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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Gory Prince George's Another murder; related stories

(Posted 9 Feb 2006)
  • Apartment owners say not to blame for violence.
  • County apartment building owners, angered by another attack by County Executive Jack B. Johnson on security measures at rental properties, said they have been unfairly targeted over crime problems in the county to steer blame away from Johnson.
    [. . .]
    ‘‘How about shopping center owners, car dealers, fast food restaurants and convenience stores?” asked David Hillman, CEO of Southern Management.

    ‘‘It’s typical spin by an inept politician to try to switch blame for what he can’t do, which is provide security for the 900,000 people that live and work in Prince George’s County.”
    [. . .]
    ‘‘The man’s a loose cannon [and] the incompetence is mind-boggling,” said Stephen Goldberg, a real estate developer with 10 complexes in the county. ‘‘It’s ridiculous to think I’m causing the drug dealing.”
    [. . .]
    Johnson’s role is becoming more of a focal point because of ongoing crime problems and a record homicide rate set last year.

    Attention turned to Johnson after a crime forum at Riverdale Baptist Church two weeks ago. Attendees and organizers estimated that at least 700 residents were there, hoping to ask county officials about their crime strategy. The county executive and Police Chief Melvin C. High were absent.
    [Full story].
  • Violence, Drugs and Questions That Youths Need to Answer.
  • . . . In Prince George's County the other day, two teenagers were charged with five counts of attempted murder for allegedly firing a handgun at the school bus they had just stepped off of. It seems there had been a shoving match on the bus. So you shoot into the bus. No regard for who might get hit. One of those arrested was a 19-year-old 10th-grader. Explain that, too, please.

    Last puzzler: carjacking. Each month, Prince George's police release a list of a dozen or so vehicles that were "hijacked" during the past 30 days. "Please call 911 if the vehicle is occupied," it reads. What's next, a cable-access television show, "PG's Most Wanted Cars"?
    [. . .]
    At a "War on Crime" town meeting in Prince George's last month, State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey told the audience: "If you walk into almost any school, you will see things that shock you. You've got kids cussing each other out, parents cussing out teachers; teachers are getting stay-away orders for parents."

    The Rev. C. Anthony Muse, one of the organizers of the forum, told law enforcement officials, "We are pushing not because we are antagonizing but because we are terrified." And when the preacher is terrified, we're in serious trouble.

    Police Chief Melvin C. High, speaking at a news conference in December, sought to reassure county residents. "Our department is working hard to change the course," he said. "It's darkest just before the light." Which raises the question: How long will the darkness last, and who will still be alive come daybreak? [Emphasis added].
  • Border’s role in crime fight looms larger; Frustrated by District complications, county officials consider joint measures.
  • Johnson puts public safety first.
    • Gazette, 9 Feb 2006 (Letter from James P. Keary, Johnson's public relations staff).

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