Monday, October 01, 2007

BACA Meeting 10/1/07

We had Ofc. Zunnobia Hakir (vc mail 2/727-5427)from the Hate Crimes Unit come and speak about a recent incident that has occurred in the TC. A problem is people are not reporting Hate Crimes or incidents. So even if it is "nothing" consider reporting a hate biased incident (incident- slurs or other speech that is protected by the 1st amendment but may be used to provoke).
One citizen expressed concern that HC can be used against old-timers, kids who have grown up in the neighborhood, who are reacting because of a respect issue where newbies are moving in and talking down to the kids. The example provided was a person who is white and used the N word, not addressing the people on the street but her friend and easily overheard. Discussions on this boiled down to don't be stupid and don't say stupid stuff that can provoke people into striking back. And the official way to deal with stupid people is to report their stupidity as a hate biased incident, so should the consequences of their stupidity result in a retaliatory attack with hints of a hate crime bouquet there is a record of the stupid which would aid the defense.
So, you've reported the hate crime/incident, now what? Well I have something in my notes about a stay away order. The stay away can limit physical and verbal contact. Report each violation of the stay away and the prosecution can build up a case.
And last note when reporting a crime with hate biased undertones call the Hate Crimes Unit in addition to 911 or 311. The Hate Crimes Hotline is 202 727 0500.

Next Commander Lamar Greene of the 5th District MPD spoke. We all talked about drug and other problem crimes in the area. Mentioned that the courthouse has stay away orders that are public, but there is so far no legal way for the police to share that info with the public. And according with the answers of how to get a hold of stay away orders for the area the info seems more semi-public than public as it doesn't seem to be easily accessible.
A citizen at the meeting mentioned how her vehicle was stolen 2 or 3 times in a short amount of time. She did have a theft prevention device on her brakes. Apparently the Club and like devices only slow thieves down. The police at the meeting recommended LoJack and a kill switch. I say it helps to have a stick shift. And the Police Department has some sort of watch your car program.

Now I'm guessing this notation I have reading "MaryAnn-- says we need to work on being neighborly" must have come up during the part about community development and community in general. The boys on the corner all know each other, but do we the law abiding, tax paying citizens know each other as well?

Harry Thomas showed up wearing a lovely suit with green accessories. I'm calling a tie and kerchief accessories. They matched the green/ olive tones in the suit. Whoever picked out what he was going to wear that day did good. But anyway, he talked about legislation and something called a... this is just what my notes say:
legislative call in- find out what the issues are that day. 9AM- 671-8237. You can contact Councilman Harry Thomas at or call 202 439-5103, he's got one of them there Crackberries like the mayor so he is at the beck and call of the people.

Lastly in my notes there is another community building exercise in the park at 1st and Florida on the 13th of October 10AM-6PM. There is a boatload of stuff listed, DC Library Mobile, Old Cars Unlimited, Howard U Dental School, 10 kazillion other things and a moonbounce.



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