Post Morningside Homicide Meeting

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Pierce
Participant
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Greetings, this is primary concerning Morningsiders, but anybody else can show up/chime in. I received this email from Dom Costa:

“On Thursday, May 24 at 8 pm I will be hosting a community meeting along with City Councilman Patrick Dowd to discuss the recent incident at Joe Natoli Field and how residents can work together with police to keep our community safe. The event will be held in the multi-purpose room at St. Raphael School, 1154 Chislett Street.

Members of the Pittsburgh Police Department and representatives from the City of Pittsburgh’s “Blockwatch in a Box” program will also be at the event to discuss the incident and how we can make our community a safer place to be.”

The incident is thus:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/warrant-issued-for-suspect-in-morningside-killing-636401/

My concern is that a bunch of old racists are going to show up and the meeting is going to focus on how to keep black kids from walking around their neighborhood.

What I’m hoping is that some of our more liberal residents will show up to counter the old guard. I cannot attend myself due to my work, but if I were there I would ask what they knew about the dispute that led to the shooting.

I’m also curious if the shooter or person shot had discipline problems in school or a history of violence/aggression. If so, what was done to help resolve those issues before this point?

Rather than focusing on the end result, the shooting, why not look into what led up to the shooting? I’m concerned this meeting will be entirely about reactionary responses and won’t take anytime to consider the factors that went into the shooting.


quizbot
Participant
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I’m not seeing how this has anything to do with riding a bicycle.


quizbot
Participant
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OK… I see we’re in Community -> Free for all now. OT.

I’m guessing the Morningside shooting is probably similar to the N. St. Clair shooting nearly 2 months ago… some sort of retaliation. What gets me though is that there was no meeting called to talk about community safety concerns with that one… I suppose it’s just another typical day a few blocks away in E. Liberty when a kid is shot point blank in broad daylight. Still no arrest in the N. St. Clair shooting.


wojty
Participant
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I like to know about these things, even if only mildly related to biking.

Dom Costa’s district isn’t east liberty, so that may be the reason why he is following up on this one, which is, and not that. I am sure the community would come out if you wanted to organize a meeting of your on, QB.


quizbot
Participant
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Zone 5 & Dowd run infrequent community safety meetings at the Union Project. Fear & apathy I’m sure is driving the non-response to the N. St. Clair shooting.


sarah_q
Participant
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Wow, those P-G article comments :-(


Lenny
Participant
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Very inane remark from Pierce.What does Liberalism or Conservative have to do with keeping your community safe or safer??Don’t fall over,but believe it or not Conservatives are just as concearned as liberals keeping crime down.


Pierce
Participant
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Lenny, I can understand that conservatives want to keep their community safe. That was never in question. What I do question is their methodology.

Let us recall who started the drug war. The greatest conservative of them all (according to the popular masses) Ronald Regan. The war on drugs, which still continues, has a shit load of problems, of which I’m not going to go into here.

The kind of liberals I’m looking to show up already are familiar with the issues around the prison industrial complex.

To be quite blunt, Morningside has historically been known for its racism. It’s slowly changing, but we still have a lot of old people. We also have their children. This is a place where a neighbor across the street was talking about how Obama is a Muslim.

Due to the Tea Party and all crazy bat shit things Republicans support, that’s what I perceive the opposite of liberalism to be.

The only kind of conservatism I really value is fiscal conservatism, which again, the Republican party isn’t interested in unless it’s slashing social programs. They’re quite keen on protecting their neighborhood with trillions spent on jets, tanks, and bombs.

/end rant


stefb
Participant
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Maybe we should try to see this from the point of view of the gunman?


Pierce
Participant
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Exactly. I think understanding why the shots were fired is the most useful way of finding out how we can prevent them from being fired again in the future.

Rather than wearing bullet proof vests to the baseball field or looking nervously out our window whenever we see a stranger walk by, I’d be interested in finding out what was going on between those two people


mr marvelous
Participant
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Are you saying understanding why people are shooting each other is a good way of learning how to prevent it?


Pierce
Participant
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Yes, I believe that is the case


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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In most of the shootings that get any press, the shooter and shootee are known to one another. Take out those related to drugs and domestic violence and there just aren’t that many. As a cyclist, I would most worry about being caught in crossfire. Fortunately, that’s pretty rare, too. We face far more danger from cars than guns.


stefb
Participant
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That was sarcasm.


quizbot
Participant
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While in jail after being charged in the Morningside slaying, Julian Davis was also charged with the E. Liberty murder of Ricardo Cooper on April 21. The bullet found in Mr. Cooper’s skull matched those found while investigating the Morningside killing (the PG mixed things up in the article it seems. 2nd article also has some interesting comments… only seeing them on the mobile site currently).

