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Rochester’s police chief penned an editorial in the Democrat and Chronicle asking the community to “own” the violence problem. James Sheppard questioned why 2,000 Rochesterians marched for Trayvon Martin, but a similar sense of outrage is not on display with black on black crime:

…our greatest challenge is that some people in this city see law enforcement as the only ones who “own” the violence problem.


The majority of our homicide victims are young black men, shot to death in black neighborhoods.


When homicides involve black-on-black violence, it seems no one cares enough to get involved, except the family members and the police.


…2,000 people marched in downtown Rochester to protest (Trayvon Martin’s) death. While in our city numerous young black males are shot without a peep of concern or indignation

Public safety is not a spectator sport…

The Buffalo News recently did a great article on the terrible toll of the “don’t snitch” mentality. Some people genuinely distrust police and are so steeped in street culture, they won’t tell police what they know about homicides. But other people are reasonably scared of retribution.

I’m not so sure it’s fair to indict an entire community for a perceived lack of outrage. Plenty of people are angry and we’ve seen countless marches and rallies for peace. People want their corners cleared of drug dealers and troublemakers. But there’s no easy fix to the problems of guns, drugs and poverty that breeds violence.

Links of the Day:

– Onondaga County has the highest rate in the state of babies born addicted to painkillers. It’s more than double Monroe County’s rate.

Mitt Romney is a hot topic at the Hill Cumorah pageant.

– After the deadly Colgan Air crash outside Buffalo a few years ago, regional low-cost airline Pinnacle came under heavy fire. Now there are even cheaper airlines putting Pinnacle out of business. Those airlines raise similar safety issues.

– “Let them eat concession-stand pizza.” A Buffalo News columnist eviscerates the Bills for their blackout decision.

– The fate of the Western New York Flash is still uncertain. Professional women’s soccer will likely continue to struggle, even if the U.S. women win the gold in London.

16 Responses to “Public safety is not a spectator sport…”

  1. Easy fixes? No, but there are things that can be done and yes, it does involve throwing some money at the problem.
    We can hire more teachers and teachers’ aids to give more young people a sense that there education and well being is cared about. We can spend more on protecting those who do come forward so they do not have to worry about becoming victims of violence themselves. We can do more to beautify the neighborhoods, giving people a reason to take pride in them and we can organize more neighborhood festivals throughout the city to give people more a sense of community.
    Yes there are challenges within each of these, but it is well worth it , not just to curb violence but to improve living conditions over all.

    • “Their” not “there.” What was that I said about education? Oy gevalt!

    • July 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm Orielly responds:

      Oh yea Hiring more teachers is clearly the solution… funny how that works..

      BUT Vouchers and School choice is not a good solution.. right. Howard is against that as well. (SARC)
      Its all a conspiracy by “the man”. People robbing guns or USING them .. nope thats not the problem, its not their fault. Should we have knife control also?

      First, Second, Third, its an issue of personal, family and parent responsibility everything else is just and excuse.

  2. I have asked every Rochester Police Chief — dating back to Roy Irving, and now I’m also asking Chief Sheppard — how is it that young teenagers, not only in Rochester, but throughout all of the ghettos of the U.S., know where to find illegal guns, which is why each and every one of them who wants one — has one. Yet the RPD, Monroe County Sheriffs, NY State Police, and their counterparts throughout the U. S. — along with the FBI, ATF, CIA, Homeland Security, and probably other so-called law enforcement agencies that we haven’t even heard of (with all of their high-powered, super-sophisticated technology) can’t find illegal guns? Could the answer possibly be that they are not really interested in stopping guns from flowing through the streets of Rochester and urban areas throughout the U.S. — like water flows from High Falls — because big-time, highly-organized, gun-running is very profitable for certain people? So, it appears that this is nothing more or less than another big, VERY BIG, political con-game.

    When and only when — I see the so-called law enforcement agencies referenced above — focus on cutting the illegal guns off at the SOURCE — then and only then — will I believe that hypocritical, powerful adults are really concerned and/or really serious about doing something far reaching and effective to address the fratricide, which black and brown youth (throughout the entire, super-racist U.S. nation-state) have been engaging in for decades! As far as I’m concerned — all else is mere rhetoric and noise — period.

    • Spot on Mr. Eagle! There is an awful lot of money in the military, police and prison industrial complexes to be made in keeping violent crime going. It only takes a few corrupt individuals and an army of willfully ignorant bureaucrats and politicians.

    • July 16, 2012 at 9:42 am Stephen Adams responds:

      You hit the nail on the head Howard. How is it that law enforcement CLAIMS to want to stem the flow of these guns, yet people all over the USA can go to gun shows and buy assault weapons and other guns with no background check or valid proof of identity? Its all BS.

