ISP responds to NAACP allegation about Flora fire investigation

Indiana State Police deny allegations of a cover-up in the Flora fire case. This follows an NAACP claim that the investigation "smells of a cover-up."

Posted: Oct 28, 2017 4:24 PM
Updated: Oct 28, 2017 4:24 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) — Indiana State Police deny allegations of a cover-up in the Flora fire case.

This follows an NAACP claim that the investigation "smells of a cover-up."

State police superintendent Douglas Carter defends the investigation. He said the charge of a cover-up strikes him to the core. But a relative of the four sisters killed in the fire says it was necessary for the NAACP to step in.

"Nobody is talking and after a year, after a year, somebody ought to be able to say something," said Barbara Bolling-Williams with the NAACP.

Bolling-Williams said many questions still linger about the Flora fire case.

"It appears the investigation has been bungled in some way," she said.

On Thursday, the group used the word "cover-up". State police said that just isn't true.

"The notion that we will not do everything within our power, within right and left limits of what we can do legally, morally and ethically, is just simply wrong," said Carter.

Last November's fire was ruled as arson.

The girls' great-aunt Jacqueline Partlow said the family found out through the media. Since then, she feels the family has been kept out of the loop.

"It's like a standstill," said Partlow. "Everything is going backwards, it seems like, instead of forward."

Carter said case details are not released to protect the investigation.

"I hope one day I can look into the eyes of the person that killed four little girls and then explain to you what we knew and when," said Carter. "But criticize me all you want to, it's not going to happen today."

Partlow said she reached out to the NAACP for help. She said she's doing anything she can to find the person who killed the girls.

"This is not a war," said Partlow. "This is not a fight. This is just justice for my nieces."

Bolling-Williams said the NAACP will begin its efforts by contacting the girls' former school and law enforcement. Carter said he has not heard from the group about its interest in the case.

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