Independent investigation for Donna (Dalton) Castleberry's death
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Donna (Dalton) Castleberry was shot multiple times by undercover (Vice) Columbus police officer, Andrew K Mitchell.
She was picked up by him in his unmarked car, allegedly as a prostitution sting operation. Officer Mitchell drove Mrs. Castleberry away from where the sting operation was set up, and parked his vehicle in a secluded location. He parked in such a way that the passenger door of his sedan was against a building so close that it could not be opened. According to the police narrative, an altercation occurred in which Castleberry stabbed Mitchell, and then he shot her to death.
I know that it sounds pretty cut and dry. Except for the part where he had her trapped against the building and didn't arrest her. And why he was unable to call for backup and Columbus Police admitted they didn't know why he was in that location at that time.
MY CONCERNS ABOUT THE DONNA DALTON INVESTIGATION
1. Andrew Mitchell, 30 years with CPD. A former Homicide Detective conducted a undercover so-called prostitution sting/operation alone.
2. Nobody knew where or what he was doing at the time of the killing. Located behind a building, near woods & railroad tracks.
3. Mitchell's unmarked car was parked along side the building preventing the passenger door from opening. Andrew & Donna had a conversation before the alleged arrest & stab to his hand. WHAT HAPPENED during their conversation?
4. CPD immediately informed media that a prostitute, armed suspect, stabbed a officer in the hand during arrest. He shot her multiple times [8×s] in self-defense while sitting inside his car. CPD reported a very serious hand injury that needed surgery. But, people close to him are saying it was only a thumb injury. Likely needing a few stitches.
5. Donna's mugshot was shown by local media. It was mentioned she had a warrant for solicitation & missing court.
6. THE APPEAL in New York reported that Andrew Mitchell had a Criminal investigation already pending when he shot & killed Donna.
7. CPD never mentioned before it was reported by the news that Mitchell was under a prior criminal investigation.
8. CPD has had little to no contact with Donna Dalton's family.
9.No independent investigation was done.
10. No outside Autopsy. No rape test.
11. Andrew Mitchell is on leave from work. Still on the streets.
12. There's been 7 CPD Internal Affairs investigations completed on him.
13. Andrew Mitchell has 15 properties. They've been raided by S.W.A.T, Criminal Activity, Police calls & complaints.
14. Several people have come forward about his misconduct dating back to the 90's.
15. 99% of complaints about CPD officers are determined to be justified by Columbus Police .
16. Ron O'Brien has not prosecuted officers for shootings.
17. It's been almost a month since Donna's killing. The entire community & Donna's family have more questions than answers.
Since the shooting of Donna, CPD has put their entire Vice unit on hold and they are investigating the entire department for misconduct. They say they are going to review their policies and procedures. My fear is that they have been acting according to policy, but still violating constitutional rights of citizens like Donna Castleberry.
A cousin of Donna's sent a letter to several city leaders, and the lead investigators came to her house. They did not provide her with answers, or bother correcting any misconceptions she may have had about the case at the time. The investigators still have not reached out to Donna's immediate family with answers to any questions or concerns regarding this case. Below is a copy of the letter she sent:
Numbers 17 and 7. These are the statistical numbers now assigned to my cousin, Donna G. Castleberry. She is the 17th person to be shot, and the 7th person to be killed by the Columbus Police Department this year. I am writing to each of you today to express my outrage and to plea for answers to her death on August 23rd.
Donna may have been leading a less than ideal lifestyle, but she was still a human being. Prior to this incident, Donna has only two things on her record; a failure to register her dog and a solicitation charge from the end of July. Donna is not a career criminal that some of the media is making her out to be. She was a mother of two beautiful girls, a daughter, a sister and a friend to many.
The Columbus Police Department and the detective assigned to the case have provided little to no information for our family. Any update that we have received has been due to the media pressing the police department for answers, but still nothing has been confirmed. We want answers. The Columbus Police stated to The Appeal last Thursday that there is an audio recording of the incident. The supervisor over zone 3 confirmed to us last Thursday evening that there is a recording of the incident and that it would be a few days before we could hear it. Yet we have heard nothing. The press release from the Mayor’s office stated that Andrew Mitchell was being criminally investigated from a complaint made in early August. Why was he still on vice duty if he was being investigated?
The silence that the police department is giving us has caused us to take to social media to find answers. I have 16 different people with their own stories that have come forward to tell us that Andrew Mitchell is who we think he is. He is a “slumlord” who propositions women for sex to pay for their rent. There are people who have experienced his propositions himself, and others that have witnessed him picking up the “prostitutes.” These individuals had no idea that he was even a cop. These women are fearful to step forward because they themselves have been told by some of the policemen that if they open their mouths, they will pay. How are you letting this happen in our community? Some of these officers are using their power to take advantage of these women, and when they fight back, they take them to jail for solicitation! Andrew Mitchell has 80 arrests (women) for solicitation this year!
As of yesterday, no city official has expressed any form of condolence to our family or offered direct information. The Columbus Police should not be investigating themselves. Please bring in the appropriate people to investigate this so it will not be swept under the rug.
Donna was likely not killed for anything she did, but was instead killed for something she knew. Something that Andrew Mitchell did not want anyone to know. Something that needed eight bullets to keep her quiet. Donna did not deserve or need to have eight bullets put in her. She was trapped in that car and had nowhere to go. She was not just another “prostitute.” She has an army standing behind her and we will not stop until we get answers.
Officer Mitchell's properties have been linked to crime, and there is speculation that his initial criminal investigation is because he was keeping prostitutes that he had picked up in "slum apartments"
Please sign our petition to have an independent investigation done into this officer-involved shooting. We cannot expect police to adequately investigate their co-workers. "We tend to dehumanize people who commit crimes or violations" says one officer.
"There has to be bias as far as who's investigating the complaint," says another officer. "Its just not taken seriously."
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