Skip to comments.Block-thrower damages car & shakes activist's view of Sarasota [or liberal meets concrete block]
Posted on 05/05/2006 8:01:45 AM PDT by dukeman
On April 12, a Wednesday, a boulder-size concrete block was hurled at my car as I passed the Janie Poe public-housing complex on Central Avenue in Sarasota's Newtown. [The predominantly black neighborhood north of downtown.]
It narrowly missed the windshield and, after swerving out the way of oncoming traffic, I hotheadedly pulled a U-turn back toward the 15 or so youths -- who appeared to be 12- to 18-year-olds -- standing in front of and just beyond the wall of an apartment at the edges of Janie Poe. I turned into 23rd Street and called 911, and several of the youths came at the car with a barrage of smaller rocks. This time I did not think twice about speedily getting out of there. The 911 dispatcher told me to go home and that an officer would be there to take a report if I chose.
Awhile later at home, after yet another call to 911 by my husband, wondering where the officers were, two patrolmen showed up. I hurriedly explained the incident, thinking that we would drive back to the scene and that I would show them the where and who of it all. Instead, the officers admonished me for having been on Central in the first place. Their solution was for me never to drive on Central again and instead stay on U.S. 41, where I belonged. Perhaps misunderstanding that our similar skin colors suggested that we were of one mind, one said that if Janie Poe were to catch on fire overnight it wouldn't be a bad thing. Coincidentally, as we stood there, a radio call came in saying a police car was under attack on the same corner by youths throwing boulders.
The officers wrote all of it off to criminal mischief. I liken it more to assault with a deadly weapon. The cinder block was not simply tossed from beyond a wall; my car was singled out by a youth who ran up to and alongside it and hurled the block purposefully, leaving a crater on the hood.
Until then my daily trek along Central had been a benign journey home, but the incident has shaken my sense of where and why I live here. I can't ignore the irony of this incredibly philanthropic city, which lulls us into a false sense of security that life is so good in Sarasota and aren't we all doing a lot for the community?
I don't operate in a vacuum, and it's bad enough that if I ever wanted to buy drugs in this town, or pay for sex, I wouldn't have to think twice about exactly which corner I should head to, passing it every day as I head downtown.
But sadly, Janie Poe is just one sharp example of the rampant income inequality in Sarasota,and the boulder-throwing an illustration of the complexities we face throughout our community. I've seen various politicians show up at Janie Poe for photo-ops in recent years, and I've read about the wretched conditions the residents face. Recently, I had read an article in West Coast Woman about Valerie Buchand, a community activist who works tirelessly for the rights of Janie Poe residents. So I called her.
Ms. Buchand said policing in and around Janie Poe has been a problem for years, and wondered "who the police are working for." She said that the laws should be for everyone, and that they \[the police\] could care less what happens within the environs of the public-housing project and that if this happened on Lido Key the response would be anything but nonchalant. Ms. Buchand hardly condoned the acts of the children, saying that if their mothers knew what they were up to, they would take them to task. She urged me to speak up about what happened.
I'm aware of the good work that the relatively new police Chief Peter Abbott is doing since his arrival in late 2002. So I called him and reached his assistant, who was duly dismayed at the incident. I offered to send along a draft of this missive for his response, rather than elicit a reaction after the fact. She seemed appreciative, but I have received no reply.
My first reaction is to indict law enforcement; the police are supposed to uphold the law, not make excuses based on where one drives. What on earth is going to happen when Wal-Mart opens on U.S. 301? Will people need to avoid Janie Poe and circumnavigate that part of town because the police would prefer that the project burned rather than participate in real policing to keep all our neighborhoods safe?
But for me it's clearly only part of the problem. Why should it be unsafe to drive on any road in Sarasota at midday, and why are these children growing up in an environment where the pastime of throwing rocks into traffic is OK?
I've been thru Sarasota a few times over the years.
I didn't even know there was a black area of Sarasota!
Wasn't it in Sarasota that somebody tried to run over a congresswoman?
'Cause air-headed Liberals have been setting social policy for about 40 or 50 years.
Nothing seems to focus her mind. A breezeblock on the bonnet and she's STILL groping for such tropes as societal causes and the whole cycle of poverty.
Recalls to mind talking to Boca Raton cops about 'Pearl City'....Their remarks were someting like-----Throw a bunch of guns 'over the wall' and let them kill each other...and that was nigh on to 20 years ago!...Things Change??? Nah...
...and there you have it.
Facts are facts. Liberal minds like this are one of the reasons she has places like this in her town.
