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.