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Preliminary numbers show homicides down, cleared cases up

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BATON ROUGE- Preliminary crime stats show the number of homicides for the first part of 2014 are down and the number of cleared cases is up.

In 2013, there were 49 homicides with 26 of those were cleared. So far for 2014 (January to June), there have been 27 murders and 15 have been cleared.

Baton Rouge Police attribute those numbers to good police work, the BRAVE Team, boots on the ground and the community's involvement.

"When a call comes in from a citizen we take that call serious," Don Coppola with BRPD said. "We follow up on it to the fullest and a lot of times it shows like now the numbers will drop."

The increase in community involvement also shows that people are tired of the violence according to police.

Not everyone believes the cleared cases are accurate. Today, Kendall Cloud picketed in front of City Hall after his brother was arrested for the shooting death of beloved St. John High School Football Coach Juan Joseph. Joseph was shot and killed outside of a nightclub off Bennington Avenue.

"I just cant sit back and watch my brother go through a situation like this," Cloud said. "He did a lot of wrong stuff in his life, but this time is way different."

Baton Rouge Police believe their hard work tells a different story.

"Through evidence investigators obtained through this case along with witnesses who stepped up, gave us enough probable cause to arrest him for shooting death of Juan Joseph," Coppola said.

Investigators are cautiously optimistic that the numbers will stay on track, although they recognize there are still 30 days left of December.

Final numbers should be released in the new year.


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