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Readers question police actions in Cleveland missing women case

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With more details emerging in the case of the three missing Cleveland women found held captive in the same house, officials and the public are now asking questions about police actions

 A Cleveland police officer stands outside the house where three missing women were discovered alive. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)Cleveland police have launched an internal review of their handling of the case over the past 15 years to see if they missed anything. Authorities say police went to Castro's home twice in that time but not in connection to the women's disappearance.

But neighbours say they called on two other occasions  once to report a naked woman crawling in the backyard and the other to report pounding on some of the doors of the house. 

Neighbour Israel Lugo said in the second case officers knocked on the front door but no one answered. Police walked to the side of the house and then left.

In the comments of our story, members of the CBC Community said the police should have been more thorough in their investigation of the Castro home. 

  • "We have to hold the police accountable as well. They were called to this house twice and once when a naked woman was crawling on her hands and knees outside the house. And this is the house of one of the alleged kidnappers who had been accused of domestic violence in the past. There should have been a serious investigation with the neighbour's call, not just rattling on a few doors and going away. I'm sick and tired of cries for help going unheard. Reminds me too much of Pickton and his voiceless victims," said fast456.

  • "Wow, to think that neighbours called police and police did nothing? Good luck justifying that one! If there is a woman crawling around the backyard naked, there is reason to do be concerned. Did they ever think to ask to speak to the woman? This just makes my blood boil, it's disgusting all of it!" said Laughing1.

  • "So complaints made over the years, one a naked women crawling in yard and two pounding sounds. Police go to check it out but because no one answers the door they are happy and walk away. Brutal .. wake up police. Seems you can call in concerns and nothing really done. Should the Police not return many times until they get to speak to someone living in that house?" said AnnoyedNS.

  • "Police don't know anything unless somebody tells them.This is a perfect example of how these three women were taken within two blocks of each other, and the whole of the police force and FBI couldn't put it together. All of the investigators in that area should be fired for incompetence," said RichPoor.

  • "And the FBI's official comment? '...it was the answer to prayers...'. Huh. How about we forget about prayers and concentrate on police work? I'd put my money on committed, persistent, competent cops any day of the week," said MisterPG.

Others focused on the police reaction to the 911 call that Amanda Berry made after she escaped the house. 

Martin Flask, Cleveland's director of public safety, released a statement Wednesday saying that actions of the 911 operator are under review following complaints from the public. 

  • "I am bothered however by the way the 911 dispatcher handled the call. Here is a lady trying to tell the dispatcher she had been kidnapped 10 years ago, her captor has left the house and this may be her only opportunity to be free... I am dumbfounded that the dispatcher did not keep her on the line until he had confirmation that law enforcement had arrived on the scene and she was physically speaking with police officer," said Minehunter.

  • "The operator did her job. She took the call and sent police. I don't understand the need the public seems to want for the dispatcher to get excited and respond emotionally. They are not supposed to do that," said Mrs Dressup.

  • "Anyone who thinks this call was normal, and that the dispatcher did the job properly is mistaken in my view. The girl may have said bye, and hung up, but the dispatcher led her to do that with her words, and tone of voice. She was clearly in a hurry to get the caller off the phone," said TheChard.

  • "Dispatcher should be fired. Lacks communication skills big time," said susanneat29.

  • "Hindsight is 20/20. The neighbour living next door to them for a year didn't notice anything unusual. While it is important to examine past actions to see if mistakes were made and can be corrected, it is difficult to decide if any blame should be directed toward the authorities," said Hershey1.

Thanks for following our coverage of this story. 

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, U.S., World

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