I have this to say

You know, I rarely openly criticize the police, because I am not a police officer and I do not know what they know, but I have to say the cops in David Morrison‘s case were a bunch of idiots.

I mean, you see a body floating in water just a few feet deep, practically within arm’s length of shore, and it’s windy and the lake is choppy and it’s LAKE MICHIGAN, it’s not a little pond or anything, and you don’t bother to fetch it? Just chill out on the shoreline and watch the lake take the body away?

Genius. And someone probably got away with murder because of it. Hard to prosecute without a body, particularly in 1979.

That is all.

18 thoughts on “I have this to say

  1. imaginewisdom April 18, 2018 / 2:19 am

    I thought the EXACT SAME THING when I read your update. Disappointed in them and so sad for his family.

  2. Julie April 18, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Hi! Question – when will the Resolved section be available on your site again?

      • Julie April 19, 2018 / 2:49 pm

        Great, thanks.
        So they’re not shown chronologically anymore? I used to go in once a week and see what cases had been resolved over that past week – now you’d have to be specifically looking up a certain case under that section? And there are only 5 cases total in A-F, which is as far as I just peeked. Seems incomplete. Bummer.

      • Julie April 19, 2018 / 2:52 pm

        Great, thanks.
        So they’re not shown chronologically anymore? I used to go in once a week and see what cases had been resolved over that past week – now you’d have to be specifically looking up a certain case under that section? And there are only 5 cases total in A-F, which is as far as I just peeked. Seems incomplete. Bummer.
        EDIT: Just noticed that if I go under Updates, certain Updates say Resolved next to them so I can look that way 🙂

  3. Patrick Kerrigan April 18, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    As a retired member of the Coast Guard Reserve, they could have contacted the closest lifeboat station. There was one a few minutes drive from Hammond. However, they might have pulled the station’s boats out of the water.
    However, they might have had the appropiate tools to recover the body. Also, they have federal law enforcement authority. They are a resource and quite often they recover bodies.
    A major screw up by those officers involved.

  4. stacy April 18, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    I agree it is heart breaking for the family that his body was not retrieved. I do understand why most of you are disgusted by the the cops failure to retrieve the body. Without excusing their conduct, I can go a step further and offer a theory to explain their inability to act.

    Those cops were just following either their orders or the standard procedures that mandated they must wait for the second group of cops to arrive with the equipment. If you have never been employed in the corporate world or for government, like I have, you would be astonished by the all the rules and procedures employees follow And, you would even be more baffled by the fact that most employee don’t defy or question even the most ridiculous rules.

    The only other plausible explanation, which I think is less likely, is that those cops had not seen too many dead bodies in 1979 Hammond, Indiana , especially bodies transformed and bloated by the water, and the cops were temporarily paralyzed by their shock and revulsion. Or the one cop with highest rank in the group was rendered immobile, and his subordinates were just waiting on his orders that never came.

    • Meaghan April 18, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      I told Michael about it and he suggested that perhaps the cops were worried about getting into trouble in the water themselves; cops carry around a lot of heavy gear and maybe they couldn’t swim well.

      • marsyao April 19, 2018 / 2:15 pm

        if that was the case, they could easily take heavy gear off before going into the water, I would guess they choose to stick with the protocol, if one of the regulation was not allow cops to touch the body before a coroner or rescuer workers, then they could get into trouble for doing that, if you read the paper or watch the TV news, cops got into trouble by not following the protocols all the time, so after got stung one time too many, these cops just wanted to stay out of trouble

    • Meaghan April 18, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      You make some good points about bureaucratic inertia though I must say.

  5. Patrick Kerrigan April 18, 2018 / 10:24 pm

    Stacy, I agree with your comments about procedure. However, there is a Coast Guard Lifeboat Station, with a 10 to 15 minute drive from Hammond. I did not work there but, stopped by the station many times while out on patrol. They are a resource that the Hammond Police could have used. They have cold weather gear that they could have used to enter the water to retrieve the body.

    • Christie M Groves April 19, 2018 / 11:29 am

      Wow, it does seem even more rude they let this happen to that poor man then. I should have been called in as soon as they caught sight if they couldn’t handle it. WOW just awful,

    • Meaghan April 19, 2018 / 4:42 pm

      Yeah, this was awful. Obviously the cops didn’t do their jobs properly. It would have been bad enough if this had been a simple drowning victim, but this dead person (presumably David Morrison) had obviously been murdered, the cops said they could see he had been beaten about the head, there was a bloody piece of pipe on the beach, etc.

      Hammond, Indiana isn’t a tiny little town either. It’s got a current population of 77,000 and is part of the Chicago metro area.

  6. Christie M Groves April 18, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    I don’t know, I am certain I would have gone out for the body and risked my life. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it, watching it drift away. I don’t think any able body man would.

  7. Patrick Kerrigan April 19, 2018 / 11:08 am

    Everyday around the country, there are police officers who put their lives on the line in situations that not part of their job. There have been a number of situations where police officers have delivered babies, or alerted and rescued people from burning buildings.

    So these individual officers could have done the right thing. We have the Broward County Sheriff’s Officers to protected the outside of the Parkland School from getting injured while that young man was running around killing and wounding at will.

    I guess it was to hard for the four of them to enter the school and acess the situation in the building. They if possible could have further assisted the other responders instead of blocking paramedics from entering the building from treating the wounded.

    At least the regular police had no problem with doing what was supposed to be done. But, you expect from an agency that was run by a political hack, instead of someone with law enforcement experience.

    A number of years ago the Superintendent of the Chicago Police and another senior officer were working the streets on New Years Eve and heard shots been fired. He remembered what his duties were and took action.

    So we had police officers in Hammond, Indiana, who stood by and did nothing, waiting for direction.

    • Christie M Groves April 19, 2018 / 11:27 am

      I think we all know how hard Police and Firefighters work, well back then in they did for sure, job code regulations are far different now, and avoid risk of life situations at all costs. Anyway, that is why we are all so dumfounded by the officers that stood by and did nothing. I mean maybe the currents were out of control and the waters icy, we just don’t know the entire scope of things.

  8. Janny April 19, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    I quote: (There was subsequently an internal investigation into the police officers’ actions or lack thereof. One officer was cleared of misconduct, but two others were found guilty dereliction of duty. One was suspended for five days, and one was suspended for ten days.)
    That seems to say that something wasn’t done by the police officers that should have been done. Otherwise, why would they have been suspended?

    • Meaghan April 19, 2018 / 4:43 pm

      Probably nowadays those men (I’m assuming they were men, there weren’t many women cops in the 70s) would be roasted on social media.

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