E-DEMOCRACY | Going after drug dealers in the neighborhood

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From Jim Graham, August 22, 2012

Yes, we had another shooting and murder in the Portland-Franklin area last night. Two shootings in a week on either side of what is called the “Hope Community”. Clearly there is a little gang war going on for “Turf”. Or in this case for what has been for the last 15 years one of the best business locations for street corner pharmacological distribution business. Communities are like gardens, if you are not mindful and have someone to keep an eye on things the weeds will creep back in and eventually choke it out. In this case it is the same with the drug gangs. If they are not nipped in the bud early they will come back to fertile soil.

This has been evident all Summer long; starting in the too early Spring. I think I have even commented on the List about how there has been a gradual increase in the number of people hanging out on corners, offering sexual favors, and drugs. More of a clear non-fear of the “Rat Catchers”. Sorry folks but we need the application of some “Roundup” to this garden. We need everyone, the Rat-Catchers and “Gardeners” to do something about it. Or we will once again have Murderapolis and “Crime -Ridden Neighborhoods”.

We can start by having the Police come down hard on any and ALL those street corner businessmen. Make those corners and streets really bad for business. Sorry, but if you see people hanging at the corner of Portland and Franklin, or at the corner of Chicago and Franklin they are not just “hanging out” with friends. They are doing business. When drug dealers, drug users, and prostitutes begin to act like they are not afraid to do there thing in an area you have the start of a real problem. So we do need a few good men and women to take their job seriously and HUNT down the criminals so they are afraid to openly do business.

Secondly, the businesses need to begin to take some responsibility for what goes on on their corners. They need to harass this vermin when ever they see them. This especially includes the “Affordable Housing Providers” such as Hope who seek to provide for families and children. They need to do the same thing that I do in front of my rental property. If someone is on the corner selling, using, or just bothering people they get some immediate attention. If they do not have someone brave enough to confront the issue they need to get someone on staff who is.

Some might say, ” it is not the responsibility of those staff people to confront criminals, it is the police’s responsibility”.. Even some police say such foolishness. NO, it is everyone’s responsibility. At the least staff can do is go out with cell in hand and yell to “get the hell out of here I am calling the police”. Such actions are really, really bad for the criminal business. Go out with a camera and and take some pictures, and mention you hope the pictures help the police. Works wonders. At the very least the staff of those Non-profits need to be calling the police every five minutes until that problem goes away. The most important thing for poor families with children is to have a “Safe Stable Place To Live”. Those children have neither when there are gangs ruling the streets on the corner outside their home. So some advice for those non-profits start doing your missions, and protect those children. Evict anyone who associates with the criminals, no matter who they are.

And btw: I do not want to hear excuses, look at the job Bill Ziegler has done at Little Earth. A place that was mismanaged for years and was crawling with criminal and gang problems. With Bill Ziegler’s management that place has completely turned around.

Well I think that ends my rant for the day,

Jim Graham

From Donna Neste, August 23, 2012

I agree with you Jim. In the 1990s when Hope Community was a small budding little community they got out and marched every week until the drug dealers went away. They need to get that kind of spirit back!

Donna Neste

From Dallas Johnson, August 24, 2012

When they sell on my corner, I approach them and say, “Hi, nice night. Are you looking for someone?” They always say, “uh, no”, to which I say (sounding relieved), “Oh I’m so glad. Sometimes people deal drugs on this corner…not cool because we have a lot of kids on the block. We’re all super tight and look out for each other”. 100% of the time, they leave. Incidentally, things are much hotter on Portland in the 20’s this year. Drugs and hookers, gunshots, screaming fights and drunks. 911 911 911 911 911 Have you noticed that almost all of the arrests in our community are people who don’t live here? Burns me up something fierce.

From Jim Graham, August 24, 2012

Good Post Dallas,

I might add something to your approach. Ask if there is a problem, because if there is you will gladly call the police immediately. Show your phone and ask again, “Should I call them?”.

Of course, I have also added, “If you see a drug dealer or one bothers you, let me know and I will come out and take care of them. I hate those pieces of crap”. And of course the ever popular, with camera in hand take a picture and tell the person you are taking pictures of people in the area for the police.. It is amazing how that gets their attention. And probably my favorite was half dragging a drug dealer up the steps of the Norwegian Lutheran Church when the drug dealer said he was waiting for his “Aunty” who attended the Church. I told him I knew the people and I would help him find them, it just wasn’t safe on that corner because of drug dealers. It was hilarious as he wrestled to get free. I guess the “Power of the Lord” was just to strong!

When Franklin was being redone we had a detour down 21st Street. The drug dealers knew it before the residents and business people did; they set up shop the first morning to catch people going to work who needed their “medicine”. Gordon Thayer from AICDC got some of his Evangelist Minister friends to come preach to the drug dealers. Cleaned up the area immediately. Another example of the “Power of the Lord”! Since some of those corners of Portland are held by formerly semi-religious groups, I think this would work for them also. Play a little Gospel music and try to save some lost souls. It might be good for your soul as well as theirs. If you are a non-believer, just think of it as “rat poison” you do not have to consume it yourself for it to be effective.

What is also REALLY fun are what I call “Dealer Safaris”. Take a partner to drive or take pictures and drive around taking pictures of drug dealers and buyers. You cannot believe how fast this will clear an area after you tell them what you are doing. It becomes difficult to sneak up on them after that. So changing vehicles for the hunt is essential for success. 🙂

A side note. I personally got the owners of Chicago Crossing Shopping center at Franklin and Chicago to agree that the police could come on their property and bother loiters just standing around in their parking lot. So if anyone spots someone doing that then please call the police and report it. Lately I have been getting crime reports about a large number of crimes including robbery and dealing at the corner of Elliot Avenue and Franklin. That is the corner where the CVI project is. Luther Krueger from the Mpls Police Dept. sends those reports to block leaders of an area. Luther does a real good job with those notifications. And by the way a vast majority of those arrested for drugs, or loitering with the intent, DO NOT live in our area, so if you are bothering people remember that they are not your neighbors.

Bothering drug dealers really can be fun and good sport. It also allows you to blow of steam about the poor service an understaffed police department and non -interested politicians give you. Don’t you just wish we could round them up and dump them at the politicians houses. I wonder what RT would say and do if he woke up some morning and someone was standing on the corner flagging customers down or attempting to sell drugs to his wife and children? Ah well just a flight of fantasy, but it did put a smile on my face this morning.

Remember folks before you go hunting be prepared. You will need; 1. A partner, 2. A cell phone, 3. A good camera, 4. A change of cars, 5. And optional, but helpful when the quarry becomes skittish and wary is a good pair of binoculars.

Good hunting and remember to have fun, it is intended to be sport. A real trophy that can be “mounted” in a frame is one where the exchange of money and drugs is simultaneously taking place. And remember this is a PHOTO Safari, the only shots allowed are WITH the camera.

Jim Graham

See thread here.

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