In more than 175 Kansas City shooting cases last year, the victim didn't cooperate with police, who then abandoned the investigation, says the Kansas City Star. Analyzing all of the city's nonfatal shootings — nearly 300 of them. Overall, 60 percent of victims did not help police pursue their shooters.
Each victim's refusal kicks off a tragic cycle that obstructs justice, fosters more violence, and stains the city's reputation. Without a victim, police stop investigating and prosecutors don't file charges — longtime practices that shocked some national experts and police officials elsewhere. The shooters remain free and emboldened. Research has shown criminals consider their chances of getting caught before deciding to act. “If word gets out that you can shoot people and there's little chance you'll get caught, you've lost the deterrent effect,” said Volkan Topalli, a Georgia State University associate professor who has interviewed hundreds of criminals. Shooting victims who don't prosecute often don't elicit much sympathy from the public, especially if they're involved in criminal behavior.