It’s Good To Be King

As this is written, Saint Paul is getting around the plowing non-emergency streets. Sort of. Tonight and tomorrow will be the big nights for clearing Friday and Saturday’s fairly significant snowfall.

Guess who didn’t have to wait?

Mayor Carter.

And Public Works director and former City Council boss-lady Kathy Lantry:

But the city’s plows got everyone in the area – right?

Please. It’s Saint Paul – AKA “Animal Town”. And it appears some animals may just be a little more equal than others:

So that’s why property taxes are rising – to make sure our ruling class gets the level of service to which it’s accustomed.

When Politicians Try Planning

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Midway Monitor is delivered free to my doorstep. Big article about the Hamline Midway Coalition trying to figure out what went wrong with parking at the new soccer stadium.  Apparently, there’s not enough parking!  People are parking without permits in the neighborhoods, illegally parking vehicles in no parking zones, clogging up side streets, traffic tie-ups, running out in front of trains and buses.  What the hell, who knew that people would drive to soccer games? 
When Cupcake  wanted to open a 37-seat restaurant a decade ago, the City required 10 off-street parking spaces, a 4-to-1 ratio; but they approve a 20,00 seat soccer stadium with only 150 parking spaces.  That’s not 4-to-1, people, where are all the spectators going to park? 
Of course, it’s hard to be too sympathetic.  A year ago, the City approved the parking plan and neighborhood groups were upset about it.  Instead of 150 parking spaces on two parking lots that would be used a few days per year, they wanted more buildings and even less parking because . . . wait for it . . . fans would Ride The Damned Train.  And besides, they have 400 spaces to park your bicycle, in case you’re coming from, say, Afton and need a place to park the old 10-speed.  What could go wrong? 
Joe Doakes

Given all the wonderful publicity about the Vomit Comet lately, it’s a wonder people didn’t ride the train more frequently. 

I live about a mile from the stadium, and on game days the streets in my neighborhood are clogged and the sidewalks teeming with would-be spectators.  

Great job, City!

Bob Fletcher Will Never Do Lunch At The Lex Again

This blog has taken considerable issue with Ramsey County’s once-and-again sheriff, Bob Fletcher, on many issues.

But it’s hard to see this statement as much of anything but the inconvenient truth – at least as far as Mayor Carter is concerned:

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS this year’s sharp rise in gun-related deaths and injuries are mostly tied to an ongoing feud between two rival St. Paul street gangs.

“There is no doubt that the biggest part of this is connected to a longtime feud between two of the city’s more violent gangs,” said Fletcher.  “We have to recognize what the problem is and the problem is we have a small gang war.”

Fletcher said more than a dozen of the record-setting shootings and killings can be linked to a murder as far back as 2008, and there are no indications the retaliatory shootings are going to end anytime soon.

In a city where the mayor is trying to re-christen street gangs as “street groups”, and bends over backward to not call the plague what it is but to fob it (per the “Don’t Waste a Crisis” commandment in the DFL’s playbook) off on the law-abiding gun owner and/or non-“street group” member, it’s hard to see this sort of statement on the part of an elected sheriff as the first salvo of a mayoral bid.  

Lower Middle Class Ethnically – Nonspecific Privilege

A friend of the blog rights:

Re: St Paul trash referendum- I’m laughing at all of the Vote Yes Progressive Mac Groveland/Merriam Park people A- who are suddenly perplexed by the strong No vote on the East side and B- who called No voters on the East side “selfish wealthy homeowners” when it was brought to their attention that East siders said the vote No was a cheaper option for them (because trash collection cost would be shouldered by all property tax payers)
This is outrageously funny to me given how these same people support increasing taxes on “the wealthy” to pay for medical bills, cost of college, any other whim of the leisure class. It’s now selfish when it is opposite their viewpoint. But, I guess now we do have a clearer understanding of who they think are wealthy- Not them who are paying $2000 per month rent or buying half a million dollar houses. Nope. It’s the working class fool who lives in a house worth about $150,000, $200,000 at most. So selfish of them to be paying so little for housing, just making it living paycheck to paycheck. They could be racking up more debt and then perhaps they would feel more indebted to the ruling class, you know, if they had absolutely nothing.

Mac-Groveland, Crocus Hill, and pretty much all the Parks (Highland, Merriam, Saint Anthony, Desnoyer, Irvine) griping about anyone else’s “privilege” is one of those things that’s becoming an inside joke in “progressive” cities.

