Pastor hopes billboard messages help catch brother’s killer

Hamilton pastor Shaquila Mathews is taking the message of “see something, say something” to billboards in the city to help solve the mystery of who killed her brother.

Hamilton police are still investigating the death of 37-year-old Calvin “CJ” Simmons Jr., who was shot and killed in his home last September.

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Mathews, known by many as “Pastor Shaq,” said detectives are doing everything they can to find her brother’s killer, but she wants to send a broader message via the billboards.

“I wanted to send the message that we want to stop the violence and have peace in Hamilton,” Mathews said about the billboards that are located on Pershing Avenue across from the Fitton Center. “They give information on who to call if people have information.”

She said the billboards will be up for at least 30 days and she’s confident they will nudge people that might have knowledge to contact police with information about her brother’s case.

“I believe that the police have been working hard on the case and we’ve seen other cases solved when people have stepped forward with information,” she said.

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Hamilton police Sgt. Brian Robinson said a community and its police force working together will get more crimes solved.

“‘See something, say something’” is an ideology that we have been attempting to instill into the Hamilton community,” Robinson said. “Solving crimes needs to be viewed as a partnership between the community and the Hamilton Police Department. Both sides have more ‘wins’ when we put forth a collaborative effort.”

He added that the police department has highlighted numerous examples on its Facebook page of positive outcomes for the community when “observant citizens get involved,” and share information with law enforcement.

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“Look at the justice that was brought about when people finally began to assist with information on the Doubles shooting,” Robinson said. “Look how quickly we caught the suspects involved in the double homicide drive-by on Central Avenue because people present in the immediate vicinity were willing to get involved and immediately relayed information to the police.”

Not getting involved and not helping bring perpetrators to justice is the coward’s way out, Robinson said, adding, “protecting the perpetrators is despicable and one day they will have to reckon with that heinous decision.”

“We need more steadfast leaders like Pastor Shaq to reach deep into their communities and help encourage this ideology,” Robinson said. “People are disrespecting their neighborhoods, the victims, friends and families if they have information that could help solve a crime like this yet decide to withhold it.”

Anyone with information about Simmons’ death should call 513-868-5811, ext 2002.

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