Thursday, April 06, 2006

That Was Then, This Is Now

Astute Rambix reader Randy P. points out chilling similarities between the culture of violence in Minneapolis in the early 1990s vs. the present time.

The cold-blooded killing of Minneapolis Police Officer Jerry Haaf was a seminal event that led to the eventual "Murderapolis" label, ostensibly originated by local gun shop owner, Mark Kocielski. The city leaders' approach to gangsterism and violence today is not much different than it was then. The results appear to be similarly tragic. Have they not learned from history?

From the Minneapolis Police Officer Federation website:

While working his traffic assignment thirty year veteran Officer JERRY HAAF decided to take a coffee break. Jerry went to the Pizza Shack, which is a favorite south side restaurant that police officers have frequented for many years. Jerry was seated in the restaurant with several other people. As he read the newspaper two cowardly punks from the street gang, “Vice Lords, “came from behind and fired several bullets into his back.
Officer Haaf died on September 25, 1992.

It was clear then, as it is now, that city crime was out of control. The criminals had little fear of authority, and coddling by city leaders exacerbated the tension. The police were essentially fighting on two fronts, since the Minneapolis leaders did not share the police goal of crushing and incarcerating the criminals.

And a two front war is a difficult proposition.

What Led Up to the Murder

Tension between the gangs and the police had been mounting. In the late 1970s the gangs arrived in Minneapolis. Instead of fighting the gang problem with good aggressive police work, the leaders of this city decided to embrace these disenfranchised youths. The city leaders were being duped by these gangsters. They in turn fed the local anti-police media and this just helped to legitimize these criminals. In the meantime, the leader of the Vice Lords, Sharif Willis, was convicted of murder but released from prison after serving only six years.

Sound familiar? Legitimizing criminals and light prison sentences? Embracing disenfranchised youths?

There is justified bitterness and anger over Officer Haaf's murder. We can avoid a recurrence with aggressive action at all levels, but the political will needs to be present.

If city leaders don't get serious about crime control soon, they will be in danger of losing the city.

For their deed they should be HUNG, but that will not happen in Minnesota. Hopefully they will die in prison. Whatever happens to them, one thing is for sure - they will rot in hell for eternity.

Officer JERRY HAAF was 53 years of age. He had served in the Air Force and was going to retire in a few months after working 30 years as a Minneapolis police officer. Jerry was survived by his wife, Marilyn, a daughter, two sons, grandchildren, many family members and friends.

A culture of violence will lead to untold pain for those that live, work, and play in Minneapolis.

The city is at a crossroads. The events of late have been so powerful that the MSM has been unable to downplay the danger. City leaders are reduced to explaining away the crimes as aberrations, when in fact we know that's not the case.

The police and citizens need the city leaders to understand that explaining away crime will not solve the problem. Having zero tolerance for criminals, and doing something about it is the only answer.