To everyone but…well, I listed ’em off.

Who Has Two Thumbs…

…and tried to warn you that this exact thing was inevitable?

(Points thumbs at self).

This guy.

The Vomit Comet (aka Green Line) is a rolling assault and robbery laboratory.

The FOX 9 Investigators revealed that aggravated assaults on the light rail system, those involving a weapon or causing serious injury, numbered 59 through July 31 of this year. That is more than the 52 aggravated assaults in all of 2018, and 41 aggravated assaults in 2017.
Robberies and thefts are also on the rise with 384 incidents through October 28 of this year. That’s more than the 330 incidents in all of 2018 and 374 incidents in 2017.
“Sadly, Metro Transit’s own data reveals a transit system in crisis with a record number of assaults, robberies, and other criminal activity taking place on trains and at light rail stations,” said [Republican representative Paul] Torkelson.

In 18 months of riding the Vomet Comet to work pretty much daily, I think I saw transit cops a dozen times – and two of those were responding to assaults that’d already happened; essentially, they were crime janitors. 

And that’s just crime on the trains; it doesn’t cover the spike in crime along the Green Line.  I’ll be working on getting those numbers together for the five years since the Vomit Comet started bringing fare-skipping thugs to the Midway.  It’s not gonna be pretty. ]

I’m Sure It Will Be A Fair-Minded Airing Of Issues, Yessireebob

Mayor Carter, presiding over the worst murder rate in almost a quarter century (even as crime outside the metro continues to fall) is holding a series of meetings:

In the midst of an uptick in gun violence in St. Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter announced on Monday that he’ll host three community meetings about public safety.
Carter said last week he’s considering proposing a supplemental public safety budget to the City Council. The Council is slated to vote on next year’s city budget in December.
The community conversations will be at the following St. Paul locations:
Thursday, Nov. 7, 6:30-8 p.m., Central Baptist Church, 420 N. Roy St.
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30-8 p.m., Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St.
Saturday, Nov. 16, 1-2:30 p.m., Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave.

I’m going to go out on a limb, and guess that ending pre-emption and “universal” background checks will be the only subjects seriously discussed.

Blowing Smoke In Saint Paul

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Saint Paul’s new garbage hauling program is a rousing success and if you don’t vote to continue it, taxes will increase dramatically to pay for the five-year contract the City illegally signed.
Mayor Carter’s statements in the linked article defy common sense, casting doubt on his credibility.
We have significantly reduced emissions from our garbage trucks.  Really?  You monitor that, somehow, and have data to prove it?  Can I see it? 
We have significantly reduced wear and tear on our streets, too many potholes.  Really?  In just the few months the program has been in operation, you’ve been able to measure the wear and tear on streets, and have data to prove it?  Can I see it? 
We have significantly reduced truck traffic through neighborhoods where children are playing. What, in the streets?  Well, there’s your problem right there – those kids gotta learn to stop running out in front of garbage trucks. 
And Hizzonor is going to address gun violence, not by hiring new cops but by having a meeting with his cabinet, as soon as we can get those key players together.  What’s the hold-up? They’re your cabinet, Mel.  Don’t they report to you? 
It sounds as if the Mayor is reciting talking points, not taking action.  I wonder if that’s because he has no idea what to do about the mess he finds himself in?
Am I the only one getting the impression this Mayor is not ready for prime time? 
Joe Doakes

Why, it’s almost if the Saint Paul DFL has taken “Perception is Reality” to its logical extreme.  

Forewarned

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

hen people complain the St. Paul City Council is a bunch of crooks . . . they’re right.
The Pioneer Press has helpfully published a guide to the candidates’ criminal history so voters can make an informed choice which crook to vote for.  Don’t see that in a lot of cities.  The guide, I mean, not the crooks running for office, they’re everywhere.
Joe Doakes

The next step toward truly becoming Chicago on the Mississippi would be for the candidates to turn those records into a matter of pride.

It’s coming.

More Good News For Saint Paul’s Poor!

Fred Melo in the PiPress:

So – a fake “faith” non-profit is actively campaigning for a policy that’s made poverty even more miserable and costly in Saint Paul?

You mean, exactly as they’ve campaigned for policies that increase crime, destroy entry-level jobs, and turn the city into a warehouse for the poor?

