COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Police investigating several unsolved local deaths say the public often holds the key in getting justice.
Yet witnesses avoid cooperating and that is a big part of the sad story of Marquis Brown.
He is the young father of two, left dead after a recent parking lot fight outside the Outlaws Saloon on Veterans Parkway.
Police are frustrated because many witnesses have not returned calls from detectives, refusing to get involved to answer simple, necessary questions.
The management of Outlaws Saloon has tried to help the police by sharing what they know and providing their own videos taken that night.
But that hasn't been enough, because those videos so far shed no light on how marquis brown actually died. Cell phone video we obtained from witnesses isn't much better.
So we call on anyone who was there to call the police and tell them what they know.
Columbus police Chief Ricky Boren says he wants to "remind everyone that the American judicial system is based on facts and evidence, not rumors and speculation."
Our reporters covering tragic deaths similar to that of Marquis Brown's say people have admitted to us they refuse to talk to police even if that means cases are never solved.
That is outrageous.
Citizens correctly demand and expect police to respect their rights. But for too many that demand is a one-way street.
We need to demand that witnesses respect the process enough to do their part in finding the truth, which could bring closure - if not peace - to the Brown family.
Keeping silent about the death of a young man like Marquis Brown is a deadly and unforgivable sin.