Council stresses change in unsolved crime cases

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - For more than two hours on Monday, the Cincinnati's Committee for Public Safety held a hearing in city council chambers discussing the problem of unsolved crime and cases of multiple witnesses but no suspects.

"We can no longer sweep any of this under the rug," said councilman Chris Smitherman. "These stories are incredibly important because the people that are involved in this life need to see what this is doing."

Much of Monday's testimony centered on family members left without a loved one due to a violent crime.

Both Rochelle Colson and Bridget Smith testified before the committee. Rochelle's son LeBron Billings was shot in 2008, and Bridget's son Rodney Watkins died of a homicide in 2012. Both cases remain unsolved despite several witnesses.

"I'm quite sure people want to tell what they know, but they're just scared. When it's easy to go on a public website and find out who the witnesses are and it's easy to get information, well, nobody wants to speak up," said Smith.

On Monday, council members vowed to try and change that.

"This committee stands unified. Zero tolerance for murder," said Smitherman.

The Cincinnati Police Department boasts a 68 percent closure rate, as 15 murders have already been solved.

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