In what is proving to be one of the strangest murder cases in recent Kansas City history, the Kansas City Police Department has all but cleared David Jungerman, the reported owner of the van seen fleeing the scene of Kansas City attorney Tom Pickert’s murder last month.
“We do not consider him a suspect at this time,” Sgt. Kari Thompson, a KCPD spokeswoman said of Jungerman on Thursday. “Nor did we consider him a suspect at that time.”
If the KCPD did not consider Jungerman a suspect, just about everyone else did. “People have me guilty because they indicate it was my van that was there,” Jungerman told the Kansas City Star. “So people that I’ve known for years turn their back when I walk by. They look at me like I’m a murderer.”
Complicating the reaction to the murder is the fact that Pickert’s wife, Emily Riegel, is the founder of Indivisible Kansas City (IKC), an openly left wing political action organization. “Reports indicate this heinous crime may have been committed by a man who had a history of gun violence, and who had no business freely carrying a firearm,” IKC posted on its web site in clear reference to Jungerman.
“There are always those who argue that loss should not be politicized,” the IKC post continues. “Many IKC members live by the mantra that the personal IS political. This is most acute in situations like Tom’s death, which may be directly attributed to the failure of our politicians to enact and enforce common-sense regulations, with which even most gun owners agree.”
Given the information that the KCPD released at the time, it is understandable why Indivisible KC thought Jungerman the killer. It is understandable too that the organization saw fit to politicize the murder along the narrowly partisan angle of gun control–that is what left wing organizations do. But it is regrettable nonetheless.
In shifting the blame from the killer to conservatives in general, IKC divides the community and diminishes sympathy for Pickert. “It is time to ask our representatives in state and federal government how they justify their failure to act,” demands IKC. This demand seems all the more opportunistic and divisive given that no one really know where the failure occurred.