Whyl, it’s almost as though ISAIAH is a fraud or something…

“I’m From The Government, And I’m Here To Hinder The Wrong People”

A longtime friend of the blog emails:

Yes, thank you, CM Mitra Jalai Nelson. The city has not yet done enough to my neighborhood to prevent growth and development here.

We need to continue to run out those evil box stores and gas stations through minimum wage increases, zoning, and destroying streets to reduce people coming here to spend money. Then, we need to turn our back on the crime increases to ensure that people who possibly would invest here decide against it. Any other thoughts as to what the city could do to continue to prevent growth and development opportunities, er I mean gentrification, in our poorest neighborhoods?

Oh, make sure that it’s impossible to drive in or out, or park when you get here! And make sure transit is malevolent, expensive and keeps the peasants in their place!

Any more?

Listening to the celebration over the demise of the Midway Walmart, combined with the awkward lack of comment or facile rationaliation, about the 330 jobs, mostly for lower-income, often immigrant, workers, kinda told you everything you need to know about Ms. Jalali Nelson and the rest of the City Council.

Kudos

To: Mayor Melvin Carter, the City Council, and Mayors and Councilors going back 30 years, except Norm Coleman
From: Mitch Berg, deplorable peasant
Re: Here

You’ve all given us years of obsessive emphasis and spending on virtue-signaling programs to appease upper-middle-class progressives – “Resilience”, bikeability, making the city less habitable for cars, as well as focusing on toxic trifles like pushing up the minimum wage (driving down employment), “sanctuary” (bringing more low-wage, low-skill labor to the city, driving down wages for poor, low-skill workers right here), light rail (destroying more jobs and businesses and increasing blight) and “density” (of housing for upper-middle-class progs), taking money and city attention from public safety.

Spending less on police; carrying on his predecessors’ policy of failing to up-charge gun offenders, basically abandoning pursuit of property crimes, keeping the city focused on punishing property owners rather than criminals, and acting as if there’s really no problem.

And while you and city council don’t run the public school system, they are part of the same political machine that does. The ongoing collapse of the public school system (except for a few islands where the relatively few children of the “high density” progressive caste go, when they don’t go to private school) is correlated with crime in the community. They knew this in New York in the sixties; kids who graduate with terrible educations (as St. Paul kids increasingly do) and limited prospects for the undereducated (as Saint Paul increasingly has) are more vulnerable to being enticed into crime, gangs, and becoming part of the blight. As the schools get worse (and they are, and nothing the School Board is doing will ever stop it), it’ll contribute more to the city’s blight. And while blight may not cause crime, you don’t have to be a sociologist to note the correlation.

As a result? Calls go unanswered, crimes go unsolved, property gets less secure, people who value secure property move elsewhere, “high density” makes housing less affordable while housing policy drives down values outside the high density areas, making owning property in the city a terrible investment, spurring more flight and more blight. Violent crime, defying a nationwide down trend, is surging.

It’s the same recipe that made San Francisco and Manhattan unlivable for people making less than mid six figures and drove out poor people to the inner ‘burbs; it’s in the process of doing the same for Seattle and Portland, while making vast swathes of Newark, Camden, Baltimore, Chicago, North Minneapolis and other cities into blighted shooting galleries.
None of it’s new.

And the voters of this city will keep voting you, your council, and the same policies into office. Just watch.

Not sure how you all pulled it off – getting a lifetime sinecure for jobs you’re currently failing at, and have been for decades, and I’m gonna bet you continue to fail at.

Kudos.

That is all.

When All You Have Is A Hammer…

A friend of the blog writes:

The past week, neighborhood social media has been worked up over a shot fired at the Hamline light rail station. Reports are varied on what actually happened. And, yes, gun shots and other violence that is caused by gang activity, drug addiction, etc is scary. I really would rather not encounter it. Hundreds of comments blaming the BP gas station.
But, the hysteria reminds me of last year’s frenzy over the Starbucks drive through off of Marshall Avenue. Yes, a bad driver not paying attention can pull out and hit a pedestrian or bicyclist. And it could be a young person who doesn’t quite yet master the skill of looking at the surroundings. It could be an elderly person who can’t move out of the way fast enough.
I wouldn’t want my loved ones to die any of these ways.
What do both of these have in common? In both cases, the pitchfork crowd is screaming to shut down the business versus deal with the actual problem.
There are bad drivers out there. Ticket them. Fine them. Take away their license. Starbucks and the drive through is not the issue.
There are bad people out there. Arrest them. Rehab them or keep them in jail. Walmart, Taco Bell, BP are not the problems (unless the BP at Hamline is indeed a front, then the franchise owner is also to blame. They are apparently selling something the city council banned, so there is that).
Why can we not admit that there are bad people and we need to do something about them, not everyone?

