Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Chuck

"The Sun has this article about the Perkins Homes shooting:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-fatal0625,0,6597627.story

And at the end, it says, "Dante Jeter, 21, of the 3700 block of E. Pratt
St. was arrested Tuesday and faces first-degree murder and other charges
in the May 4, 2008, death of Tyrone Freeman, of the 4800 block of
Frankford Ave."

Interesting, because one Arthur Jeter, then 18, of the 3700 block of E.
Pratt St., pleaded guilty for the attack on Zach Sowers.

Coincidence?"

18 comments:

ppatin said...

Sounds to me like the Jeter family of the 3700 block of E. Pratt Street needs to be sterlized so that they can't produce anymore of their demonspawn.

Mr. Mephistopheles said...

In addition, the Jeters' landlord (Summerfield Investment Group) also needs to get the f**k out of the Section 8 rental business. The principal of this LLC owns 100+ properties around Patterson Park, Highlandtown, and McElderry Park- many of which are occupied by known criminals.

Cham said...

Years ago I said in a comments section somewhere that Perkins needed to go. A bunch of people showed up to say that Perkins has had a low crime rate and is one of the better public housing projects. Since my comments I've visited Perkins Homes. I'm one of those people that can smell trouble a mile away and that place is trouble, the residents don't smile and they don't talk to anyone which is unlike most other neighborhoods in this city. Since my comments there have been many murders at Perkins Homes as well as other types of crime (I'm not including confused suburbanite teens found mysteriously expired next to dumpsters either).

I'm going to hold on my statement, Perkins needs to go. It's a great location and some yuppie somewhere is going to want to be there and pay the city bigtime in taxes. I say we solve the problem and increase revenue. We did it for Flag House next door, we can do it again.

ppatin said...

There was an old episode of Homicide where a cop makes a remark to the effect of "the only way to police these projects is with napalm." That's pretty much how I feel about the Perkins Homes. All the Section 8ers to the North of Little Italy aren't particularly desirable either.

Paige said...

um hello commenters above, so just where shall the current residents LIVE in your plans to do away with the perkins homes? its not like by removing them the residents or their problems and promise disappear. where do THEY go?

there are bad guys there but they have to go somewhere to.. even if it's to jail with a stricter sentence next time they rob someone with a gun.

you can't just make the impoverished disappear.

Paige said...

also i'd further like to note that i work with some residents of these homes in certain social programs and i know of a sweet, caring perkins resident headed to MICA next year. don't write off an entire group.

tom_brown_of_baltimore said...

buldoze 'em

Cameron said...

The easiest solution to dealing with the current tenants of these homes was already stated...napalm. And yes, you should do it at 4 or 5 in the morning when everyone is back home to make sure you get all of them! If you move them, then you are just moving the problem to another area of the city...which is exactly what has happened around Hopkins.

Cham said...

Public Housing projects have a problem. Go to Perkins and take a good look around. Sure there are some great people in there, but the set-up is the issue. You have dark courtyards that allow for people to congregate in groups and almost no way for the police or security personnel to monitor what goes on because there is no way to get a vehicle in there. If you go to Perkins Homes courtyards you will see some pretty cagey characters huddled in the dirty lot which residents once used to congregate and hang clothes. The residents are now too scared to leave their homes. The courtyards are now areas where criminals from both outside and inside the housing project come to plan whatever they want with no oversight and also carry out their criminal activity. The residents can be relocated anywhere they want, there is plenty of section 8 publicly funded housing out there for them, this isn't a community build in on an island. Baltimore has 60,000 vacant properties for Christ sakes. We relocated the residents of Lexington Terrace, Flag House and Murphy Homes and most of those people had their bags packed in a jiffy.

Housing projects were designed during the Johnson administration. The plan was to warehouse poor people in one concentrated urban area in badly constructed units and leave them to rot out of sight and out of mind of the middleclass. Johnson's Great Society give the criminals a place to plot, plan and terrorize which is why we have spent so much money taking these projects down and putting the poor people somewhere else.

Perkins Homes and Flag House came into existence by eminent domaining an Italian and Jewish neighborhood filled with solid upstanding citizen homeowners. I'm sure we can eminent domain the poor rental inhabitants just as fast if we put our minds to it.

ppatin said...

Cham:

Section 8 vouchers are the WORST possible way to deal with the issue since they simply spread the crap around and help destroy previously good neighborhoods. The best thing we could do (aside from getting rid of public housing and making people *gasp* pay their own way) would be to concentrate it all in a small number of areas, ideally in sections of the city that have already gone to shit.

ppatin said...

"In addition, the Jeters' landlord (Summerfield Investment Group) also needs to get the f**k out of the Section 8 rental business."

The US government needs to get out of the Section 8 business! Stop making productive citizens subsidize parasites!

Cham said...

Ppatin:

Concentrating the poor in very small areas and leave them unmonitored is exactly what Johnson did. The result? 200 murders per year. Baltimore is on schedule to win the murder award for 2009. There are better ways, and I'm not suggesting sprinkling the poor in middleclass neighborhoods either. I am big on a 3 strikes and your out rule for anyone getting a voucher though.

ppatin said...

Cham:

What are the better ways? We can either concentrate people together in housing projects, spread them out with housing vouchers, or simply abolish public housing. Oh yeah, there's also the napalm option I mentioned earlier but that probably won't fly.

