Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Police Chief Endorses Business Harassment Policy

Last time I checked, congregating while black is not a crime. Neither is owning and running an all night convenient store. Even so, the late night crowds gathered at various locations in Racine are described as a "problem" in need of a solution.

New Police Chief Kurt Whalen has endorsed a political solution wherein city officials put pressure on liquor license holders. The pressure includes the threat to take away the liquor license. This process is initiated if the police are called to a business three or more times a month. The business owner will have to "fix the problem" or get a ticket. Ultimately they could lose their license.

To me this appears to be a pass-the-buck type of solution. It is the job of the police to enforce the law. If there are laws being violated, such as selling after hours or selling to minors, then by all means go after the license holders. If not, leave them alone. If some members of the congregating masses are breaking the law, then arrest them. Do not ask business owners to solve the vaguely defined problem of congregating black people.

And herein lies the real "problem". The "problem" is blacks congregating. But nobody wants to actually say that because they don't want a visit from Jesse Jackson. And I don't blame them.

For the record, I don't believe that black people congregating should be described as a problem. People committing crimes are a problem. If some of these black people are committing crimes, then arrest them. If the business owners are committing crimes, then arrest them and take away their liquor licenses. If neither are committing crimes, leave them alone.


Greg Helding said...

Actually, the problems are assaults, public urination, civil troubles, drug dealing, weapons violations, speeding (yes, speeding in a parking lot), noise violations, hit and run, panhandling, disorderly conduct, drug use, fist fights, harrassment, and shootings. Large groups loitering are a somwhat lesser problem, but a lot of the others occured in the midst of a crowd. There is an inordinant amount of police manpower being used here, and we need to figure out why and how to fix it.

Denis Navratil said...

Arrest the lawbreakers. You know where to find them. What is the problem?