Ooh! Ooh! I got this one!

Because Saint Paul is run, in effect, by a crowd of biddies and ninnies from Merriam and Highland Parks whose entire frame of reference is organizing to get rid of things in Their Backyards that annoy them.

Smoky bars.

Hot rods on University Avenue during Back to the Fifties.

Trash truck rolling their alleys.

Any business that crosses them.

Pretty soon, snowplows in the alley.

It’s really all these people know.

Chain Of Command

A friend of the blog writes:

When the Highland Park dwelling Executive Director for Union Park District Council wags his finger at people asking what they can do to get vagrants away from their bedroom windows, telling them “just advocate for more housing” and the reality is, these vagrants don’t want housing, they just want freedom to shoot up wherever, whenever- 

Mr. Long – who, as a “district council” employee is in effect a double-A farm club player for the Saint Paul DFL machine – will never have to face any consequences for his belief, since homeless, addicted people are worth more to his real bosses, the DFL, as drug-addicted vagrants than not.

Great Job, Mel

St Paul has a resiliency officer, socialized trash collection, and bike lanes in places where bikes rarely if ever go.

What does st paul not have?

Well, starting next month, a Walmart. And the 333 jobs that go with it:

“The decision is based on several factors including the store’s overall performance,” Tiffany Wilson, a Walmart spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The Walmart Supercenter slated to close is located near the Snelling Avenue inters

The store first opened in 2004. About 333 employees will lose their jobs, the company told a state agency.

Walmart, and retail in general, have been shrinking. But the fact that this store is one of 20 being closed this year out of Walmart’s current inventory of 4000 stores, Should tell us something.

And just you watch  the Merriam Park crones and cronies who call the shots in St. Paul will call this a Good Thing.

Since Tony-Soprano-Style Trash Collection Was Such A Success…

Around November 1 of every year, ever since I’ve lived in my house in the early ’90s, the guy who somehow inherited the job of “block captain” on our block drops an envelope in everyone’s door with a flyer asking for $20 to cover snow plowing.

It’s the biggest bargain – one of the few bargains left – in Saint Paul; he gives it to a plow driver. The driver lives on the block – so he literally needs to plow our driveway to get to work anyway.

So anytime there’s more than a dusting of snow, our alley is plowed to a fine sheen. And since side streets in my neighborhood are only plowed by the sun in April, the fact that our guy blasts out the street on the east side of the block to get to Minnehaha (a city snow emergency route) is almost literally a lifesaver.

Of course, it’s something that works – which, in a one-party kleptocracy like Saint Paul, means someone’s gotta try to appropriate it.

The same Merriam Park harpies that jammed down the smoking ban (years before the rest of the state) and, most recently, Tony-Soprano-style trash hauling, have been nattering away about socializing alley plowing for the past fifteen years.

It’s flying about as well as…well, the trash system:

Consultants from the University of Minnesota found little public appetite for the level of services the city likely would be able to offer.
Most residents who contract private alley plowers said they were unwilling to pay more than $15 per season for the city to complete the same service, and they expressed concern that the city might actually provide less snow removal and only plow after snow emergencies.
“Respondents will expect the city to plow the alleys after each snowfall or after a 2-inch snowfall, alleys to be plowed at the same time as main streets or at the same time as residential streets,” states a study summary. “Residents will be willing to pay an amount that would not be more than the amount they are currently paying, or less than $15 per season.”

Of course, the fact that real people who live in Saint Paul don’t want it is no defense; the little pack of “woke” Merriam Park biddies who burned countless hours of their worthless labor banning smoking in bars they never went to, and jamming down a trash collection system nobody wants – have sent their little hive minds on it.

For St. Paul to remove alley snow, consultants estimated $3.1 million in one-time start-up costs, such as new plow trucks, and $4.8 million in ongoing annual costs for labor, maintenance, training and recruitment.
That’s a total cost of $7.9 million in year one alone — or more than $100 for each of the city’s 74,000 households. Adding in business storefronts would reduce the cost.

