Suspects on the Loose

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"If you live in the hood you keep it hood:” a quote from a Pana-Villa Apartment resident on why most of her neighbors don't talk to the police.

But after Friday night's stabbing of 17-year-old Tristen Robinson, that attitude may be changing.

Tishawn Packard agrees most of her Pana-Villa neighbors don't like talking to the police.

"They just don't like to associate with them."

It's a matter of trust, rust minority communities have historically been hesitant in giving to law enforcement officers.

Sgt. Kevin Miller of the PCPD says, "A lot of people are worried if they say something to the police that we'll go and charge someone based on that and they don't want the responsibility and that's just not the case."

Police have had trouble solving crimes here before. At these same apartments, it was two years before police made an arrest in the murder of 14-year-old Desmond Ray.

Authorities in Marianna say they have no problem working in minority communities, yet more than two months have passed since a mother and her three kids were killed, and there has not been one arrest.

Myron Hines, a concerned citizen, says, "The distrust of police in black communities tends to leave these crimes unsolved because nobody wants to talk. You don't know when you're talking to the police if the person you're talking about gonna get back to him."

Myron Hines grew up in Glenwood and says police need to be more visible, not just when they're investigating a crime, but he also puts the responsibility on the community itself.

“It’s unfortunate that you have to risk something of your own safety in order to help solve crimes in our community, but until we start doing that, crime is going to perpetuate in our community. We're going to have to stand up and talk.”

It’s something the residents of Pana-Villa are starting to do.

Tishawn Packard says, "Because we lost a soldier. This is the second soldier we done lost, but we going to hold it down, be strong and keep our head up."

The Panama City Police Department does have several outreach programs to build that trust, including an after school assistance program and a community assistance police academy.

Police still ask anyone with information about the suspects in this case, Darius Terrell and Marquez Carroll, to please call their office at 872-3100.