Murder investigation reveals strains in police, black community relations

By Beth Vorhees

bvorhees@wvpubcast.org 

Two weeks ago, a Charleston teenager was gunned down. Leland Chase Miller was a week away from his 18th birthday when he was killed. Initially, no witnesses would come forward with their stories. Finally, after a witness finally came forward, Charleston police arrested a teen-ager for the crime last week.

A day later, police discovered that copies of the sealed criminal complaint were being passed around the neighborhood where the shooter occurred. It included the name of the witness, who fled the area apparently facing retaliation.

The victim and the suspect met each other in juvenile detention. Matthew Watts is a Charleston pastor. He runs the HOPE Community Development Corporation, a program that, in part, works with youth who have served in juvenile detention. The victim was in HOPE’s program. Rev. Watts spoke to Beth Vorhees on West Virginia Morning.

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