Except to the businesses. Those few that are left, anyway. And that cost will be passed on to consumers – again, the few that are left.

But it’ll happen. Mark my words.

That Moment When…

…you see a headline on social media that you just swear has to be from Babylon Bee, but it’s not:

St. Paul school board members aren’t paid enough, St. Paul school board members say

But sure enough, it’s a real story. Or as real as the mainstream media gets, anyway.

Of course, they preside over a crumbling district with one of the worst achievement gaps in the country, on a board that serves mostly as a DFL farm team.

But it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses:

Board members get $10,800 per year, which is less than what comparably sized metro districts pay. However, members are eligible for district health insurance; those who sign up get a premium subsidy that’s worth $9,643 this year.
Jon Schumacher and Mary Vanderwert, who are leaving the board next year after serving one four-year term, gave the strongest endorsements for a raise at a meeting Wednesday evening.
“I feel very strongly that there really does need to be an increase so we can make sure that we have people who have passion, who have expertise and who aren’t going to feel that serving on this board is going to make it impossible for them to meet their financial needs,” Schumacher said.
Vanderwert suggested a salary increase of $5,000 or more.
“I definitely think it’s time for us to do this,” she said. “It’s the most important work a community does, and the board positions need to be attractive to high-quality people.”

Full (but unneeded) disclosure – I worked with Mary Vanderwert a loooong time ago. Perfectly fine human being, although there’s that whole “SPPS School Board member” thing.

Did I mention the Joneses?

…Anoka-Hennepin, pays between $14,400 and $15,600, depending on the board member’s role, human resources director Laurin Cathey said.
Minneapolis, the third-largest district, pays $22,000.
Most board members make $9,000 in Osseo, $7,236 in St. Cloud, $7,200 in Bloomington and $5,000 in Brooklyn Center, Cathey said.
Cathey also looked at St. Paul’s national peers and found school board members receive no pay in either Des Moines, Iowa, or Portland, Ore.

I wondered if they bothered comparing school board pay to graduation rates, minority achievement or percent of students who need remedial classes in college?

And maybe correlate that with ideological distribution of the school board’s members?

Hmmmmm.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

“Why Does Anyone Need More Than Six Shots?”

Because you don’t want to run out of bullets before your attacker runs out of attack.

Three armed home invaders shoot man on the East Side, tie up woman, scare the hell out of the kids:

Police say three suspects broke into the house armed with a gun.
Investigators were surveying the scene of the crime Thursday, after a home invasion left a man shot in the leg and his girlfriend tied up. The man who was shot is expected to be alright.
Police say the victims were staying overnight at a relative’s house.
“These are terrifying and traumatic events to have happen,” St. Paul Police spokesperson Steve Linders said. “Also concerning is that they found two young children in the house that were present during the robbery.”
The children, however, were not harmed.

By the way – during the dog days of summer, it’s important not to be an idiot.

Linders says home invasions in the city are rare. Investigators think a social media post by the man that was shot may have played a role in this crime.
“Our investigators think it could be tied to a Facebook post that the victim made recently he had been on a successful trip to Las Vegas and posted about it,” Linders said.
Security expert Mark Lanterman, who is not affiliated with this specific investigation, says it’s a reminder that posting online about expensive belongings or cash can get you in trouble, but also if you share you’re leaving town or on vacation.
“It’s very important to be very careful about in the details you share on social media,” Lanterman said. “Burglars know hey you’re out of town now you’re an easy target so think before you post.”

I’m always home, and I’ve always got an AR15 in one hand and a .44 Magnum in the other.

Hurt Feelings

A friend of the blog writes:

Betty McCollum doesn’t like the language in this application for Grant money for ShotSpotter.
In a July 19 e-mail to City Council members, Chief of Staff Bill Harper wrote that the application “paints a picture that our office feels is not reflective of the city and the people of St. Paul. Furthermore, the inaccurate manner in which the Green Line is characterized undermines the necessary work to advance transit funding.”
The e-mail compared language in the grant application to how President Donald Trump talks about U.S. cities.
I wish she would spend some time in the neighborhoods along the Green Line sometime. Walk around at night. Do some police ride-alongs. Ride the train at night.

“Telling the truth about Democrat governance” is “racist”, these days.

