Posts Tagged ‘crime’

2 Years, 6 People and 30-40 Rounds of Ammo.

Two years ago I wrote about a robbery that took place on Dekalb Avenue while six people – minding their own business and having a lovely evening with friends – were showered with gunfire.

Two years since I wrote.

TWO. YEARS.

Today at 10am the defendants will be entering guilty please in courtroom 4E.

Defendants Tremaine Lovelace and Lanorris Moore will be entering guilty pleas on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:00 in court room 4E before Judge Kimberly Esmond Adams.

These two defendants are charged with the August 25, 2007 home invasion and armed robbery at 992 Dekalb Avenue in Inman Park:

Six couples were sitting in the residence when they heard gunshots and realized that the residence was the target of gunfire. The couples then tried to escape by jumping from a second story balcony. Three of the people were seriously injured during the escape. Thirty to forty rounds of ammunition were found in the residence when the police arrived. The two men were apprehended immediately at the Inman Park Marta Station.

Please come and support our victims as they take this important step in seeking justice.

Sharla Jackson
Community Prosecutor
Zone 5

My proposal for punishment: maybe we let those six folks who were fired upon share thirty to forty rounds and fire back. I’m just sayin’: if we still lopped hands off for shoplifting…

Pissed, yet AGAIN. (long as crap)

My day to write for this blog (if you don’t do it any other day during the week…) is Sunday.

I’ve sucked it up for weeks trying to meet this goal, excuses excuses. This week it’s because I was pissed AGAIN and I don’t want to be pegged as that angry girl. Even if I am an angry girl.

Pissed why, you ask?

You’re so thoughtful. Let me tell ya, it was a helluva Friday.

My morning meetings ran long but I was determined to make a stop to see a friend in need of a hug, so I bolted out of my office downtown and made a beeline for my hood – O4W at Inman Park.

I popped in to see him at his place on Irwin St. and parked under a big pretty fluffy tree who promised me with the sign language of leaves that if it started raining again it would protect me.

What it didn’t mention was that it had no intention of protecting me from ashole thieves jumping out of bushes.

The 10 minute visit really was, and as I came back out to the truck to find her rain-free, I opened my door and shit was strewn. Everywhere.

Because 10 minutes is all an opportunistic thief needs to cut your window (even if the doors are unlocked) and take two bags of items that are only valuable to you out of your life forever. Bags you can’t even inventory for the police 20 minutes later because you never think of their contents. Books. Notebooks. Electronics for recycling. A frizbee.

This is nothing really, compared to what Paulie went through the day before – it was just my vehicle that had been voilated – not my home. Still…hurt, pissed, adrenaline flowing like the Nile.

I’m pissed because it’s my neighborhood, because I got comfortable in the middle of the day and wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around me. I’m pissed because the door was unlocked and they cut the top anyway. I’m pissed because that was upwards of $300 of my hard earned dollars that went out the window (HA! See what I did there?) instead of to an upcoming and much earned vacation I’ve budgeted for (you asshole) I’m pissed because I know better than to leave anything in my truck. I’m pissed because the jerk was lurking at a MARTA stop and left a footprint on my bumper proving he was acting like he “owned” it (yeah, baby, CSI on the scene right here).

So here’s where my rant ends and the 411 begins – listen up.

The responding officer enlightened me on two counts:

1) The #POCATL (perception of crime in Atlanta, TM http://twitter.com/andishehnouraee) may be a non-issue. ? The problem according to my officer isn’t getting the guys off the streets, it’s keeping them in our overfilled jails on “petty theft”. What do we do? I don’t know. Someone tell me whose door to bang on, phone to call, email inbox to assault.

2) He’s waiting for the vigilantism to kick in. Apparently the incident at Graveyard last spring wasn’t enough – he’s waiting for Atlantants to get PISSED and start fighting back. I’m ready. Who likes the sound of a shotgun?

3) It’s not the kids, apparently they tend to strike at night when all the older thieves are worn out from their brazen assholeness. Daytime crime is about the grownups who would rather take your stuff than work for their own.

4) There was/is a thief hanging near the *bucks at 7th and P’Tree with the same MO: he knew how long it took to make a latte and since there’s no line of sight between the parking lot and the shop, he’d smash and grab. Keep your heads up and your eyes open.

4) I wanted to give Inman Park Patrol a heads up – didn’t’ expect them to respond just to BOLO – but couldn’t…because I’m not paying. WTF? There was an email address on the website to apply to pay…thanks for nuttin’.

Enlightening, disheartening, disappointing, annoying. My heart is broken for this…for a million reasons. I just haven’t found it in me to let go of my anger yet.

I hope you don’t go through anything like it anytime soon.

Crime Update: Still Pissing Me Off.

It was one thing when Inman Park started their patrol a few years back – I saw it as people with oodles of loot wanting to subsidize the protection of their Victorians and antiques. They have excess income, why not? I was living on the outskirts of the neighborhood and reaped the benefits of the patrol car drive-bys in the middle of the night. At least, I like to think I did.

