First Posted: 1/15/2008

LIMA — Fifth Ward Councilman Tommy Pitts blasted police and prosecutors Tuesday saying had they listened to his concerns on racial profiling a year ago and done something, the woman an officer killed in a drug raid earlier this month still would be alive.Pitts pointed to the seven drug charges against Anthony Terry, the man the Lima Police Department SWAT team was looking for when they raided a house Jan. 4 at 218 E. Third St. During the raid, 26-year-old Tarika Wilson was shot and killed by an officer while her 1-year-old son, Sincere, was injured when he was struck twice by bullets.“If they had gotten this guy after the first time or the second [buy] like they do the white guys, that shooting that happened on that terrible Friday night of this young girl, Tarika, would have never happened,” Pitts said.Pitts raised concerns of racial profiling by police officers and said there are discrepancies in the way cases are handled by prosecutors. Blacks are allowed to make more drug deals before they are arrested compared to whites, which results in more charges and longer sentences for the black dealers, he said.Police Chief Greg Garlock said the drug raid against Terry that resulted in Wilson’s death had nothing to do with race.“It was based on a felony drug investigation and Mr. Terry’s involvement with that case. That’s what brought us to Third Street,” he said.Pitts said he has two questions for police and prosecutors: Who sets the criteria on how many times an individual is allowed to sell drugs before police arrest the person and what are the criteria.“We want some answers to some questions,” he said.Pitts said the only conclusion he can draw from disparity in treatment is that race is the leading factor.“What other reason could it be?” he said.Pitts said black and white drug dealers should be treated the same whether both are subjected to more charges or fewer charges based on drug buys, so long as it’s the same amount.He also said whites are arrested faster to cut down on drug crimes in white neighborhoods but in black neighborhoods it’s allowed to continue longer.“Hurry up and bust him because we don’t want this stuff in our area,” he said.Pitts pointed to a study an attorney hired to represent his two sons on drug charges conducted. In that study examining felony drug cases in 2004 and 2005, it showed only 17 defendants in 186 cases were white. The remaining were black.The study also showed whites, on average, received two years in prison compared to four years for black defendants. When first indicted, though, those whites faced a maximum possible sentence of 17 years compared to 16 years for blacks, the study showed.Pitts also criticized Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick and his top assistant, Dan Berry. He said neither man cares about racial disparity in the justice system, or blacks, for that matter, he said.“It’s time for a changing of the guard,” he said.Waldick responded by saying, “Those allegations are just malicious. They are untrue and I’m not going to dignify those kinds of statements with any further response.”Pitts also criticized Garlock for not listening to his concerns. He said he has told the chief numerous times officers were too quick to pull guns on blacks but the chief has not done anything other than make excuses for his officers.Garlock declined further comment on Pitts’ remarks because of the pending case with Wilson’s death.“It won’t serve to help this community heal,” he said.Pitts blamed one other person, as well, for not doing enough to address the issues he raised.“I blame myself,” he said. “You better believe from now on it will be” addressed.

Pitts says ‘I told you so’ to police, prosecutors about Third Street killing Pitts says ‘I told you so’ to police, prosecutors about Third Street killing

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