She in fact should use some common sense and avoid those areas of town, while at the same time realizing that she needs to support hard nosed, conservative representatives and police chiefs who are then free to address such areas, holding the people who are "throwing the block parties" responsible for their actions and incarcerating them.
No, she should indict the criminals, not law enforcement, for such incidents, and then indict herself for ham stringing law enforcement with officials who do not address the real issues...instead making them worse with their liberal, blame someone else, we want it all now, attitudes.
Actually, she doesn't seem to have learned very much. I don't expect her to be voting Republican any time soon. As for quoting one of the police officers talking about the project burning down, I think she's an ungrateful b**** to put that out in public and probably get the officer in trouble, when he was only being frank about police policy. He doesn't make policy, I'm sure, and his honesty shouldn't be used to get him into trouble.
Florida-worst state ever! A few years ago a teacher from Alabama was killed vacationing in Florida by some thugs who THREW A BOWLING BALL on her car from an overpass. It went through the windshield and she was killed instantly. They were juveniles, probably out by now.
Not to worry, one of your most hated ideals, CAPITALISM, will force a cleanup of the whole neighborhood.
The rest of us have known for years that your most treasured insitution, BIG GOVERNMENT, is far too weak and ineffective.
But in your heart, you knew that too. Stop lying to youself, and others.
The solution to this problem seems a no brainer....no pun intended.
Notice that she didn't say "parents" or, heaven forbid, "fathers."
Hello and welcome to reality...
This was a good article until I got to this sentence. I don't think "income inequality" is really the issue here, and I don't think the problem is incredible complex either. The problem is moral, not economic.
Definition of a Conservative, is a Liberal that's been mugged.
I didn't even know there was a black area of Sarasota!
Yes, there's a historically black portion of town. I grew up in Sarasota and I have to say it is still quite segregated. Ecohomic disparities persist. An interesting new element is that Wal-Mart will be building a supercenter right in the middle of the district (known as Newtown) on polluted land it is buying cheaply from the city. There's been lots of public debate about this and all the usual lib suspects have shown up to put in their two cents.
It will be like in French cities and towns where various Islamic areas operate under Sharia law and no gendarmes nor the public ever dare to tread.
In your Sarasota adventure you just experienced a portent of things to come.
True, but it is a start on her road to recovery from the diease of 'liberalism'. Unfortunately, it will take more incidents like this to happen to her before she sees the light.
"Janie Poe is just one sharp example of the rampant income inequality in Sarasota,and the boulder-throwing an illustration of the complexities we face throughout our community."
Yeah, they learned their lesson and she is alive again...NOT.
Any conservative living in Democratic county knows exactly what you mean.
phones = phony (hic)
It's reactions like the writer's that allows this kind of nonsense to continue. Introspection instead of outrage. Nothing I'm sure more money for Newtown won't fix. Can't wait to read Fred's reaction to this.
Yes. The congresswoman was Katherine Harris. She was standing on the corner of a major intersection in town, holding up 2004 campaign signs with a group of her supporters. A loony Dem intentionally swerved toward them with his car, causing the folks to spring out of his way. When he was arrested he admitted doing it intentionally. He spent a little time in lock up, got his arrest report plastered on the Internet, and I believe disposed of the case through some sort of pre-trial diversion program (he agrees to stay out of trouble).
But it really is a wonderful town. You should visit here and spend lots of money! :-)
Or a cinder block through the windshield.
Silly liberal! Boulder throwing is for orges!
A boulder would not leave a dent in the hood. A boulder would have pressed your engine block into the pavement.
I have never read such mind numbed claptrap in my life. I guess Liberalism really IS a mental Disease...........
Amen! Truer words...
Every time the cops try to go into places like that and clean them up, the parasitic residents and their "community activists" scream racism and howl about how the cops don't "respect" them.
And liberals like you (the author of this tripe) give them a great big megaphone to broadcast their rants and agree that the cops are only going into the projects because they hate blacks and want them all dead or in jail. Then you wring your hands about "root causes" and demand more laws to handcuff the police and keep them from putting this humps away. And of course, you demand more money be put into utterly failed social programs that only make the problem worse.
And on top of all that, when that Wal Mart opens, you'll probably be among the first to howl about how they're exploiting their workers and demand they be shut down.
"No, she should indict the criminals, not law enforcement, for such incidents, and then indict herself for ham stringing law enforcement with officials who do not address the real issues...instead making them worse with their liberal, blame someone else, we want it all now, attitudes."
I agree. I am old enough to remember when cops in cities walked a beat. They had that night stick, a gun, an attitude---and most of all, a badge that was completely respected. City streets were completely different place as a result. No one really wanted to challenge one of these cops. A person might feel stronger in some way than one of them as an individual---but you knew they would stick together as a group and prevail in any situation. It was a simple, concrete manifestation of law and order---right front of your eyes everyday.
