District Attorney Paul Howard Should Do His Job, Leave Self-Defense Training to that Judo Guy Down the Street

People in Atlanta deserve better.

Reeling from months (years, really) of life-altering crime in the streets, they finally drag the Mayor and Chief of Police kicking and screaming to some podium, where the two continue to deny that they are not doing the job of serving the people before storming off again.

Now Act II opens with District Attorney Paul Howard holding a town hall meeting where he insults people further by using the pulpit to praise Pennington (!) and lecture the public about taking responsibility for self-defense.

Isn’t it extremely weird for the person in charge of putting criminals behind bars to tell you that you should learn how to engage in hand-to-hand combat with them, instead of talking about what he is doing to, say, put offenders behind bars?

Grannies with numchucks?  That’s the plan?

Just to let folks know, this is NOT the way things happen in cities where elected officials are actually serious about fighting crime.  This is the type of smoke and mirrors that happens instead of vigorously enforcing the law.

In cities where elected officials actually behave as if crime is unacceptable, the district attorney responds to crime by prosecuting criminals.  Nobody wonders about the whereabouts of the chief of police.  The mayor does not refuse to come out of her office.

It would be a shame if all the hard work being done by the anti-crime activists got co-opted into a bunch of meaningless “summits” and calls for “mentoring” and the other claptrap designed to garner grant dollars and do precisely nothing about that 16-year old stealing your car.

People who already pay for security cameras and neighborhood patrols, who commit hours of their own time attending NPU meetings, who have to hold complex negotiations with the city in order to ensure that the 911 operators aren’t elsewhere getting their nails done, deserve better than this:

“You are a victim waiting for a perpetrator,” said summit organizer Derrick Boazman, a former Atlanta city councilman.

Residents learned self-defense techniques, such as stomping on someone’s foot and hitting him in the groin if he grabs you from behind.

“What do you do after that?” asked instructor Steven Muhammad.

“Take off and yell, ‘Fire,’ ” the participants answered in unison.

Is that Steven Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center?

Is he working for free?  Or are you the one who is working for free, after you go to work at your real job, and pay the tax dollars that are ending up in questionable community activists’ pockets, and then spend your evenings sitting through mind-numbing committee meetings for the (real) neighborhood groups, where the real crime-fighting work is getting done?

Enough of this nonsense.  Enough showcasing by the usual suspects.  Enough of telling people to “stomp on their feet.”  Is that even what a real self-defense instructor would advise?

Pennington spent six months insisting to you that Atlanta didn’t need more police.  Here is what he said at the “summit”:

Police Chief Richard Pennington announced a plan two weeks ago that includes increasing the Police Department’s gang unit from six to 24 officers and conducting more sweeps of high-crime areas. “Any time you have more police officers on the street, you have more visibility,” he said.

Really?  How refreshing.  And thank you to the civilians who dragged him to that point.  Here is Paul Howard:

“[Pennington] never shies away from his obligations,” Howard said.

Howard has also, repeatedly, said that his office does not need more resources and the state does not need better laws to tackle recidivism and sentencing for violent crime, making him the only D.A. in the known world who is happy to let 90% of offenders plead out with a slap on the wrist because prosecutors don’t actually have time to prosecute even a fraction of crimes.  Think about that the next time his office drops the ball on some gun offense.

And, meanwhile, ask some hard questions about how much money is going to be blown by his office on the upcoming “gang summit” and which well-connected activists will be pocketing that cash.

The first step to doing real, adult things about crime is saying no to another dog-and-pony sideshow.

You go to work: so should they.

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9 thoughts on “District Attorney Paul Howard Should Do His Job, Leave Self-Defense Training to that Judo Guy Down the Street”

  1. This is where it gets interesting. And where all those now ubiquitous CC (Concealed Carry) laws will come into play. Judo is fine. But for most of the usual punks out there today? You’ll always be somehow moving 700mph too slow. Now, true, that did not help poor Vernon Forrest one bit. But it’ll be getting a whole lot more noisy if just a few more of the citizenry thought that their saftey was at immediate peril just going to the store down the block. And the cops? Usually don’t want their days complicated like that. So yeah, pretty silly. Self defense taken to it’s natural limits means every man/woman/child for themselves. And it really does not help crime prevention much.