3 weeks between the 2 killings. Mr. Davis seems to have an insatiable taste for blood. But give the guy a break… maybe he was just proving himself and working his way up his organization’s hierarchy. Though we may never fully understand what exactly was going through his brain, we can be certain of that which went through Mr. Cooper’s.

Understanding the endless cycle of violence is one thing. Being able to affect change is another. Where do you start? Fix broken homes, teach these kids to value brain power over physical force? Good luck. You should hear the way some 5 year olds speak with one another on my street. They’re already sucked in to the whole ridiculous gangster mindset…. at 5. It’s truly depressing.

The issues are deeply culturally rooted. As outsiders, we can’t be trusted to begin with. So then what? Throw meaningful dollar amounts into programs and initiatives. In the short term, do something to get handguns off the streets. $50 gun buy-back programs are a joke. Make it $1000 and heads will start turning.

Regardless, throwing people in jail isn’t working. It’s a pacifier for the public. Often, it’s a means of securing protection from life on the street. No easy solutions here.


sloaps
Participant
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+1 to quizbot

We should pay as much to young local gangsters as we do to young Afghani insurgents. Pacify with dollars, build schools and infrastructure, have them police their neighborhoods. Apparently it’s working over there, why can’t it work over here?


Vannevar
Participant
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+1 StefB for successful deployment of the stealth mode self-setting fishhook. I didn’t know you were British.


Pierce
Participant
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You also didn’t know that I’m quite receptive to sarcasm. I choose to ignore it. It would have been a better hook if my point were somehow invalidated. Like perhaps we should seek to understand the point of view of the grass the guy fell on?

“Understanding the endless cycle of violence is one thing. Being able to affect change is another.”

To me they seem directly related.

“Fix broken homes, teach these kids to value brain power over physical force? Good luck. You should hear the way some 5 year olds speak with one another on my street. They’re already sucked in to the whole ridiculous gangster mindset…. at 5.”

So at five years old, a kid is a lost cause? They say a young pessimist is a sad thing, but how about a middle-aged guy who’s pessimistic about the youth?

If only there was a place where we kind of had a them as a captive audience and we were empowered to educate them and impart our beliefs on them… Damn, if only such a place existed…


quizbot
Participant
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A place like my front stoop perhaps? I’ve been casually speaking with the smalls around here for 10 years… rarely do they pass through for more than a few years though, so it’s hard to get a measure of what sort of influence I may have had.


edmonds59
Participant
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The discussion has gone somewhat astray from Pierces original suggestion, and his suggestion had some validity, if a little clumsily presented. :/

An individual can’t give at-risk kids caring 2 parent homes, even society as a whole can’t protect them from a gang culture environment, if we poured a billion dollars into it. What an individual can do is to make a stand against endemic racism in their own “culture”. Be a voice to demonstrate that the voice of some fearful hate engorged middle aged white man does not speak for the group. Make it known that you will not accept that this evil piece of filth “Davis” represents all young black men. And make it known that further suspicion, hate and segregation will only continue the violence, not reduce it. If that’s all an individual can do, that is something.

All that is necesary for evil to triumph…

My 2 c.


quizbot
Participant
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+1 for the reality check edmonds59.


myddrin
Participant
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@edmonds59, I’ll give you a +1 for the reality check, but I’m going to have to knock a point off for the “2 parent homes” which is a personal pet peeve of mine.

What follows isn’t directed at any one in particular. But I do need to vent my spleen about this every so often.

<rant>

The relationship between multiple parent homes and crime/delinquency is complicated. Perhaps nothing complicates it more than that fact that single parent homes (and in particular single mother homes) have a very high poverty rate. The parent in that situation is working hard, and in many instances does not have the same kind time to devote to their child(or children), that a single parent with more resources (money, family, social programs, etc) has.

This article touches on some of that complexity.

I come from a single parent family. My Dad passed away suddenly when I was four months old. Within a very short time, we all started getting societal pressure about being a single parent family…:

. Mom being told that she should find a husband “for the children”. [By, I should point out, her own family…as well as neighbors and random strangers.]

. The mother of one of my sisters friends questioned sister, quite pointedly, “So how does a single woman end up with five children, anyway?”

. And I remember,quite un-fondly, being in 1st grade and being literally cornered by 2 nuns as they grilled about what happened to my father. They left me, crying, to get on the bus home… with out so much as an apology.

