29 November 2005

Get Your Share of $3.7 Million!

All you have to do is head for downtown Minneapolis, and become a public nuisance. It's easy, really, all you have to do is hustle pedestrains for money, keep yourself drunk, and pee wherever you want. Throw in some drugs and robbery, and you're in!
(C)ity and county officials have concluded that a relatively small number of chronic, low-level offenders were responsible for a sizable chunk of crime in downtown Minneapolis . . . Dubbed the "Downtown 33," the group of offenders was the focus of 20 percent of all police stops from mid-April to mid-June in the city's newly created "safe zone" that surrounds the downtown business district.
"Safe Zone,"; pretty funny. What kind of passive-aggressive chumps are running that city? "Hey, Leon, you want to go rob some folks?" "No way, didn't you see the 'Safe Zone' signs?"

One member of the Downtown 33 was stopped by police 29 times in that same time period this summer. Of the 752 citations issued by police to the Downtown 33 during that time period, 22 percent were for consuming alcohol in public . . . forty-eight citations were issued for public urination. One individual was apprehended for showering naked in a public fountain. But officials are concerned because they are trying to spit-shine the image of downtown Minneapolis.
Don't worry, Minneapolis, your image is already in the shitter. But who are we to judge, these poor folks just need help, and getting hassled downtown is just part of embracing the diversity of all mankind.

Most (of the Downtown 33) have gotten help from social-services agencies over time. When their costs for revolving in and out of Hennepin County's courts and jails are added in, the study concluded, the Downtown 33 have cost taxpayers an estimated $3.7 million in criminal-justice, social-service and medical care costs.
I am such a chump for paying for my own place to sleep, my own 'fridge full of food, and my own health care costs.

Since 1985, the Downtown 33 have been the subject of 1,342 criminal cases in the county. Since 1994, they have spent 5,068 days in jail. All but three have been admitted to a detoxification facility or been authorized for chemical dependency treatment at one point. Because almost all of the Downtown 33 have received government social services, county officials said that by law they were prohibited from releasing their names.
But they are not prohibited from taking, by law, $3.7 million of tax money from all of us to pay for it all. Nice work, Hennipen County; keep it all hidden from the citizenry, that's the way you deal with these kinds of things.

The Downtown 33 aren't just a Minneapolis problem. Since 1989, according to the study, members of the Downtown 33 were booked 106 times in Ramsey and Anoka County. Seven of the 33 were booked a total of 13 times in Brooklyn Park.
More data from the study: Of the Downtown 33, 30 have been in Hennipen County detox. 28 have been in Hennipen County shelters, and 27 have been on Hennipen County assistance programs. Oh yea, 2 of the 33 are are from Minnesota.

It's an old saw, but Minnesota for decades has been an oasis of welfare and social programs for folks who are getting less and less fiscal symapthy in Milwaukee, Chicago, Gary, Detroit, etc. Minneapolis has been an especially bright shining light of compassion in terms of enabling this preposterous cycle to repeat and grow exponentially.

Nowhere in the story is there anything from any Minneapolis official who has any ideas or plans to prevent the city from becoming the next Detroit; least of all, the newly-reelected Mayor Smiley Chucklehead.

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