Recently in Crime Category

I believe I have gotten gifts for everyone who is getting gifts fotr Christmas and those items are going to Help at his job because he can accept packages. Before the Help, there was Nora Bombay, who lived in, moved and returned back to the building with the underpaid concierge. And before Nora, I worked at a place where I could recieve and mail off packages. We also have friends in the burbs with porches.

It's that time of year again when there is a spike in stolen packages, when theives think you're getting something good. The friends and relatives in the Sunshine states tend not to send us anything, except food baskets, which I'm okay with if they get stolen. But they never do get stolen, lucky me.

If you get stuff from the wonderful Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy and there is a chance a thief following the FedEx truck or a keen eyed crook passing by will take your stuff, you need to invest in your social network. First off, offer your friends the chance to help you. Friends at work, friends at church/temple, friends in the neighborhood, friends who can accept packages at home or work. Secondly, are you a regular somewhere? Is there a bar stool with your name on it? Do you show up so often at a place you might as well work there? Maybe that place can accept a package for you. I've heard of dry cleaners and other business that accept packages for their super regular customers.

There are other options not involving friends, such as using a mailbox sevice, but we should look to involve our friends in our lives.

Grand Jury Duty pt. 2- Justice is a slowass B.

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 As I mentioned previously, service on the grand jury has been educational. Since my neighborhood still has a drug problem I'd been trying to apply the lessons. I have learned that justice is friggin slow.

As a citizen I would love it if the cops would do more buy & busts: arrest guys on the corner selling drugs, and prosecute the drug dealers, and the dealers to go to jail. Part of my fantasy, as I sat, was that one day the old guys who sold heroin would come up in one of the cases. Alas the Feds are only interested in those small time dealers when they are part of a bigger drug conspiracy or in relation to felon in possession of a firearm charges.

Nope Feds build cases, and maybe even supersede cases, which drag out a while. One of our least favorite things was having testimony, sometimes from a previous grand jury, read to us. The larger the case the longer it seemed to take. There were moments when the jury felt we'd heard enough, when having to listen to one more recorded phone call was a horrid form of torture.

I get that in order to take the old guys who sell heroin off the streets, the system that supplies them with the drugs needs to be targeted, and that takes time. I get that a strong case linking the street sellers, the scores of middlemen, the money launderers, and others in the conspiracy needs to be made, with lots of evidence that has to get collected and presented before heading to trial. As a resident I want the drugs gone, now. I get what the justice system is doing and why, but it is still taking too long.

 

Grand Jury Duty pt 1- A great group

Grand Jury Duty pt. 2- Justice is a slowass B.

Next, Grand Jury Duty pt 3- TBD (either How to get out of serving on a grand jury or Staying out of a drug conspiracy)

When I first heard that former DC Councilman Micheal A. Brown was going to plead guilty for corruption I was home sick with a "mystery virus". It made a horrible day brighter, for me.

I never, ever, ever liked Michael A. Brown. Let's see with 2008 posts like "Michael Brown, I hate you," and "Michael A. Brown, G-damned Ahole" I haven't been shy about my feelings about him. In 2006, when I gather he (or possibly another Mike Brown) was going to suck up to the MD Sunday church parking vote, I really didn't have any feelings. But when he ran as a fake Independent, undermining the spirit of the law for non-Democrats, making robo-calls, littering the neighborhood, feelings, deep negative feelings welled up inside. If Councilman Marion Barry's constant re-elections made me shake my head, Brown's winning made me continue to shake. Thankfully, Brown wasn't re-elected.

I can't wait to see who else Ron Machen catches in his net of Justice.

 

Disclosure- I sit on a Federal Grand Jury, and if this did come before me, (which it did not) I would have recused myself.

This photo is one of the things I have to keep an eye on as I plan to delete things off the inshaw.com/blog directory. I can't delete this, photo P1010007a.jpg.

Anyway, I always fear jinxing myself when I write that the drug problem is getting better. It is getting better. This photo was taken back in 2005 writing about a fellow a observed standing in 20F weather for no apparent good reason.

