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May 22, 2007

Comments

jack meofe

IDK but I think it was a waste of money and was used to harrass a lot of innocent people while they were at it. Somerville has a lil gang violence, yes. But so doesn't any other city in the US.

S.O.

Oh right the gang members all fled the city en masse because the ordinance was passed. ha ha ha.

Gee, I wonder why this paper didn't print this article Before May 15?

Somerspeak

And the recent murders in this city are being done by members of the Rockettes?

What a bunch of assholes.

Well

Well it's a good job that they only shoot each other as our guys only get to shoot at toy guns.

Solh Zendeh

Somerspeak, take a breath. You are out of line calling someone an asshole for being derisive about a law they find questionable.

Solh Zendeh

Somerspeak, take a breath. You are out of line calling someone an asshole for being derisive about a law they find questionable.

Solh Zendeh

Dang, sorry for the doublepost

HARD_TO_SWALLOW_FACT

I think the ordinace was definitely a political scheme used to help him get into office. The fact is that, everything is politics, politics, politics, politics. The gangmembers and hooligans are still here, they may have layed low for a little bit but they are here.

I LUV SOMERVILLE

That ordinance hasnt done shyt, trust me, the gangmembers are still around. Go to Temple Street, Mystic Project, different parts of East Somerville u will see wat I mean. the writings on the wall people, with the lack of police in various wards, lack of funding for the youth programs, and all the "running in circle" politics in city hall this is gonna be a hot summer in our city

eastsomerville

The are still MS gang members in Somerville, especially East Somerville, they have not fled the city but just being less suspicious. Not to long ago,me being a SHS student, was chased by 4 gang members with another friend of mine and have a knife pulled at you does not make you feel comfortable at all. Fortunatly a couple of known members of H-block which I knew from school were in the right time in the right place and helped us out by distracting the MS gang members by picking up pieces of wood and just about everything else they could find.

distractions

Anyone who has lived in a city should know that this bill was a farce. The reality is police can approach anyone they want and question what they are doing. They can and do search people without cause and make up an excuse later. If they find anything on them they can report that they saw suspicious activity. This bill only makes "legal" the right for police to harrass anyone they deem a problem. It is nothing but lip service from politicans who are afraid to make real changes.
Most of the "gangs" people see these days are nothing more than a grouping of kids with nothing to do but hang on the streets. Is this a gang? What defines a gang? Are they involved in organized drug trafficing? Are they running rackets? Most of these gangs are just scary looking kids. Yes there are gangs and they should be dealt with, but it isn't nearly as bad as before, it is statistically impossible. The number of kids in this city has decreased so dramatically, we can't possibly have a gang problem as bad as before.

Lobo

If "this bill only makes "legal" the right for police to harrass anyone they deem a problem," then why hasn't anybody been arrested using the gang ordinance.

Perhaps it's because the police are pretty evenhanded in this City and they don't violate people's rights.

Or maybe it's because we don't have enough cops to make the kind of arrests we need to combat gangs and drugs.

Just thinking out loud.

William Hurst

This ordinance (Denise voting against,what else is new) was passed in May,2004 and we are getting around to talking about it now, go figure. What is wrong with the police harassing a group of idiots wearing gang colors? "Scary looking kids"? No problems in Boston with their "Scary looking kids", murder and other crimes no longer exist. The Somerville and State police departments beleive we have a gang problem.

Kate

Found this in the other paper:

Possible Gang Fight on Walnut Street

Somerville -
A report came over the scanner at about 2:45 p.m. today that 20 kids are fighting at the corner of Pearl and Walnut streets.

Callers were saying they’re MS-13 kids on bicycles.

A quick drive around the neighborhood did not reveal any unusual activity but people hanging out on their porches on Walnut Street said there was a fight involving some kids further down the street, towards the firehouse.

The area was quiet around 3 p.m. but police on bikes were seen zooming down Pearl Street towards the East Somerville Community School, residents said.

One area resident, who did not want to give his name, said there was always “crazy stuff” happening there and he did not feel the area was very safe. It’s especially crazy in the summer when the kids are out all day, he added.

Another woman, who also did not want to identify herself, said she has not heard of any fights in the area and does not feel the neighborhood is dangerous.

Police said that fights after school are not uncommon. We are waiting for police reports on the incident, if any.

give me a break

This just shows how out of touch Provost really is with the people she is suppose to serve. She is more concerned with protecting gang members and passing prisoner rights bils than in protecting the good people of the community. I am ashamed to have her as my state rep.

Kate

"If they find anything on them they can report that they saw suspicious activity."