Great Job, Saint Paul

The steady trickle of Saint Paul traditions being extinguished by taxes and roaming teams of weasel lawyers and pet plaintiffs continues. The original Snuffy’s is next:

[Snuff’s marketing director Dana] Bach said the decision to close was based on a combination of factors: a rent increase, property tax increases and ADA compliance issues. “It’s making it tough for us to continue operating at this location,” she said.

Of course, Snuffy’s continues to operate elsewhere – Edina, Minnetonka and Bloomington.

But then, that’s the point. Like Saint Paul eateries, old and new, pretty much anyplace is a greener pasture, these days.

Speed Bump In The Alley

A judge has ruled that Saint Paul’s Tony-Soprano-style trash collection system violates the city charter:

Ramsey County District Judge Leonardo Castro ordered that the system be suspended June 30 until voters can decide whether it should continue.
“It’s huge,” said attorney Greg Joseph, who represents three residents who sued the city. “It’s the right thing. We’re very, very happy.”

Last year, the City Council rejected a petition from residents to put the issue up for a vote, prompting some to file suit earlier this year asking for judicial intervention.

Between the lines, Judge Castro ruled exactly as many of us had been saying since the beginning; that the system was a violation of the city’s charter:

The city’s charter allows residents to petition to have ordinances put up for a vote. Critics of the city’s organized trash system gathered 6,469 signatures asking that residents be allowed to vote on the ordinance governing collection, the judge said.

“… A city’s charter is, in effect, its local constitution,” Castro wrote. “… Here, there is no evidence in the record that the petition presented in October 2018 was deficient in anyway. [City leaders] concede that the petition was sufficient. Consequently, it was an improper exercise of power for the Council to refuse to place the Referendum on the November 2019 ballot.”

More and more, Saint Paul’s government seems to look up to Chicago as its role model.

In the meantime – half of the haulers that were pummeled into the system have left, with many of the smaller haulers being swallowed up by larger, out of town jobbers:

A mix of small companies and big corporations were among the 15 haulers that signed a contract with the city in November 2017. Seven remain, including three based outside Minnesota.
The number of haulers will soon drop again. Last month, Waste Management announced it had bought Florida-based Advanced Disposal Services.
The retreat of haulers is happening despite the city’s pledge to preserve small businesses in the transition to organized trash collection.
“The city chose to pursue a consortium option to ensure all garbage haulers — of any size — could maintain their current market share in providing services to St. Paul residents,” Lisa Hiebert, a spokeswoman for St. Paul Department of Public Works, said in a statement. “This approach was reflective of the feedback we heard from the community, and what was represented in the final council resolution.”

“Unexpectedly”, of course.

Unless you’ve paid any attention to other such “partnerships”.

How Not To Defend Yourself

Vincent Nesta Trotter. an eastside Saint Paul homeowner who shot a guy who was alleged to have crashed a stolen car and fled from police, has given us an object lesson on what not to do in a self-defense situation.

Remember – when claiming self-defense, you have to prove you were in reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm, you tried to disengage, you used only the force you needed to end the lethal threat, and (when outside your home) made a reasonable effort to disengage.

And if, heaven forfend, you are in a shooting that you believe fits those criteria (and in Minnesota, it had better)? My first carry permit instructor, the late Joel Rosenberg, drilled it into his students’ heads; when talking to the police, say only:

I want to talk to a lawyer. I don’t consent to a search.

That – and pointing out evidence and witnesses who attest the fact that you met those four criteria above – are all you say.

You do that so evidence that you violated at least three of those four criteria doesn’t wind up in front of the entire jury pool in the local media. As it seems to have done for Mr. Trotter:

The complaint says Trotter followed police instructions and put the gun on the ground, telling officers, “I pull up and he’s by my door.” The complaint states he also said, “I told him don’t move, he moves, and I let 3 or 4 rounds go. I see blood, so I think I hit him. I tried to hit him. I carry a 45.”
Officers identified the man who was shot as the suspect in the auto theft incident, and believed that he had fled police not long ago. He denied that, but told police that he was walking through the yard at Trotter’s address when a man pulled up in a vehicle and began yelling. He told police he heard shots and got on the ground. He said he was walking away and the man yelled, “Don’t turn around,” then started shooting.