I was writing about our 'friendly neighborhood drug dealers' since 2005, though they were there long time before that. Residents on my street who lived here decades before I showed up would tell me about how the dealers were so bad they had even set up a table to do business. By the time I moved in, the only furniture they had were chairs. They would sit at the corner of 4th and R on found chairs. They'd be there when I came home from work in the evenings, and they'd be coming around when I left for work in the mornings.

The 'friendly' is a mix of truth and something else, sarcasm? A play on your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. With the exception of the teens trying to be and look hard the drug dealers were friendly. As I mentioned in one post, they'd say hello, I'd say hello back, keeping the friendly vibe even though I was calling the cops on them on occasion.

When did it turn? Well they aren't really gone, just less visible. But they became less visible, I guess around 2008, when I mentioned that a set of dealers had moved on. Well at least in my area of the TC. I do see on occasion someone who I believe "managed" the low level dealers. There were a lot of things that heppened to make our street less suitable for dealing. Demographics helped, meaning more dog walkers and joggers, fewer people who allowed/tolerated dealers hanging in front of their house, more people calling the cops, fewer people providing labor and shelter for the drug trade, and more homeowners. Better policing may have helped, with the shotspotter and better communication with email, but there is still room for improvement. Better city services also helped with the drug problem, fixing lights, ticketing cars, and the like as crime likes the shadows and dealers would stash drugs in unmoving (possibly stolen) cars.

For other parts of the city where the dealers haven't moved on, be they friendly or not, I hope that you can just keep chipping away at the problem. Keep calling the police, demand city services, demand enforcement, and make your area attractive to the types of people who will help make your neighborhood a nicer place. 

War on Terror, War on Drugs

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I don't like drug dealers. More specifically, I don't like what drug dealers do, which is selling poison to people. Shaw, has had, and is still struggling with drug dealers. They are not as bad in the areas that I frequent anymore. Winter might have something to do with that.

Yesterday evening, the Help and I checked out Mr. Paul Rand's ongoing speechifing about drones possibly being used to kill Americans in America without due process. How realistic is it? I don't know, but I do know that rules to combat terrorists have been used in America's War on Drugs. Will local law enforcement be able to use drones against the friendly neighborhood drug dealer? Technology has been used, GPS, shotspotter, and wire tapping. And here still the rule of law applies, despite whatever proof the government has, the suspected drug dealer still gets his/her day in court. Eventhough drug dealers are domestic terrorists, making residents live in fear, they still should get due process.

Now if we could just get the dealers from the corner or alley into the courtroom. Oh, and not have the judge just let them go, or slap them on the wrist with really short jail time, that would be good too.

Safe and Secure

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G'town window bars

Lately, I have taken an interest in what I'll call the architecture of security. That would be buildings that reflect a time when the environment was unsecure or high crime. These would include buildings that have tiny little windows and lots of concrete, such as the old Shaw library before it was replaced with the open and airy library. I'd also include bars on windows, like these from a house in Georgetown. When I was visiting New York, I took a few pictures of window bars there. Some are quite pretty.

"Don't you feel like you're in a cage?" is a question I hear when talking with someone where window bars are a rarity. "No," is my answer. When I am looking out the window, I look past the bars. Besides, I'm not caged in, but the world is caged out. The barred security door is a barrier between me and the fake Pepco workers and other random people who come to my door, who might wish harm. In an apartment the equivilant would be that little chain on the door.

Bars on windows and doors is a part of making our home secure, but I have noticed other efforts as others secure their homes. Alarms are great, but only work when they are on, as I can remember a few crimes that have occured at houses with alarms, but the alarm wasn't on or the theif managed not to trip the non-existant motion detector.