Excellent!

are you serious?

Give me a break,

Do you really believe that Provost is deeply invested in protecting gang members? That's way too simplistic of an analysis, and I imagine you know it. Perhaps it's the case that people don't agree on how to fix the problem, but I don't imagine anyone's goal is to protect dangerous people from the reach of the law. Why can't we have discussions here that acknowledge the complexity of issues like gangs and gang violence? This is more soundbite stuff, like we just saw in posts before the election.

logic

Lobo:

The police haven't used the law because they don't need to. Like the article said, they don't want to risk using the new law. They can use any other law, or any unwritten rule of the street to make a bunch of kids move from a block.
Were you ever a kid hanging out on the street? Did the cops ever come up to you and tell you to move along? There is no law saying a cop can't approach a group of people and say "what's happening?" If they are trouble makers they will feel uncomfortable and "move along." A cop sees a group of suspected gang members, it is so easy to say "I think I saw him selling drugs" or "he flashed a weapon." If they search them and find drugs or weapons, it's their word against the gang members.
So what is this law really saying? What it is saying is the cops can arrest someone for looking like a gang member. No crimes have to be committed. This is a law to make the yuppies who are terrefied of their own shadows feel safe. Again, yes there are gangs and they should be dealt with. But is this law doing it? Is dealing with the gang problem (which is far less than it has ever been in Somerville's history) worth potentially violating people's rights? Do you feel safer? Because laws like this make me feel more threatened.

William Hurst

are you serious,
I know Denise is not out to "protect gang members/leaders".We just wonder in amazement as to what her thought process is and why it appears that she is "protecting" them. What is the solution to gang violence? Perhaps better jobs at Target or Wendys? Also, this forum that we all enjoy, is one that allows us to sound off against our representitives and situations beyond our control. It allows us to remain anonymous without fear of reprisal by our elected officials. Childish at times, yes it is but it makes for some great debate.

Truth Fan

As I read this thread, I feel embarrassed for people whose intelligence and common sense I value. Bill Roche says he believes "the gang’s leadership learned of the new local law and were deterred from acting further in Somerville." Bill, I know that you're smarter than that, and I believe that you have enough strength of character to acknowledge a mistake. The simplest of many devastating answers to your statement is that gang members are not "deterred" by laws against rape, assault, and theft, which carry more serious penalties than the gang ordinance.

Somerspeak, you are usually so wise and temperate. No, it's not the Rockettes. And its not people from Somerville who are shooting and being shot. And it's not MS13.

Lobo, I believe that Somerville Police are "pretty evenhanded," as you suggest, but that is not why they have never enforced this law.

So many political discussions seem to be people concocting fantasies based on their biases and stating them as truths, when, while the facts are available to anyone willing to make a little effort. So here are some facts:

1. We are not just "getting around to talking about it now." The BoA had ample evidence that the ordinance was meaningless, but the opportunity for political grandstanding was too juicy. Barrios and Healy grabbed their share. Even Bill White, who knew the evidence and was critical of the ordinance, tanked in at the end.

2. This evidence was based on case law regarding similar statutes around the U.S. All that were challenged were found to be unconstitutional.

3. Everyone in the Police Department who was paying attention at the time knew that this was a farce. Chief George McLean was prepared to testify to this, but the consequences of his not playing politics on this and other matters are by now well known.

4. Attempting to enforce this ordinance would result in a civil rights law suit by the ACLU or some other do gooder organization, exposing the law for the fraud that it is, and embarrassing its makers and advocates. What ambitious police adminstrator, much less Bob Bradley, would be willing to do that?

Denise Provost was the only alderman who I ever heard try to get at the underlying causes for gang violence, and I admire her courage to say that the emperor has no clothes. She took some abuse for this.

I have real doubts about whether Marty Martinez would have made a good alderman. But I am certain that the campaign against him was the most dispicable that I have seen here in a long, long time. In addition to distortions of his position on gangs, it involved phoning elders and telling them that Martinez intended to close down senior centers, coercing city empoyees into working for Jack's election, and a lot of other tactics that I hope will eventually become publicly known.

Total Farse

The whole gang issue is a farse. Somerville doesn't have gangs, we have a bunch of disrespectful immagrants running around. Back in the day, somervillians would have policed their own. The cops and politicians have taken full advantage of a problem that doesn't exist.. I'd like to give all the so called gang bangers a back hand and send em all back to Haiti, and El Salvador. Acutally, while were at it, we should send all the liberals back to San Fransico and cambridge to boot. A back handa would actually do them some good also. Its not the gangs that ruining this city, its the left wing conspiracy.

