Friday, April 20, 2007

Post-Mortem

Linear Park Problems?

Just a day or two after a reader posted their remarkable story about surviving a savage beating in Linear Park adjacent to the Metro tracks, the Growler hears there's been a similar incident, although fortunately less serious.

A 15-year resident of Buchanan Street was returning home from work at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, only to be pushed down, struck and kicked by a group of youths, who darted off laughing afterwards.

We have yet to see this incident mentioned by police in the E-news Daily Crime Report, although the Growler understands it was called in to them.

Time for a Curfew?

The mother of the Buchanan Street crime victim (she's a well-known civic activist in another neigborhood) told the Growler her son's assailaints were young, perhaps high school kids.

We have discussed the loitering laws to death on this site, and it's clear there are problems enforcing them effectively.

But what about a curfew for young residents? Why would a high school student need to be out roaming around at 1:30 a.m?

Would a curfew for children be a more effective measure than loitering laws?

N. Patrick Street Murders

As noted in a comment posted this morning, today we have a longer piece in the Washington Post about the slayings on N. Patrick Street complete with quotes from Police Chief Dave Baker. There seems to be a slight retreat from earlier pollyanna-ish press observations that this was a quiet neighborhood.

Chief Baker was quoted saying "That's an area of the city that we've devoted a lot of resources to. Crime has gone down in that area, but it doesn't really matter how much things have improved. When you have an event like this, it sets you back. This presents a new challenge. "

No Chief, this is the same old problem and the same old challenge. We need a new solution.

Today we learned that one of the victims of yesterday's shootings once lived in Del Ray but had moved to the District.

We hear repeatedly from police that non-residents, particularly people who may once have lived in the neighborhood, are often the source or casualty of the problems in public housing. At least one of the latest victims would seem to fit the profile to a T.

One of the benefits of dispersing public housing would be to help break up this geographic notion of a home country, to which past residents return again and again like bees to a hive. Without the immense concentration of public housing units here, there would be less likelihood that the fringe population of drug dealers, hookers and others who use public housing as a base for action in the middle of the night would still be drawn to Alexandria.