Another step some take is not to have anything worthwhile visible or make their insides hard to observe. Though some don't like being in 'a cage' they don't seem to mind being in a fishbowl. I do enjoy glancing into people's living rooms when walking down the street or being driven by the Help. I like seeing how differently people decorate their homes, but I'm sure people with less benign motives look in the same window and wonder what is worth stealing (besides decorating ideas). Some windows scream, "HEY EVERYBODY I GOT A 60" TV!!!! On the first floor." Many neighbors keep their lives very private with drapes, shades and blinds, so their movements and stuff cannot be observed by the man on the street. Also with the heavy drapes, you never notice the bars.

1935 map of juvies

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1935Delinquents

I must credit Ghosts of DC for first putting this up yesterday. It is a 1935 map of Juvenile Delinquents. Of course I first pin pointed my attention to the Truxton Area, then the rest of Shaw, where the hotbed of bad kids live. Shaw and SW DC.

Anyway, the Ghosts of DC site has a lot of pretty pictures , but doesn't give you too much to go an explore on-line sources for yourself. So I used my super-librarian powers (I didn't even need to touch rings with the Help who also holds a MLS to activate) to find the jumbo sized map at the Harvard Map Collection Digital Map's site.

As for those great maps of DC with outlines of buildings, some of them are Sanborn maps on the Library of Congress' Maps and Geography website.

I have my own scan of a 1934 map of adult offenders by census tract.

Okay both the Washington City Paper but notably the neighborhood blogger Titan of Trinidad have some good stories about Councilman Vincent Orange and the whole incident of Sam Wang's rat problem.

ToT- Health Department Allowed Sam Wang to Operate Without Proper Licensing

        Vinny Orange's Money Machine

        City Councilor Pressures Health Dept to Keep Rodent-infested Grocery Store Open

       and a very helpful -  How to Report Possible DC Government Ethics Violations  

       and if you think the Board of Ethics should investigate Vincent Orange, ToT has a link for you near the top right corner of his page.

WCP- Rat Infested Grocery Gets a Hand From Mystery Councilmember, Then From Vincent Orange  

        Here's the Grocery Store Vincent Orange Helped Keep Open

I have one note on the photographs, they look like they are in the parts of the business where customers, such as myself, do not go. There is one refrigerated room where you fend for yourself against the grandmas and others getting citrus that is less than Vincent Orange. Also I have not seen a rat not a Councilmember in there, but it doesn't mean they aren't there.

Extra/Update-

WUSA Channel 9(HT DCist):

Crime along 3rd St

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Two instances this weekend. One being the hate crime near 3rd and Q, and the other being a robbery at the corner store at 3rd and P.

I don't know what to say about the hate crime, except that thankfully it did not get worse. I'm thinking of the transgendered victims who were stabbed 5 years ago, not too far from 3rd and Q. If the perps of this recent crime were under 18, I'm not too hopeful that justice will be found.

The corner market at 3rd and P was robbed Sunday around 5pm by two men in black and grey clothing leaving in a black cadilac. The store has been the target of crime recently. Apparently this is the 2nd robbery in 2 weeks. Before that, there was the broken window. Those of us nearby this market can support the store by stopping in purchasing something and giving words of support. We should not let criminals define us as a neighborhood and we should fight evil with good.

Car break-ins

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Busted
Yesterday seemed to have a mini-spike in car break ins or at least bustin' up windows for the fun of it. Two vehicles, one on the 400 blk of R St NW, and the 400 blk of Q St NW, east of NJ Ave had busted windows.

This is a good reminder not to leave anything visible in your car on the off chance that crackheads and other criminals might think there is something of value. Also remind your guests (friends, lovers, relations) not to leave anything visible in the car. Our guests don't seem to want to believe that their car might get broken into when we stress the point. Of course, even then theives may want to just rip off components, like radios, sound systems, tires, or air bags. For those of you with the tire locky things, theives seem to know that you keep the key for that in your glove compartment.

Unless you see the crime of window busting in progress, it is not a police matter. If the vehicle has been sitting with a busted window for 5 days on the street or 45 days on private property it is a matter for DPW. Only the owner of the vehicle can file a report. If you just happen to notice freshly broken glass and a busted car window, keep walking, there is nothing for you to do.