships is key to being successful resolutions to these types of incidents,” Jerman said.

Jerman said he feels the community does have a positive relationship with police, and that the weekend’s involvement proves that. But, he said a lack of trust may be why, in the past, people have chosen not to come forward.

“There’s a number of reasons why people don’t want to cooperate with police,” Jerman said. “It’s a number of ways they can provide information, and not fear any sort of retaliation or retribution by cooperating with us.”

Brandon Jackson works with young adults, through his organization Dreeam Sports, to keep young people out of trouble. He said he’s even seen more cooperation.

“People are kind of tired and had enough of the things that’s going on, and not only that, there’s been so many people affected by the violence,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the mentality against snitching is still present, but not as much.

“They have that guilty conscience as well, where it’s like, hey I know something’s happening and it’s wrong, and people are just like, hey let’s do something about it,” Jackson said.

As the weather warms up, Jackson said he’s working to provide young people more opportunities through sports and jobs, and he has high hopes for the summer.

“I think this summer, especially, could be a summer of relief. It could be a summer of more people working together to change things,” Jackson said.

Jerman said their outreach program was affected by the pandemic, but they are looking to further build those relationships, as well.

“I can only continue to stress the need for them to come to us, the need that they can trust us, and again, it’s about relationships,” Jerman said.

Jerman said it’s challenging to predict what crime levels will look like as the weather warms up, but added that he’s not overly concerned if this weekend was a sign of what’s to come.

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