Lewiston Still Seeking Justice for Victims of Recent Somali Attacks

7/26/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

June 12, 2018, rounds of BBs are fired at a group of park goers at Kennedy Park in Lewiston. A couple of residents chase down the car that opened fire. They were then swarmed by reportedly as many as a few dozen Somali teens and preteen — many brandishing weapons. Days later, one of the victims would succumb to his wounds from a brick to the head.

May 17th, 2018, a gang of young Somalis attack and injure two parkgoers in Lewiston. The victims were hit with sticks and bats. Reportedly the victims were assaulted for asking for their cigarette lighter back.

About a week prior to that, a little girl was beaten up by a Somali girl at Kennedy Park.

These are just some of the stories of the recent violence emanating from downtown Lewiston — at or around Kennedy Park — and committed by Somali attackers.

Not a single one of the perpetrators have been brought to justice as of yet.

Maine State Police and Lewiston Police are working together on the investigation to arrest the people responsible for the death of Donald Giusti, 38, of Lewiston. Giusti was a father of two.

While many Lewiston residents grow impatient at the lack of justice — officers are working hard to make the park safer and bring charges against the murders.

Public Information officer for Maine State Police, Stephen McCausland, tells Maine First Media the joint death investigation is ongoing. However, more than six weeks after the gang assault, McCausland says there are no new developments.

Police ask for patience with the investigation. They want to make sure the right people are charged. The task is made more difficult because of the sheer number of people involved and the ages of those involved.

And then there is the added challenge of witnesses not cooperating with the investigation.

In the May 17th Kennedy Park attack, the victims declined to press charges or even provide a statement. Unfortunately, not pressing charges or making statements after an attack is becoming something of a trend in Lewiston as of late.

But as you can see in the video below, Lewiston residents are tired of the fear and violence. They want more done to make Lewiston safe again.

While their frustration is understandable, it is inaccurate to say the cops are doing nothing.

Lieutenant David St. Pierre, of the Lewiston Police Department, tells Maine First Media, the department is taking a number of steps to curb the violence.

According to Lt. St. Pierre, the Lewiston City Council did secure funding for additional security cameras to be installed at Kennedy Park. Meanwhile, Maine State Police and the MSP Proactive Criminal Enforcement Team has been joining LPD on patrol at the park. And of course, there is the new park-wide 10 pm curfew.

“People generally are following the curfew at the park,” Lt. St. Pierre said.

Lt. St. Pierre says the department is also working with several stakeholders in the Somali community to train volunteers in hopes of reducing tensions at Kennedy Park. The program is called the Peace in the Park Project. Bates College is providing training space for project volunteers.

It is easy to understand the fear and concern of the people of Lewiston. Tensions between Lewiston residents and the Somali community continue to simmer. However, this is far more fundamental than a police problem.

The problem is really two-fold. Parenting and cultural.

Too many parents are letting their children run wild in packs with no supervision. Residents say the Somali kids have figured out tricks to avoid being caught. For example, they’ll go out wearing multiple shirts, after they commit a crime, they’ll remove one of the shirts to reveal a different colored top, throwing off any witness description.

But no amount of policing or parenting will fix a cultural problem. Lewiston has been flooded with foreigners who speak different languages and come from different cultures. The fact is, many refugees now find — the once universally accepted — notion of assimilation offensive. So, they continue to practice the culture of the country they fled. The influx of illegal and legal immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees places an undue burden on municipalities who simply don’t have the infrastructure to support the massive population explosion of so-called, “new Mainers.”

You can read Maine First Media’s five-point plan to fix the refugee resettlement racket by clicking here.

Maine First Media will continue to cover this story as more information becomes available.

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