    • July 16, 2012 at 10:23 am Rachel responds:

      Something to think about – I did a story back in 2005 on illegal guns (link no longer available). About a quarter of the guns come into this community through smuggling and illegal buys out of state. But most of the guns originate right here. They’re stolen from legal gun owners or legal gun owners sell them for drugs, etc. Not locking up guns can have major consequences. The gun used to shoot Officer Anthony DiPonzio was stolen from a man’s house a mile away.

  3. July 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm Lynn E responds:

    I am friends with people in the Sudananese community who discussed the shooting of a member of their community. While it was still a bit unclear, the kids who witnessed the shooting knew who the shooter was and the parent refused to allow them to be interviewed. Many knew what the shooting was about but told this wonderful story about a man who came to America to for a better life and was attending MCC. Police say they thought he was an innocent bystander. The Sudanese who have grown up in the inner city acclimated to it. That means drugs, violence and no snitching. There needs to be better ways of dealing with the killings by police. I am hoping that police will be able to figure out how to do that soon.

  4. People marched for a dog (Diablo), they gave the bus monitor 700K. Its disgusting the lack of caring for inner city crime.

  5. July 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm Edward Richards responds:

    Good point.

  6. July 16, 2012 at 2:57 pm Justaguy responds:

    Mr Eagle is correct, this is a super racist nation state. He is a perfect example of it. If your immediate thought in regards to anything is about the color of the other person than you sir, are a racist. Focus on poverty, poor education, a lack of health care, whatever, but if the color of a person’s skin seems to matter to you, than that means YOU are focusing on color. If you are therefore making assumptions and judgements about others because of their color, you are a racist. And please, please don’t tell me African Americans (or any other skin color) can’t be racist. I have known members of every race who looked down upon other members of the same race (Dominicans who don’t like Cubans, dark skinned African Americans don’t like light skinned ones, Italian Americans who don’t like Jews and on and on). The African American community doesn’t own race or race based discrimination. People forget that groups like the NAACP is supposed to represent all ‘colored’ people, not just African Americans and by that reasoning the hispanic voice should be the one coming from the NAACP since the hispanic population is the largest ‘minority’ one out there yet I never see that coming from them, just like I never see other ‘minorities’ being advocated for by people like Mr. Eagle.
    The problem of violence and the failure to assist the police is a cultural one, not one of color. The Catholic Northern Irish look just like the Protestant ones but the ‘no snitching’ rule is the same there as here. Sunnis and Shiites, Arabs and Africans in Dafur and yes, the guys on the opposite corner and me and my guys on our corner.
    Stop making race based excuses Mr. Eagle, you are too smart for that.

    • July 17, 2012 at 9:42 am Orielly responds:

      “”The Catholic Northern Irish look just like the Protestant ones but the ‘no snitching’ rule is the same there as here””.

      Really …you really think that is a fair comparison?

      The ‘Irish’ problem was politically based and a matter of fighting oppression by the ruling English placed upon the Irish. It was a matter of Freedom, and no snitching was around crimes committed on the UK army. I not condoning murder in either case, but comparing todays drug and money urban mess to the Irish oppression is not even remotely close.

  7. July 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm Justaguy responds:

    That you don’t see it as the same proves my point. You are stating YOUR views of why people were/are acting a certain way as THE reason for ‘The Troubles’ or whatever you want to call it. How many killings/beatings/robberies/etc. on both sides in N. Ireland were because someone pissed someone off, were from the wrong group, were involved in an internal power struggle, had/wanted/owed money and on and on. You are dismissing the main thing that people are people and people are committing crimes against other people. You can believe that it is/was a glorious struggle or a rebellion or whatever but in reality it was someone choosing to act and doing so in a way not accepted by most societies, which is why murder is illegal, no matter what your reasoning. If you say it was a war that follow the international laws of war and wear a uniform in combat and treat the enemy under the laws of war. You can then expect the other side to do the same. If you choose not to do that expect to be treated differently (see Afghanistan).

    Withholding evidence related to crime is a cultural thing that is taught. You don’t have to like the police to do the right thing. It’s called integrity, it means doing the right thing even though nobody is looking.
    People’s view of what is ‘the right thing’ is the issue. Politics, race, religion, sex, whatever all just cloud the issue and make excuses.

  8. July 18, 2012 at 6:46 am lynn e responds:

    Just found out about the book In the land of the new Jim crow. I think it deals well with issues regarding policing and criminalizing huge numbers of people and keeping them out of society.

  9. Pingback: High Cost of Homicide » The Rochesterian

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