Somerspeak

Truth Fan,

I stand rebuked. I'm just very frustrated with it all. Liars in City Hall and liars in the Police Dept.who cast a long and dark shadow on the good and decent people who work with them, murders in our streets, people divided.

Makes you want to cry or move. I'm still deciding.

go cry yourself a river

Somerspeak,

Do us all a favor and go cry yourself a river. Better yet, call Deval Patrick, he might give you a job. It looks like he's on a roll filling most of his posts with incompedant minorities. Don't hate me for speaking the truth. Wake up, and smell the java.

Jack Meofe

Total Farse,
Its not the immigrants ruining the city, its racist like you. Coward yuppie who hides behind his computer making racist remarks. You are not a big man.

Lobo

Logic,

It might help if you stopped using a name that implies you're smarter than the rest of us. Logic... yeah right.

Here's your argument:
"So what is this law really saying? What it is saying is the cops can arrest someone for looking like a gang member."

And yet the cops don't arrest people under this law. Gee, what would logic say about that? Maybe exactly what I said earlier; they are even-handed or they don't have enough cops to make a true difference.

But Logic, the smarmy poster, says "there are gangs and they should be dealt with. But is this law doing it? Is dealing with the gang problem (which is far less than it has ever been in Somerville's history) worth potentially violating people's rights? Do you feel safer? Because laws like this make me feel more threatened."

No, I don't feel safer because I don't think there's enough protection and no smart guy, gangs aren't less now than ever before.

I'll feel safer when police protection is determined by 'politics as usual.'

lobo tomay

Lobo,

I don't mean to imply that I'm smarter than everyone. I'm just smarter than you. Your opinions make me believe this whole "inner city living" thing is new to you. You are a reactionary who will settle for a silly law rather than real change. the fact that you believe that "gangs aren't less now than ever before" makes me also think you didn't grow up here. Because if you did and you were over the age of 20 you would remember when the city was really rough. The Winter Hill gang was a real gang. They ran drugs, rackets, muscled people out of their homes, murdered people. If you were too young for that you might remember the gang and race riots at the high school. These weren't traditional mafia style gangs but the violence was extreme. I feel safer walking down the street now than I ever have.

No, the cops haven't abused their law, yet. And I don't mean to imply all cops are terrible people. But I have learned from experience that if you give someone the ability to do something, they almost certainly will do it. It is only a matter of time before this law is abused. Maybe it will be when a concerned neighbor sees a group of kids at a park and calls the police. Then they show up and find a group of kids, search their bags without just cause, and tell them all to leave despite the fact they found nothing and it is well before the park curfue. I've seen this happen, it has happened to me. So under this law, they would technically be allowed to arrest me. What would happen if I brought up my constitutional right and questioned the legality of what they were doing? They would say "looks like we got a wise guy on our hands. What gang are you in?" If you think I'm lying then there isn't much more I can say because I can't make you experience what myself and many like me have in the past.

I know the family of the girl that was raped at Foss Park. I had a very close friend murdered. My friends have had conflicts with young groups of kids claiming to be MS-13 or H block or whatever. So when I say this law is stupid it is not because I am living in some sheltered world or that I want gang violence to run rampid. but the fact that this law is not being used, the fact that you technically don't even have to be commiting a crime to get detained by the police and the fact that there are plenty of ways a cop can confront a gang leads me to believe this law is just a ploy by politicans to make it look like they're doing their jobs.

One final note: would this law have helped stop the last four shootings in this city? If a cop saw something going down, would he freeze at the moment of truth and say "If only I had a law that allowed me to stop this?" Unfortunately you can't stop every crime all the time. And making new and unecessary laws will not make people safer but will rather infringe on other people's rights.

Lobo

"I don't mean to imply that I'm smarter than everyone. I'm just smarter than you."

Wishful thinking, punk. But that's evident from your self-righteous tirade. You're so smart that your best argument against the ordinance is that "this law is stupid." You forgot to say 'nyah,nyah,nyah.'

Try, try, again my friend. The people and their representatives like that law, so maybe your the one who's a little behind the rest of the class.


Everyone else is wrong, it couldn't be you.

Have a nice day working on rocket engines, smartguy.

Kate

Lobo - you've got to grow a thicker skin, if you honestly view Logic's post as a tirade. I know about the past that he's referring to - he's correct.