    But the whole system is leaking & badly broken, top to bottom. From evidence collection & processing (the 10’s of 1000’s of rape kits that remain unprocessed around the country for one), ditto for non standarized DNA protocols, decent effective scientific investigations, (CSI is pretty random in most places, and always slower than imagined), & a parole system that’s actually worthy of the effort & the name. Just for starters on some of the ‘cheaper’ items. (Yes Parole & more cops are costly in manpower, but usually worth it cost benefit wise).

    But me? Bottom line? This will mean more people arming themselves and trying to play cop with little effective training or understanding. With predictable results. Thanks for the post. JP

  2. “Is that Steven Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center?” Why did you say what you did about Bro. Steven Muhammad and The Nation of Islam? Has he ever been accused of hate or hateful things? Has He ever been charged with harming anyone. You people need to stop fear mongering, educate your readers properly and let them make intelligent and informed decisions. What if I were to say that the Mr. Dee’s of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Jew who’s ancestors killed Jesus the Christ, and are the originators of Homosexuality. What I said is biblicaly correct but is not conducive to open mindedness and good community relationship.

    By the way The Nation Of Islam has an excellent track record in curtailing crime and promoting peace in the Black community, and their is not one instance when The Nation Of Islam is working in the community were the residence ever accuse The Nation Of Islam of teach or spreading hate.

  3. Dear Mr. Slave,

    There is no apostrophe in Dees. I also do not think the Jews invented homosexuality.

    The Nation of Islam has been implicated in numerous violent crimes, including amply documented patterns of killing your own membership as punishment for dissent. That might explain the silence from communities where you are visible.

    Nation crimes? For just one example, there’s murderer H. Rap Brown. For another, the murders associated with the Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. There were the black-on-white Nation of Islam “Zebra” murders in San Francisco in the 1970’s and the D.C. sniper killings, though the D.C. sniper was clearly unhinged. However, your teachings openly encourage racism and thus violence.

    Over the years I worked in social justice in Atlanta, I was always astonished to see so many politicians, out of fear, or fear-mongering, or dangerously naive ecumenicalism, cozy up to Nation members despite the raw prejudice you promote. Often these pols are the same people who otherwise vocalize on issues of discrimination and injustice — doubly to their shame.

    That includes candidates running in the current race: I encourage all voters to educate themselves about the real message of the Nation of Islam and scrutinize candidates’ chosen affiliations very carefully. I’m not a big fan of the SPLC, but their website carries good information.

    The idea that Nation of Islam activism cleans up neighborhoods is disputable. One gang displacing other gangs, often involved in the very drug activities you claim to dispel, as has been demonstrated repeatedly.

    I was personally roughed up by Nation of Islam members at a political rally in downtown Atlanta after I intervened to try to get four of your thugs to leave a very elderly woman alone. They surrounded me, shoved me and threatened me: one female against four males. Other people were too afraid of the Nation of Islam to step up.

    Nice reputation. You know what else is really scary? I wouldn’t dare to write this if I still lived in Atlanta.

    Nonetheless, thank you for doing my work for me here. I’ll call us even-steven on the physical assault thing.

  4. I’ll raise and call you on the topic of murder most foul. The brutal public murder & called execution of the most famous American Muslim, Malcolm ‘X’, by the Nation on the explicit orders of Elijah Muhammad. The FOI does not fall far from the tree, and it’s mostly highly toxic & deadly poisonous to & for most people. And has been for a very long time. That’s the ‘excellent track record’ here. And real Muslims & anyone with an IQ above room temp knows this. JP

  5. I’m a parent who’s son was murdered yesterday in one of Ga’s prisons. After trial my son was acquitted of all charges. When Paul Howard entered the courtroom, the judge and the prosecutor came to life, they did’nt like being out done and pretended they did’nt understand a question by jury. My son was given 9 years. He was sent to Telfair and after the riot was transferred to Wheeler a minimum security prison. after 7 DR’s do to a guard’s harrasment he was up for a transfer. we his family were perplexed but being in constant contact with the family/prison advocate was toldmy son would be sent to another facility and would be ok. Needless to say my son was sent back to Telfair where he was murdered as soon as he arrived. That trial did not end that day. The ball was dropped that day. The blood of my son is on your hands.

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