The patrols and the need have evolved – or devolved, as it were. Due to demand, there’s now the West End patrol, EAV patrol, the happily named Trolly Patrol, the Druid Hills patrol and others.

It’s got me both riled and inspired.

On the one hand, it makes me happy to see citizens being creative and constructive. While I myself have been the victim of random and tiny disruptive burglaries and have been tempted to go all kinds of vigilante, this peaceful way of dealing with crime soothes the cockles of my hippy drippy side.

On the other hand (the one I wipe with), it chaps my baby smooth bum to know that we’re having to subsidize our own safety due to the mismanagement of city funds, the furloughing of officers, and the general incompetence of one short haired, short startured city official. Blegh. Disgusting.

All that navel gazing aside, I offer you the following resources, prices and snippets. They should be used of course in conjunction with the still new (and kicking azz and taking names) citizens organization: ATAC (Atlantans Together Against Crime). If we aren’t making ourselves heard, seen and smelled, then we’re happily lapping up the fate that’s being dished out at us in big stinky piles.

Inman Park’s patrol has three levels of buy-in ranging from $200-300

NOTE: The main distinguishing aspect of Bronze, Silver, and Gold level membership is access to the patrol officer.

The West End Historic District Patrol

Costs: for residents: $25 monthly or $70 quarterly, for businesses: $40 monthly or $115 quarterly. There is also a $10 – one-time fee for new members.

Druid Hills Patrol dues “are based on one of three payment schedule choices: Annually $480 due in January; Bi-Annually $250 due in January & July; Quarterly $130 due in January, April, July, & October.”

The Trolley Patrol is “Atlanta’s newest private neighborhood security patrol. Serving the neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta, the Trolley Patrol is open to the residents of Benteen Park, Boulevard Heights, McDonough-Guice, North Ormewood Park, Ormewood Park and Woodland Hills. Membership dues are $90/quarter or $330/yr.”

East Atlanta Security Patrol
“The geographic membership area of EACA shall have a west border of Moreland Avenue, north to I-20. The northern border shall be I-20 to Flat Shoals Road, where the border will go east of I-20 to include that portion of the City of Atlanta east of I-20. From there, the eastern border will be Fayetteville Road to Eastland Road and its intersection with Moreland Avenue.”

“Yes, we already pay taxes and expect police protection, but other neighborhoods like Grant Park have seen reductions in residential crimes of over 50% since starting a similar patrol.”

The options are one year of service for $200, six months for $100 or three months for $50. There is an initial fee of $15 which is added to your first payment to cover operating expenses.

Only loosely related: this morning I caught a frat boy in a baseball hat, khaki’s and a polo peeing on the abandoned building behind mine. I assume he assumed he assumed no one would see him through the privacy fence. Thanks for that, parents of Gen Y’ers.

Please to enjoy and please to add any I missed.

A Personal Reaction

The news is going around. The police have made an arrest in the John Henderson case, and it all turns out to be part of a larger, sprawling story involving gunfights and men in hiding, according to the AJC. It’s a story with a lot of bullets.

With thanks to the Atlantans Together Against Crime (ATAC) blog, here’s a link to Raw Footage Atlanta Police Department May 8, 2009 Press Conference from Grayson Daughters on Vimeo.

Since I wrote a bit about the public reaction to the Standard shooting, I figured I should write something about the public reaction to this news, too. I’ve read comments of relief and comments of revenge. I’ve read lamentations about teenage shooters and I’ve read calls for blood.

Here’s the truth: I don’t know what to say.

(more…)

Is It Enough To Feel Unsafe?

East Atlanta has had its teeth clenched for months. Its throat is raw from shouting warnings across the neighborhood. Its eyes are dry from watching crime reports come across local mailing lists and message boards.

People don’t feel safe. Groups like ATAC (Atlantans Together Against Crime) are getting the word out about it with their website and public rallies.

In contrast, this AJC article on symbolic flamingos describes the situation like this:

[Jason] Hatcher, an art director for a local weekly newspaper, and Johnny Castellic (a.k.a. “Johnny Hollywood”) have launched a campaign to raise public awareness of what they insist is a growing crime problem in their area.

[Emphases mine.]

That same article quotes APD Chief Richard Pennington from an earlier statement. He said:

“The community groups work closely together[.] […] When they hear about one crime, they e-mail their neighbors and then you get a barrage of e-mails. I think they just respond to what they hear. And a lot of times, perception to them is reality.”

Those lines about insistence and perception-as-reality made some of my neighbors real angry. The implication is that citizens are being spooked by the echo chambers of online message boards amplifying every crime — that local crime has always been like this and people used to feel safer because they used to be happily uninformed. What I think a lot of locals heard in that quote was that they shouldn’t get all worked up just because a few houses have been invaded. That he knows better than the citizenry whether we should feel safe or not.

