Monday, September 29, 2008

any man's death diminishes me

21 deaths in the month of August. 21 living, breathing human beings turned into insensate lumps of cooling flesh through the violence of others. On Sunday, the Star took the time to write about them as a group, and try to draw statistics together with portraits of the victims.

I wasn't one of them. Nobody who looks much like me was in the group.

21 bodies, and not one of them was a middle-aged Caucasian. Sure, lots of middle-aged Caucasians died during the month of August, but we died from stuff like heart attacks and car wrecks. Hot lead doesn't go ripping through our bodies.

Does that lessen the impact of crime on our community? Would we be handling things differently if half the victims were middle-aged whites? What would we do?

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12 Comments:

Anonymous travel said...

"Mayor Funkhouser, You MUST do your Duty"

9/29/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What should he do?

I'd love to know what you would do to solve this problem, other than take cheap political potshots from Johnson County.

9/29/2008 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question.

I think this crisis brings to light the inadequacies of KCPD. I have worked with the organization in several capacities over the years and find it to be incredibly dysfunctional.

They have institutionalized a culture of reaction as a opposed to action. When their officers are on the street they are just waiting for an incident, never trying to prevent one.

9/29/2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What should they do proactively? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass or anything, but I don't know what they should do proactively.

And this is dangerous territory. Many of the "solutions" are unworkable, unconstitutional, or simply wrong. Should we stop cars containing more than one minority male? Should we ban rap music? Should we distribute kevlar vests?

What should the police do proactively to prevent further murders?

9/29/2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Brent said...

Four helpful solutions:

1) Improve the school system so that people in the urban core can actually get an education that is worth anything that would make them able to get jobs.

2) Increase the number of jobs available in the urban core.

3) Improve public transit so the people in the urban core can access jobs in other parts of the city (this will help with #2 because it will bring more money into the core which makes local businesses more viable).

4) Increase police presence which has statistically proven to decrease crime.

9/29/2008 10:01 AM  
Anonymous travel said...

Reducing crime is one of the Mayor's priorities. I would ask him to show me how the City is going to accomplish that goal. Like any well thought out goal, it needs to be realistic, specific, measurable and have time-lines. If he can't show me those things, then in reality his priority is meaningless and he needs to start putting something together with the input of all relevant parties including the citizens of Kansas City.

If the Mayor has his goals for "reducing crime" written down as to HOW he will do it and and he is implementing that plan with the police dept, the community and others, then I stand corrected.

9/29/2008 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Brent. All will help and number four is the one they can get going on the fastest. More cop cars on the street and officers visibally on patrol will help a lot. What crook will commit a crime right in front of an officer. Most are cowards. And if they did they would be caught quickly to keep them from harming someone else.

You also need police to get to know the worthwhile members of the community who will likely tip them off when trouble starts if they already knew them and didn't have to have a police car show up at their door while the trouble is happening.

They also need more minority cops to be able to sort of infiltrate these little crews of crime. I refuse to give them the street cred of calling them gangs. They're too disorganized and stupid.

9/29/2008 10:40 AM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

"Would we be handling things differently if half the victims were middle-aged whites? What would we do?"

Well, for starters I'd say that the family members and witnesses would be cooperating with the police, giving descriptions, identifying potential suspects and testifying in court.

I'm not a big believer in random violence. I think if somebody gets shot there is generally a reason for it and the people around the victim probably have a pretty good idea why he was shot and who probably did it.

The police can't solve a crime when the 100 people who were around when the killing happened didn't see anything, don't know anything and won't talk to the police.

9/29/2008 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:52

You are right, many of the "solutions" are not pretty. But when KCPD ignores a car with five young black males in it and no license plates, as I have seen them do, then you have a problem.

Sure, the kids may not be doing anything but there are some damn good odds that say there is a gun in the car.

If you have ever worked in law enforcement as I have you would know that you can frequently see trouble coming.

9/29/2008 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Brent said...

I want to post one more thing that will help.

Getting our property codes department to actually do their jobs would be a great step forward.

I know in most of these neighborhods, many of the drug/prostitution/etc crimes are operating out of abandoned and dilapidated homes/buildings that have doors kicked in. Getting some of these abandoned properties out of the hands of negligent landlords would be a huge step forward too IMO.

9/29/2008 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KCPD is too busy passing around pictures from Mike Sharp's collection of nude girlfriend photos. We will regret not having John Bullard in office when the chaos that is sure to follow this economic meltdown causes the eastside to explode in race riot.

9/29/2008 2:19 PM  
Anonymous ray ray said...

KC and STL quickly becoming the murder capitals of the US and what do they have in common?

A: the only cities of any size that have police forces that dont report to the local elected city officials. Can we all say: no accountability??!!

9/29/2008 9:12 PM  

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