Ideally, I'd like to see cops back on the beat again---on every street in every city in the country. First however, we'd have to get rid of all this politically correct nonsense that has tied the hands of the cops. Until somebody starts shooting or something like that, they don't want get involved anymore. And I don't blame them. It's hard enough just doing an ordinary job and being a regular citizen with all this politically correct nonsense everywhere. Being a policeman---in the old sense of the word---is impossible.
It is true that there were some bad apples on the police force, and that was something of a burden to the community. I remember a cop who used to come in to the fast food place where I worked and act obnoxious, and abuse the fact that we gave the police free food.
But the reality of life is, when you have as many people crowded in as you do in a city, there's going to be some small group of people who are "ruling the roost". Most of us would gladly put up with the imperfections of the police---compared to the gangsters ruling the sidewalks of city streets now days.
You are 1000% correct. This newspaper takes every opportunity to dig at Harris. They've dropped all pretense of balance or neutrality (imagine just reporting news!). Sarasota County is highly Republican, although Dem voter registration has been gaining lately. Say, perhaps their party can sign up these concrete block throwers......
driving while white?
I believe it will be torn down, perhaps as part of this affordable housing issue which is currently percolating through the county.
Say, have you noticed lately how the paper keeps throwing in Atkins' nickname, "Glossie"? What's the deal with that?
next time mow 'em down with your auto......only a traffic ticket and 4 points......
That only applies if you're trying to run over Katherine Harris.
I noticed she didn't say anything about all of the poor "Mothers" of these little bastards out throwing rocks at her. Most of those kids are illegitimate (73% of black babies) and don't stand a snowballs chance in hell of breaking out of the poverty they didn't ask to be born into. Education of them is the key, and the libs won't allow vouchers in Florida... in a way it is sad the writer of the article didn't lose a few teeth from the rocks, that would have changed the whole texture of her silly-assed article and made for some interesting reading.
I think we need to amend that famous observation with a qualification: a conservative is an intelligent liberal who's been mugged. As this writer proves by her statement blaming society for the boulder hurling thugs' behavior, she is neither conservative, nor intelligent nor even liberal in the classic sense of the word: she's just another dumb racial paternalist who thinks that african-americans aren't capable of exercising free will and conducting themselves in a civilized way unless whitey gives them enough goodies to bribe them out of moral turpitude.
To her, black folks are akin to brain-damaged children who cannot be held responsible for their actions, as any member of any other racial,ethnic,national or social group on the planet would be.If she were attacked by a roving gang of left-handed Lithuanian Lutherans you can rest assured she would be holding them personally accountable and not blaming the cops for any failure to restrain them from pursuing this felonious misconduct with more midnight basketball programs or other racially paternialistic "remedies." .
As the attitude in her article suggests, she just doesn't think that black kids are capable of decent conduct unless & until government lavishes bucket-loads of cash on them in an effort to civilize them. Outrageous. What does she think melanin is? Some malignant substance that paralyzes the moral conscience? If I were one of the african-american moms I would be almost as offended by this woman's patently racist attitudes as I was by my child's violent behavior.
Funny you say that. A buddy of mine used to work in the State Attorney's Office (the name for prosecutors in Florida) in Sarasota. He used to joke that a white guy in a van in this part of town was probable cause for the cops to suspect a drug deal. And a good joke always contains a kernel of truth.
I grew up in Sarasota and, except for attending college, have spent about 47 years here. Yes, there are big social and economic separations, but (believe it or not) I've seen improvement. I can't argue with your underlying premise. I just wouldn't have stated it as strongly as you. I'll bet you're a real hoot at city commission meetings! :-)
Did you see where the Young Professionals Club rallied in favor of the affordable housing initiative? Young professionals need subsidized housing too? LOL
Now I read where they're going to force owners, when they want to sell their affordable housing, to sell at the same price they purchased it for. Unbelievable. No incentive to maintain or improve their property. Guaranteed to create another ghetto. Our commissioners are absolutely clueless. They run as republicans but they are socialists through and through.
As for "Glossie"....apparently this was his mothers name so in honor of her, he's taken it on as a middle name. Fred's a piece of work. The SH!T interviewed him about his plans as mayor and he said he will be focused on disparity in wealth, affordable housing and racism. Thank goodness the mayor doesn't have any power.
As a Massachusetts conservative, I can tell you, you got that right.
Say, with a name like geezerwheezer shouldn't you be living down in Florida already? Bring cash and a pistol.....