There are many questions left unanswered after a horrific crime took the life of a 4-year-old boy in Dallas.
Authorities still don’t know why 18-year-old Darriynn Brown allegedly snatched Cash Gernon from his crib as he slept in the early morning hours of May 15.
Nobody is sure exactly what happened in the approximately five hours between Cash’s abduction and the discovery of the boy’s body on a nearby road, though the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled his death a homicide, according to WFAA-TV.
But the most haunting question from the community is whether this tragedy could have been prevented — and some of Cash’s neighbors think maybe it could have.
This revelation was made as public officials and members of law enforcement met with the community Monday night to discuss their concerns about the crime.
A neighbor, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claims to have made a report in April after he captured footage on his home surveillance camera of a man matching Brown’s appearance in his driveway trying to open locked vehicle doors.
The neighbor said he reported the incident, but nobody ever followed up. “How do we make sure that this doesn’t happen again?” the unidentified man asked Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.
“We called a month ago, and now a child’s dead,” the man added. He also claimed he was able to identify Brown in a lineup shortly after he was picked up on suspicion of Cash’s murder.
The neighbor provided WFAA with footage from the incident.
Other neighbors made similar claims about reporting Brown to police without any further action being taken as well.
One of the issues raised was the proximity of the police station in relation to the areas covered by the department, including the street where Cash’s body was found.
“When I drove from headquarters, I didn’t realize how far this would be,” Garcia said.
Some residents at the meeting were calling for a police substation to be set up in their community, though it’s unclear exactly what the reasons were for their reports to not be investigated further.
The problem could have been that, like many police departments, Dallas police are spread too thin with too few resources.
At the same time, cops in other cities are under attack as activists and politicians call to abolish or defund police, though many have been forced to walk back that rhetoric when crime rates surge.
But anti-police activists claim neighborhoods are less safe with police around, that their presence is threatening to minorities in the community.
The truth is that not much deters criminals except the threat of jail, but Brown was potentially allowed to roam the streets looking for an easy score from cars in the neighborhood virtually unimpeded.
Had Brown been picked up for the smaller crimes, he may have already been behind bars or at least been being watched more closely by police before he had a chance to abduct the boy.
Instead, Cash’s family is left to mourn the senseless crime that took his life before he even had much of a chance to live.
Brown is currently being held on $1.5 million bail for charges of kidnapping and burglary, according to The Dallas Morning News, and it’s comforting to know another criminal is finally off the streets.
But that should have happened before Brown ever allegedly had the chance to abduct — and possibly kill — little Cash Gernon.
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