Cham said...

I think it is probably time for the government to get out of the public housing game. It isn't something the government has ever done very well. Years ago it wasn't unusual to have 12 people living in a 2 bedroom house, they do that in Hong Kong and Sao Paulo now. Maybe lots of people in one house wasn't the smartest of ideas years ago but hygiene has improved considerably since then, we do have indoor plumbing, trash services and sewage systems in 2009. I don't think we as a society will suffer if more people have to live in less space due to cost constraints.

John Galt said...

You're all missing the basic problem:

it's NOT the housing; it's the occupants.


Bulldozing the projects at Lexington Terrace sent to vermin up into my neighborhood, thank you.

You could put these people in the Taj Mahal and they'd turn it into a slum within a week.

The original notion of public housing arose after the Second War. Returning GI's needed housing, irrespective of their income. The original public projects had a very, very lengthy list of rules one had to obey, otherwise you were unceremoniously kicked out. Then the ACLU convinced the Feds that housing was an entitlement and that if it existed, its occupants were not subject to removal for lousy behavior.

Well, such people are a problem ANYwhere you allow them to exist.

So, yeah, napalm. The people, not the buildings.

On that subject, Baltimore City has way, way too many behavioral cases. It needs to lower the percentage of its total population who are behavioral cases.

That means restoring something akin to exile as a judicial remedy.

Finding 1: John Doe has committed crime on a fairly regular basis.

Finding 2: John Doe was convicted in Baltimore City.

Finding 3: If John Doe is to be released from prison, he must be reincarcerated should he ever reenter Baltimore City limits.

Solution: A lifetime city-specific general warrant for the arrest of all Maryland parolees/probationers if ever within Baltimore City limits because of overconcentration.

Cham said...

The problem with exiling problem causers is that Baltimore won't be the only city doing it. We may be getting rid of our own criminals but we would end up harboring the criminals of New York, Philadelphia and DC instead.

The big problem-makers in public housing units aren't the lease holders, it's their friends, relatives and acquaintances that come by to conduct business. And, yes, it is the public housing design that is the problem. With dark courtyards, multiple levels and stairwells they provide an enormous number of places to deal drugs, rob and terrorize. The residents are never property owners and often feel powerless not only as renters but because of their subsidized status, they don't want to make waves as whistle blowers.

When the city was studying the plan to get rid of Murphy Homes they found that most of those who had been arrested for criminal acts at the complex weren't associated with any resident there, the criminals simply found it a convenient hot spot to deal drugs and rob people. If you wanted to buy or sell drugs Murphy Homes was the place to go. The security team there rarely took action, the elevators were often broken and the residents were terrified. What's not to love?

If a lease holder commits a crime it is easy to get them evicted at a public housing project, but what if it is a cousin? A baby daddy? A grandson? How about a friend of a cousin? An acquaintance of a nephew? How does the city go about relating a public-housing problem-maker with a tenant? It gets murky and criminals know this.

Baltimore City came to the correct conclusion years ago that public housing projects had to go. Perkins at the time had a good record so it was spared. However, since the big tear-down of the other projects Perkins has become a hotbed of criminal activity (because the others no longer exist) and the price of real estate has skyrocketed near the harbor. The location lends itself to becoming a tax revenue profit center with reduced crime if we erect something else in its place.

John Galt said...

Fine. Erect something which is a 'profit center',...and then put the Perkins people within your 'profit center'.

Don't send them here. I don't want them.

The fact is, they and their relatives/friends are dealing or otherwise misbehaving. I don't care whose name is on the lease. Deny access to anyone but the leaseholder and her minor children. The cousins should be arrested on sight for trespasing.

The leaseholder always facilitates their being there.

So,.. no, you cannot demo the building and then give the former occupants bus fare uptown.

Exile them. And if NYC and Philly want to exile them too, great. I would applaud a framework in which no decent city will allow known hoodlums within their municipal boundaries.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the bigoted stuff I'm reading? Napalm? get rid of the poor? Are you all neo-Nazis? Class hatred is just as bad as race, ethnicity or gender hatred, although I wouldn't be suprised if race factors into some of these opinions.

I agree that public housing is a bad idea because it causes ghettos of poor people. The best idea is probably mixed income developments. Section 8 seems like a great idea if the city has a law that landlords can't discriminate against section 8 leaseholders. That way, a poor person could move anywhere (even into your neighborhood, which you seem to fear).

The bottom line is that housing is a globally recognized human right, and has been for sometime (see the 1966 UN Declaration of Human Rights).

You want the poor to pay their entire way for housing. This would be great in an ideal world. Except look at Baltimore's economy. Where are the jobs? And look at the lowest paying jobs -- they don't pay the rent. And what happens if you have an extremely low IQ, disability, bad health problem or mental ilness that prevents you from working? There's a reason why folks like this end up poor. Aside from this and a few bad apples, most poor folk are willing to work or already working.

It would be great if the government got out of the housing business entirely, but the bottom line is that poor people need someplace to live, otherwise they end up homeless.

You can't get Section 8 or Public Housing for 18 months for a misdemeanor or 3 years for a felony, and you can't have any unknown tenants living with you. Obviously there are ways to game the system, but most people living in the PJs are not current criminals, but as it has been stated, criminals like to hang out there for obvious reasons (if life sucks and you can't get a job, why not do drugs to ease the pain or sell drugs to get money).