Is that how feeling safe works?

The argument on the ground is that it’s reasonable out here to feel unsafe and call for additional protection when armed gunmen are kicking in doors for televisions. The argument upstairs, in the city offices, is that stats are trending favorably and, so, we are safer even if we don’t feel safer.

I’ve stewed on this for a while, hoping I’d have some wise breakthrough. I haven’t. What I keep coming back to, though, is this: Does it matter if the stats are up or down? That’s a separate issue — a distraction.

The issue, to the people in their homes, isn’t whether burglaries and armed robberies are technically up or down, but that they’re common and frightening. People don’t feel safe. Winning the argument that property crimes are up or down, one way or the other, isn’t going to make anyone feel safer. The APD Chief isn’t really hearing the ground-level argument and the ground-level ralliers are getting distracted into a debate that they’ll lose even if they win. But the people on the blocks getting robbed need a win somewhere, and Chief Pennington and the AJC coverage are visible targets.

And now I’ve gotten distracted in all this. It’s easy to do.

I wanted to put it to y’all and hear more opinions: What does it take to feel safe? What is safety worth if you don’t believe you’re safe? How bad is bad?

death in the eav.

the parking lot of the ace hardware in the east atlanta villiage is a plot of land i know very well. i visit the ace hardware in the eav at least once a month or so and either run or walk past it at least four to five times a week. this parking lot is only about 1/2 mile from my house.

it also happened to be the scene of yet another shooting last night, and yet another fatality last night.

at least in this instance the good guys are still alive. the victim of an armed robbery who had left the graveyard tavern pulled his own weapon and shot the robber 5-6 times, leaving him dead in the parking lot.

there was a time when i ate a lot more red meat, listened to a lot more right-wing talk radio and still believed in the death penalty, when i would have stood up cheering for this, as many on the popular east atlanta message eavbuzz are doing this morning. while i can’t join them in celebrating the loss of life, i certainly don’t begrudge them their feelings.

behind it is a sense of overwhelming frustration at what is occurring in these neighborhoods. yes, i realize, as karsh pointed out that this happens in all neighborhoods and we should care, but when it happens consistently within a tight radius of where you live or frequent after a long period of relative quiet, and when the crime begins to seem so senseless and so fatal, the frustration definitely grows to a level that i can grasp why some would actually celebrate the death of this criminal.

i don’t know. i have changed with age and no longer support the death penalty or listen to too much right-wing talk radio (although i still eat a bunch of red meat) and i can’t cheer at the death of this person, but i don’t feel sorry for him either and i am glad this ended with the person committing the crime dead as opposed to the victim (ala john henderson.)

my one hope is maybe it will serve as a deterrent. maybe the next armed robber will think twice before pulling his own weapon.

in closing, i don’t know who this guy was, but to be able to draw on someone that has already drawn on you with all the adrenaline of being in the middle of a violent crime and manage to put 5-6 rounds in them is pretty impressive.

maybe jack bauer paid a visit to the eav last night?

UPDATE: as cap’n ken points out in the comments, when i mention “another shooting and another fatality” above, i am NOT referring to one at that location but rather the shooting at the standard the other week. sorry for any confusion.

sad and senseless.

a server was shot in an armed robbery at the standard restaurant and bar on memorial drive in grant park early this morning. according to the report in the ajc, the server was shot after he had already handed the four armed robbers the money they demanded.

reports later today are out that the man died at grady hospital from gunshot wounds.

this happened two miles from my house. i guess it is a reminder that no matter how hip and cool these gentrified neighborhoods become, they are still in the middle of a city that has a big old crime problem it’s leaders don’t like to address (well, beyond changing street names.)

it’s also a reminder that the human capacity for evil is alive and well.

my thoughts and prayers are with the family of this victim and all who work at the standard. i am sure they are in shock.

i got this s%$t from simpson road.

not to long ago, i wrote a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post about the renaming of simpson road to joseph e. boone boulevard*.

nothing tounge and cheek about this recent article about “boone avenue” in the ajc though. according to the article the 1300 block of simpson road is the deadliest block in the city of atlanta.

Three killings occurred in a recent 31-day span. Demetrius Holt, 25, was killed and four others were shot Dec. 7 when an unidentified man opened fire in the American Legion hall. Ronnie Hill, 46, was shot to death Nov. 28 after an altercation that began at the Tasty Dog. Paul Martin, 19, was shot to death Nov. 6 while in his car outside Ruby’s. No one has been arrested in connection with any of the slayings.

i’d like to sit here and rant about how the city and law enforcement should get serious about cleanig place like this up. the article says they have tried and failed and many things.

beats me what the answer is, though in the us in 2009 there ought to be one. at least better than just changing the name.

anyone got any thoughts? nothing our leaders come up with seems to be working.

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