. And to top it all off, I lost count of the number of times I was casually called a bastard… not in any figurative sense but in the quite literal one. Usually from other students, but on at least 3 occasions by teachers. (I say at least three because that was the number of times that it was done to my face.)

(Lest anyone think that I’m talking about growing up in the 1930’s… my Dad died in ’72, and the first time i noticed it was in ’78 right before I turned 6.) So yeah, I was college age when Dan Quayle decided to make single parents a campaign issue.

But none the less, we all (both those of us who had 2 parents and those of us who had 2) managed to make it to adulthood without run-ins with the law, drug addiction or any of the issues that “come from” being children of single parents.

And I am not alone. I’ve met more than a few successful children of single parents over the years. What they all had in common was parents who had enough money, or other resources, that spending time on anything other than making sure their kids had enough to eat was a possibility.

I didn’t grow up rich, but thanks to my Dad working for IBM and having some serious life insurance, Mom was able to go back to school and get her B.A. Shortly after that she was able to get one of those ‘Middle class’ jobs as a social worker.

Sorry, I have probably seriously over shared. And I probably sound somewhat bitter, but I’m not. I’ve had a pretty awesome life, so far. But I realize that I was exceptionally lucky in so many ways, but especially in having a Mom who was tough as nails when it came to dealing with what other people thought.

My bigger point is that this emphasis on 2 parent homes just makes it tougher on the families that have to deal with being just having 1 parent.

We really need to be emphasizing caring parents, and making sure that the parents have the tools that enable to have the time to care.

</rant>


ejwme
Participant
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Single parent child here, represent! I did just fine, my sister did even better (by any measure you can come up with). My cousins are both single parent children, and they’re doing fabulous as well. We all had tremendous support of grandparents (and each other), and “out of picture fathers” contributed enough to help.

From what I’ve seen, a parent’s ability to engage in the child’s life (i.e. they’ve got means or support to have extra time AND that extra time is spent on kids) is #1 determining factor. And it doesn’t have to be the parent. SOME trusted authority figure has to engage, teach, nurture, mentor – neighbor, grandparent, cousin, teacher. Otherwise they’ll find one on their own, and it might not be a great example.

To Pierce’s original point, there’s s lot of closed minds out there who don’t see the perpetrators of violence as human, and like to see specific instigators as examples of a larger set of non-people – people of the same color, age, gender, religion, whatever. They paint with big brushes.

I don’t necessarily agree that a neighborhood can get together and through understanding the motives behind the undesired activity, come up with and implement a solution, but I do know that preventing the pitchforks and torches from coming out is vital. Nothing was ever solved with a pitchfork (other than a misplaced pile of hay).

You want to prevent racism and bigotry from making decisions about your neighborhood, you’ve got to show up with enough people to drown it out. I firmly believe they may be the loudest or most engaged, but they can’t be an actual majority. That may be why it looks like there are a lot of retired racists around – everybody else is spending their energy in other, less visible or influential ways.


Erica
Participant
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I agree that two-parent homes aren’t necessary by any means. Once I’m financially able (probably [hopefully] sometime in my mid-30’s), I plan on adopting a kid whether I have a co-parent or not.

I’m biased, though – my parents did the “stay together for the kids” thing (and are still), and it was far more damaging to my siblings and I than living in a “broken home” ever could be (My home was, and remains, broken, even though both parents live there and remain legally married. I haven’t talked to my older sister much, but I know that my younger brother and I have gone through some serious psychological trauma due to my parents being desperate to keep us in a two-parent home. My parents have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for ten years and only communicate through arguments). But, like myddrin said in his post, I’m probably over-sharing here. I just really, really disagree that all people fare better coming from a two parent home.


edmonds59
Participant
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Complicated indeed. Point taken.


cdavey
Participant
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@RF — FWIW, I don’t think you (or myddrin) overshared at all. You pointed out by example something I have thought for a long time. Parents who stay together “for the sake of the kids” usually end up causing far more harm to the kids than if they had simply called it quits and split. It’s harder for a child to learn what a healthy loving realtionship between adults is about if they don’t have one in front of them to learn from. All this does is perpetuate the dysfunction into the next generation. The road back from this sort of damage is a long and hard one to traverse.


Mick
Participant
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O>T> My best friend in high shcool had parents that stayed together. Hubby lived in first floor front room, wife 2nd floor rear for a decade or more. Chilly, but non-hostile relations (“For the sake…”)

They divorced when my buddy was a college freshman.

Before my friend graduated, his father had moved back into the front room. I guess the non-passionate companionship seemed more a comfort when they were that age than it had when they started it..

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