Truth Fan

Somerspeak,

Please don't leave town. If you did, you would miss unintentional gems of humor like this one from cry-yourself-a-river: "It looks like he's on a roll filling most of his posts with incompedant minorities."

ignorance is bliss

Lobo,

Didn't see you make a response to any of the legitimate points I made. I take it your ability to debate is limited to name calling. The only point you pulled out was me calling the law "stupid." Well it is stupid. I meant it, why say anything else? What would you call it? A legitimate attempt to curb gang violence?
I'll accept your personal insults (which by the way, you started, nyah nyah) as an intellectual admission of defeat and stop posting. But I hope anyone else who is read my last post looks at it as a sincere attempt to let people know the reality of this situation.

eastsomerville

The whole gang issue is a farse. Somerville doesn't have gangs, we have a bunch of disrespectful immagrants running around. Back in the day, somervillians would have policed their own. The cops and politicians have taken full advantage of a problem that doesn't exist.. I'd like to give all the so called gang bangers a back hand and send em all back to Haiti, and El Salvador. Acutally, while were at it, we should send all the liberals back to San Fransico and cambridge to boot. A back handa would actually do them some good also. Its not the gangs that ruining this city, its the left wing conspiracy.

That was the most absurd ignorant racist thing I have ever heard in my life and I agree with Jack Meofe, I would pay to go see someone say that to one of these groups of kids who are all "immagrants" you illiterate racist. Beign a youth in somerville and knowing of what happens in the streets I can tell you half or even more of these hoodlums you speak of are Americans and mostly caucasian kids who cause the chaos misinformed people like you read in the somerville journal at home in fear of getting hurt by these "immagrant" Haitians and El Salvadorians.

Somerspeak

Truth,

More like incontennnt. Care to comment Jamie Norton?

Sorry Dr. Mrs. McCarthy.

Lobo

Logic,
Here are a few responses to your 'legitimate points .' I wouldn't waste my time to repeal an ordinance that has never been enforced. You said earlier that "The police haven't used the law because they don't need to." If they don't need it and they don't enforce, why would we spend any more time trying to repeal it? Your insinuation is that our cops can and do make up evidence against innocent people ("A cop sees a group of suspected gang members, it is so easy to say "I think I saw him selling drugs" or "he flashed a weapon." If they search them and find drugs or weapons, it's their word against the gang members"
).

You're a fraud, and probably a Progressive fraud at that. I'm sure you're ends with the girl who was raped. I can see the compassion in your writing. You asked me "But is this law doing it? Is dealing with the gang problem (which is far less than it has ever been in Somerville's history) worth potentially violating people's rights? Do you feel safer? Because laws like this make me feel more threatened."

No the law isn't fighting gangs because it hasn't been used and likely never will be do a lack of cops or the evenhanded nature of our force. The very point that I made in my original post that you took exception to. You seem to have missed that point, however.


I have lived here my whole life and I remember the Winter Hill "Gang." They weren't a gang in the sense that we have gangs today, they were Organized Crime plain and simple.

Our gang problem is headed up by MS-13. MS-13 is the only gang ever to have an FBI Task Force created solely to deal with that gang. If you thoughts the old crew on Winter Hill was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. I'm happy that Somerville has taken steps to prevent the spread of this gang here as it has in neighboring cities such as Chelsea and Boston. Yes it does make me feel safer.

Unlike you, I have faith in our cops. I have faith in our elected leaders. I'm happy with the jobs being done with both.


Remember Logic, just saying you're smarter than people doesn't actually make you smarter. Good luck.

eastslummerville

We need a few big strong old Somerville guys to put on masks and give these gang boys a good beating

Somerspeak

Why would all the "tough guys" of Somerville even need masks? If all these "sumvull" high rollers are so damn good at controlling "their neighborhoods" then why the hell did they need the "ordinance" in the first place?

The truth is most of these big mouths spend far too much time in their favorite watering holes and would shit their pants when confronted with a real MS13 member.

Grog29

MS-13 is made up of illegal alien gangmembers and were the ones that raped those 2 disabled little girls in Foss Park.

How can anyone defend them? They are illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are NOT "immigrants".
Buy a dictionary idiots.

All of them (including legal immigrants that may chose to join them) should be rounded up for ANY reason and deported. I don't care what law they use. If this gang ordinance is not being enforced...it should be. Not enforcing a law is no reason to be against it. That's retarded logic. It's not being enforced because the demented liberals that represent us are BLOCKING enforcement theough PC intimidation of the police. Use the Patriot Act or terrorists
laws if you have to . Ban them for life from the U.S. I'd love to see these so-called toughguys back in the jungles after living in the luxury of the U.S.

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