Skip to comments.Praise, Scorn Heaped On Women Who Helped Cops
Posted on 12/19/2010 3:20:51 PM PST by Iron Munro
TAMPA - Three women heard gunshots.
What they did next made them heroes to many people but outcasts to others including some of their neighbors.
Rose Dodson was awakened by gunfire and tires squealing that night, June 29.
Moments later, her roommate, Delores Keen, watched a man leap over a fence near her apartment. In the distance, at 50th Street and 23rd Avenue in east Tampa, she saw the emergency lights of a police cruiser twirling in the dark, but no officer was in sight.
Both knew something was wrong and stepped outside the safety of the apartment to investigate. A friend, Renee Roundtree, who had been walking to a nearby store, joined them.
Lying on the ground beside the police cruiser, the women found two officers, David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab.
Keen called a 911 dispatcher. The women tried to give comfort to the mortally wounded officers and waited for the massive police response that followed.
Dozens of patrol cars rolled up, and a manhunt for the killer began that put the city on edge for days, until a suspect was in custody.
In those tense days, as people moved nervously about the city and mourned the officers' deaths, the three women were praised for their courage and compassion. They also were criticized, even scorned, by those who view anyone who helps the police as a traitor.
"It has turned our lives upside down," Dodson says, reflecting on the events of that night and afterward. But, she says, "If you could have seen them on the ground and walked by, you have no soul."
On July 2, four days into the manhunt, Dontae Morris, 25, gave himself up to Tampa police. He is charged in the deaths of Curtis and Kocab, and three more unrelated homicides.
A spotlight shined on Keen, Dodson and Roundtree. For weeks they were heaped with praise, commendations and plaques. They appeared before the Hillsborough County Commission and Tampa City Council, and attended a luncheon at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.
Tampa police, in partnership with University Mall representatives and stores, arranged a shoe shopping spree for the women and their children. They were offered grief counseling through the city's employee assistance program. And police resource officers at the R.I.C.H. (Resources in Community Hope) House in Sulphur Springs helped with referrals to social service agencies, including Metropolitan Ministries and Catholic Charities.
Dodson says all of the assistance is appreciated. But some people saw the attention the women received and concluded incorrectly, Dodson says they took action that night merely to make their own lives better.
Even as they ran to help the fallen officers, the women say, they knew there would be a backlash.
All of the women say they have received threats, and Dodson and Keen say they have changed their telephone numbers more than once. Dodson says someone slashed her tires.
Keen says a neighbor poured grease on a stairwell outside her 50th Street apartment. Her daughter and 8-month-old grandson slipped in the goo and fell, Keen says, and were treated for scrapes and bruises at a hospital.
Dodson and Keen moved to apartments near University Mall within weeks of the shootings. "I was just glad to get away from 50th Street," Dodson says.
But the move has not turned out as they had hoped. The women say the area is infested with crime and illegal drugs. And Keen and Dodson face eviction for not paying their apartments' rents. Keen lost her job at a fast-food restaurant; Dodson is attending school on financial aid and volunteers part time with an anti-crime program.
Keen, who is from Miami, and Dodson, from New York, for years have helped each other when money is tight. In the past, the women say, they have pooled their resources to pay for food and rent.
What they want, they say, is a "stable roof" over their heads.
Tampa police are aware of their problems, says Chief Jane Castor, and are looking at ways to help. "We feel a responsibility to help them in any way we can," Castor says.
The most recent assistance has been through R.I.C.H. House, which is providing Christmas toys. "We consider them a part of our family," says police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor.
Some financial aid has been provided through the Highland Pines Community Task Force. An account at Fifth Third Bank set up for donations has less than $100 remaining. Task force President Betty Bell says the women each were given $100 around Thanksgiving.
Roundtree, who is a hairstylist and cosmetologist, has no permanent address but says she sometimes stays with her mother in West Tampa. She spent a couple of days with Dodson and Keen at their apartments. Her father offered her a house he owns in Dade City. "All it needs is a little fixing," Roundtree says.
Roundtree says she is discouraged that the anti-snitch culture remains so strong. "It's going to always be the same," she says.
Tampa police officials note steady declines in crime throughout the city, including East Tampa, in recent years. They say it couldn't happen without residents' cooperation. "It's kind of a community effort to change the culture," McGregor said.
It is all Whitey’s fault.
Rose Dodson, Delores Keen and Renee Roundtree stepped over the Black//White line when they aided officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab who were shot in June.
Both cops were shot in the head and I don’t think they made it to the hospital. Good for these women who tried to help and were essential to finding the guy who shot them. His mother worked for the sheriffs dept (not a cop) and was helping him.
Obviously, there are more than a few people that probably would have done just that.
Urban Black Culture needs to be defunded and bulldozed.
As Sharpton said of heirs of the wealthy, “They didn’t do anything to deserve it.”
Time that ye be judged.
It partly is. It was white liberals who decided that rounding them up together in public housing projects and doing everything they could to destroy the black family.
Make them work for their food again.
Have a pleasant afternoon. Crews will come by tomorrow to pick up the survivor.
I gotta agree with you on this one.
We need a “like” button on the individual posts of FR.
They do have souls - unfortunately, they are under the control of the Prince of Darkness, under management of his private franchise, the Democrat Party.
I totally agree.
It’s to all our benefit to understand the start of this crisis: http://www.freetochoose.tv/new_vimeo_ut.php
Eventually, if we want to hold Congress over time we’ll need to peel away about 15% of African American voters (currently we get about 5-7%). They are victims of bad governmental policy and most know it, but don’t see a way out. Informed and thinking FReepers can make a difference in educating them.
In America we have a long tradition of income mobility, but government in the 20th century has turned that upside down trapping millions in poverty - economic and moral. They’ve driven fathers out of households, encouraged promiscuity and victimhood.
Poverty and moral depravity is not the provenance of any particular race.
“Poverty and moral depravity is not the provenance of any particular race.”
By all means, knock yourself out if that’s what you really want.
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