And as if that’s not bad enough:

Surveillance footage shows the shooting victim walk up onto Trotter’s porch and sit down, never attempting to get inside the home. When Trotter’s vehicle pulls up five minutes later, the video shows the victim walk down the porch steps and take about two steps toward Trotter. His hands are visible and away from his body.
The video then shows the man walking away from Trotter, “looking back over his left shoulder as he retreated,” the complaint states, and then Trotter advancing and a muzzle flash from the gun.
Trotter continues to advance with his gun in a “high ready position” while saying something.
“It is clear from the video that (the victim) was retreating away from Trotter as Trotter fired his handgun,” the complaint says.

I’m no lawyer (dear God, thanks) and Mr. Trotter is innocent until proven guilty.

But to the casual observer, it’d seem that Mr. Trotter was not in immediate threat of death or any kind of harm – the guy was walking away and seemed (according to the media report) to show no signs of being armed. He made no effort to retreat – quite the opposite.

We don’t know how the trial (or plea-bargaining) is going to go, but the moral of the story is this: if you’re going to carry a firearm for self-defense, learn the law. And figure out if it’s something you’ve got the temperament to do.

Silence Is Golden

When the police and prosecutors talk with you in relation to allegations of criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer to keep you from saying something stupid or even just inadvertent that can end up putting you in jail.  

And it doesn’t even have to be anything you say to the cops. 

A few  years ago, during the “Black LIves Matter” protest at Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct, a fellow with a carry permit, Alan Scarsella,  shot and wounded someone from a group of protesters that was chasing him.   His fear of immediate death and great bodily harm was real; he attempted to retreat, running a whole block before firing back; he used the force needed to end the threat (the chase stopped cold when he fired).  

But on the way to the protest, he and his idiot friends made some videos, including some statements (which may or may not have been quotes) that the county prosecutor managed to get before the jury as racist provocations that, in the end, negated Scarsella’s attempt to prove that he wasn’t the aggressor in the jury’s eyes.  He got convicted and sentenced to seven years.  

So if you’re a good guy or gal with a gun who, heaven forfend, winds up shooting someone in self-defense, everything you say can and will be used against you – even things you say long before the episode in question, unrelated to the shooting.  

I thought about that when the media started covering this story – a Saint Paul homeowner shot a suspected car thief. 

And what picture did the Strib, and then every single gun-grabber group, run with?

Photo via the Strib’s Sharon Prather.

From the Strib, with emphasis added:

A 36-year-old man with a gun was with the suspect when police arrived, and he identified himself to officers as the homeowner, police said. He cooperated with the investigation and was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Police found the man who had been shot in the side yard of the house after hearing gunfire, said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
A sign in the window of the house read, “No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!” The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.

The guy – guys, really – are innocent until proven guilty. And Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect.

But will the police and county attorney – who both cordially detest the law-abiding gun owner and dislike the notion of the Good Guy With A Gun, use this sign as evidence to logroll a jury, if necessary, into believing that the homeowner, whatever the actual situation, was looking for a chance to use his right to keep and bear arms on someone who “had it coming”?

Yes.

Why embroider it?

If you are a gun owner who is concerned about self-defense, it is imperative that you stop writing on social media, putting stickers on your car, or posting your house with signs talking about what you intend to do to alleged criminals with your firearms.

It’s the same thing I wrote back when I did own guns. I’d never buy another, of course. Guns terrify me.

Where Will I Go When I Want To Watch Drunk People Fighting Over Laundry Hampers?

The Midway Walmart is a former K-Mart, with all that implies. It’s a great place to go if you want a look at customer service from the old East Germany. It’s basically a small Walmart, with fewer groceries and more inner-urban dysfunction.

And now, via Fred Melo at the PiPress:

My fearless (and likely balderdash) prediction: both sites will sit, unchanged, for the next five years.

Then, Major League Soccer (or at least the Minnesota club) will fold, and all three sites will sit vacant (or blighted, in Walmart’s case) for a decade or two while various inner-city power interests argue for decades.

Unexpected, Part MCLVIII

When Saint Paul opted for Tony-Soprano-style trash collection, they used a “formula” more or less like the Five Families used to divvy up racketeering in New York and New Jersey; each of the trash haulers got a slice of the city more or less equal to their market share.

This meant there was no “need” to compete for customers – and also no benefit in competing for customers.

Some small trash haulers just pulled out of Saint Paul without any further ado.

Others?

Eventually, Saint Paul is going to have three trash haulers – BFI, Waste Management and maybe Aspen. They will have monopolies in their territories, costs will rise, customer service will eventually worsen…

…oh, wait. Who said “eventually?”