It ain't over `til it's over
Any criticism of UHPD officers who "didn't make any arrests" during the Dec. 9 free-for-all at an Alpha Phi Alpha party in the University Center is certainly misplaced.
While the people criticizing UHPD were pointing one finger at the police, they should have noticed that they still had three fingers pointing right back at themselves.
Although an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member claims he "directed several officers to make some arrests" immediately after the incident, that same fraternity member is now backing down when it comes to identifying the persons responsible for the damage. He seems to have come down with a case of "revisionist flu," or possibly a strain of the common affliction "intimidationitis."
In addition, the fraternity president has the unmitigated audacity to say he knows "exactly what happened and who was involved," but he won't identify them, either.
That's the same mentality that assured that the man who stabbed Kitty Genovese to death in front of a large group of people in New York City many years ago went free.
First, no one was willing to step in and stop him. Then, no one would to step up and do his or her duty as a citizen. No one was willing to identify the assailant. In essence, just like in so many gangster movies, "no one saw nuttin.' "
That's an extreme example. But we're talking about the same kind of reasoning.
What kind of citizens will these fraternity members make when they graduate and join society and the real world? Would you like to have them as your neighbors? Would you like to have them watching out for the welfare of your family and your neighborhood like they watched out for the welfare of the guests at their own party?
In the past, UHPD has been accused of being too aggressive in similar circumstances. In this case, they did exactly what they should have. Since none of the officers actually witnessed the incident, they could not arrest anyone without someone agreeing to file a complaint. So, the police gathered information and are now fully investigating the case.
The police department has been able to change the perception of most of the UH community by its continuing record of professionalism and determination.
Last year, crime was down appreciably on the UH campus, partly a result of higher police visibility. UHPD was able to clear, by arrests, a high percentage of the major incidents that occurred on or near campus.
The allegations that UH football players were involved in the fight seems to have thrown another veil of secrecy over the incident. It will be interesting to see if the allegations are true. And, if they are true, it will be interesting to see if the offenders get special treatment because they are on the football team.
The fraternity members and the people involved in the fracas can expect to hear from UHPD. Unlike the fraternity president who asserts that "the case is closed," UHPD officials assure us that the case is not closed until THEY say it's closed.