Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another Minneapolis Quagmire update & City Pages takes notice

Minneapolis police just issued a robbery crime alert dated 1/31/06, which closely follows the 1/26/06 robbery crime alert. The current alert is for businesses; the earlier alert is for street robberies (see also here).

3rd Precinct January 31, 2005

Armed Robberies of Business


Minneapolis police are investigating a series of robberies of businesses that have taken place in recent weeks throughout the city, including some in the 3rd Precinct. The incidents have involved males entering small shops and convenience stores, usually wearing masks and carrying shotguns or handguns, and demanding money. Most of the robberies occurred from 5:00 to 11:30 p.m. Police encourage small business owners and employees to be alert and extra cautious.
Woe be unto Minneapolis come spring.

G.R. Anderson of City Pages takes note of the recent Minneapolis violence, and in particular (like Rambix has) points out that it occurred in a "good" neighborhood, which makes it especially striking.

Three murders and one reaction

Up until September 2004, I lived across the street from where Victor Garma lived. That's why when news broke earlier this week of his murder in a botched robbery in his townhome, I couldn't help but feel a little shaken.

And others in my social circle clearly felt the same way: Info on Garma's Ford Explorer, which the assailants used as a get-away, circulated via e-mail at work. My best friend, who lives on the block with his wife and three-year-old daughter, called me to express some well-founded anxiety and some barely calibrated fear. Televison news crews pumped the story beyond the 24-hour news cycle.

This was a "good" neighborhood, the conventional wisdom was saying--and because of that, this was an outrageous crime.
Mr. Anderson also points out the sad fact that murders and violence are so routine on the North Side, they garner little attention:

Beyond one Star Tribune story by David Chanen, Reier said not much was asked about the other two murders, since they happened on the North Side, where apparently these killings have become so routine that we generally don't acknowledge them much beyond the fact that they happened.

"Do you know how many incidents are logged on the Watch Command Report overnight?" Reier asked rhetorically. ""I read them every morning. Here's one: 9:15 p.m., multiple shots fired at Henry High School. 9:25, ten minutes later, uncooperative victim at North Memorial. It's noted that's not tied to the shots at Henry. Midnight, uncooperative gunshot-wound victim, north side. That's one evening.

"Almost every day or night, this goes on," Reier continued, "And 80 percent of it is on the north side. The rest are mostly out of the 3rd Precinct [south central]. It's only when it happens somewhere elsed you hear about it."
Violent crime is unacceptable anywhere it occurs; we're counting on the Mayor and Chief McManus to take proactive, uncompromising steps to crush the criminal insurgency in Minneapolis.