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A man has been killed by police: Please help demand answers

Action Update April 2012: A member of Kevin Callahan’s extended family pointed me to a march, posted at the Justice for Kenny website: here.

On April 14, 2012 at 10am in Bay Shore/5th Avenue, there will be a march for justice, dedicated to the victims of police brutality at the hands of the Suffolk County Police: Kenny Lazo, Kevin Callahan, Brenda Gaines.

_______________________________________________________________________

More action items at the bottom of this e-mail!

Kevin Callahan: Killed by Suffolk County Police

Two weeks ago, on September 20th, Suffolk County Police went to someone’s house, and ended up shooting that person to death. Kevin Callahan was killed by Suffolk County Police at his home in Selden, Long Island, New York.

It’s a big deal.

The story made the local news, as well as the AP and national news. It is a serious thing when police kill someone. The media must report and investigate. The community must pay attention. The government must investigate. And, the police must answer questions.

Though, no one is following through with this important situation.

The Suffolk County Police have only issued one, brief statement, a September 20th press release. They claim to have been sent to the home by a phone call. But, they do not say who called. It has been two weeks, and they have not explained further.

In addition, the Suffolk County Police have never said if, during or after the shooting, they discovered a weapon. That is very important information. Would you like to know the chances of you or your loved one being shot by police, when you are in your home without a weapon? Knowing what happened to Kevin Callahan will help you to understand the odds of such a situation happening.

It is not right that the Suffolk County Police have been so reluctant to give answers. It is a sad and unhealthy state of affairs that our local press has not risen to the occasion and written more about this incident.

I hope that some members of the community will rise to the occasion themselves, and demand accountability for a possible murder. The family of Kevin Callahan deserves answers. And, the community needs to examine this incident, and see if there are any lessons in it for how our Suffolk County Police and/or Suffolk County government are run.

Please consider ways in which you can help. You could write to the local press, and ask them to cover the story. You could write to government officials, and ask them to pressure the police. You could write to the police and try to reason with them. You could pose this situation as a question to the current candidates for Suffolk County Executive. I have some simple, sample letters, and addresses at the end of this post.

I, personally, believe that an outside investigation should be done. That is another strategy for making sure that the community gets to the bottom of this situation. And, to make sure that something like this is less likely to occur again.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Wilder

___________________________

Sample Letters
Please consider sending one or more

For the media:

Note: Newsday has finally printed one, updated story on this matter on October 14th.

Letters to Newsday can be sent via e-mail. Be sure to include your address, and your phone number:
letters AT newsday DOT com

Letters to Long Island Press can be sent to
LI Press
575 Underhill Blvd. Suite 210
Syosset, NY 11791

Dear Editor:

On September 20, 2011, Suffolk County Police shot and killed a man in his own home. The man was Kevin Callahan.

Your news agency did report the story at that time.

Though, two weeks have gone by, and there has been no other information reported. Your newspaper should print [regular] an update about a matter that is so important to the community — the untimely death of a person and the accountability of police actions.

Suffolk County Police have only issued one press release. In that release, they do not say if Kevin Callahan had a weapon. The statement by the police says “The investigation is continuing”. But, it does not say what agency or department is investigating. And, it gives no timeline.

As a local news agency, I believe that you should monitor the situation, and report the information to the public. And, you should make the public aware if our Suffolk County government is not following through.

Sincerely,
Your Name Here

For the Suffolk County Police:

You can e-mail the Commissioner of Police at
SCPDINFO AT suffolkcountyny DOT gov

Dear Commissioner Dormer:

I am concerned about the way that the Suffolk County Police Department has handled information related to the police killing of Kevin Callahan.

I ask that you do your best to create an impartial investigation into the death of Kevin Callahan.

I ask that you provide the press and public with an update into the investigation.

I ask that the Suffolk County Police Department review what happened on September 20, 2011, and that the department review the procedures which led to the death of a person at the hands of police.

Sincerely,
Your Name Here

For elected officials:

Please consider writing to one or more of the following –

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy
H Lee Dennison Building
100 Veterans Memorial Highway
PO Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788-0099

Your Suffolk County Legislator
c/o H Lee Dennison Building
(see above)

Suffolk County District Attorney
infoda AT suffolkcountyny DOT gov

Governor Andrew Cuomo
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Other officials who listen to your concerns

Dear Elected Official:

Hello, my name is YOUR NAME HERE. I am a resident of STATE YOUR TOWN OR DISTRICT IF YOU KNOW IT.

I am writing to you with concerns about a police shooting that occurred in Selden, NY on September 20, 2011.

Suffolk County Police shot and killed Kevin Callahan at his home.

So far, the information that the Suffolk County Police has issued has been very sparse. They have not stated if the victim had a weapon. And, they have not stated which agency or department is investigating the situation.

I would appreciate it if you could advocate that the Suffolk County Government and Suffolk County Police initiate a fair and impartial investigation. And, that you request that the Suffolk County Police update the community on the investigation in a timely manner.

I also believe that this situation shows a need for the Suffolk County Police to review their policies and procedures that led to this shooting.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME HERE

-end

6 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting this and for caring about my cousin

  2. if we get alot of people to stand outside the police station 6th pre with signs posters pictures saying how we feel demanding answers or even if we stand across the street where the wendys is and protest… we can let news12 the radio stations kno befor.hand.hopfully they show up.. or just think of all the cars on middle contry rd that would see us i think we could maybe get some answers that way nd if not atleast they kno we r not forgetting about kevin do u think this is possible or are we not.allowed to do tht i thought it was a good idea nd i would be happy to plan it

  3. Kimberly, thank you so much for this. He was my cousin as well and we are all torn apart. Hopefully this can get things going.

  4. Please this cannot go unnoticed …. why is nothing happening …. it has been three weeks. My brother was unjustly killed by police. This is mad. Why are people pushing it under the rug. He wad.not responsible. The officers and department is responsible. How can three weeks pass and no concern had been brought up by press and newspapers. Just think if something like this happens to your family, wouldn’t you want people to do something and help. Please send as many letters as possible. Together WE can change this and get answers.

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