Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Fondren Park fracas and ruffled feathers

The post about the shooting in Fondren Park ten days ago ruffled some feathers among those who use the Nextdoor app.  Its a great app and a valuable tool for many neighborhoods as it allows neighbors to get important information out quickly to their community.  Some people were irritated and accused me of unethical conduct for reporting messages posted on the Nextdoor application that were about the Firefight in Fondren.   One person even accused me of violating the rules of Nextdoor and exploiting the incident to generate traffic for more ads.  An explanation for that post is in order.

The shooting in Fondren Park was newsworthy.  Some politicians and media outlets have ignored crime for a long time. One publisher denies there is a crime problem.   One Clarion-Ledger columnist even argues crime is the price to pay for living in a big city and should be expected.  This website and correspondent are not among that crowd.  Crime is a real problem in the Jackson area.  It drives out families.  Businesses move to the burbs.  Tax revenue declines.  Economic development suffers.  The crime problem will not get better if its swept under the rug.  Crime should be reported and analyzed.  The shooting took place in the late afternoon at a neighborhood park.  A park.  A park where children play.  A park is supposed to be a focal point of a community, not the poor man's version of a shooting range. 

A group of teens were at the park.  An argument broke out, tempers flared, and shots were fired.  Reports say 14 or more rounds were expended.  The bullets struck a house and a car.  Remember, this is a park where children play.   One young woman who lives across the street from the park arrived home from work when the lead began to fly.  Suppose she had been shot and worse, killed?   That's not exactly a far-fetched prediction given the nature of these events.

 Now let me make this clear: I do not belong to Nextdoor.  I do not have the app.  I do not visit the website.  The only time I have information about what is posted at Nextdoor is when someone sends me a screenshot of the comments.  Several people sent me screenshots of messages about the Firefight in Fondren Park.   The information was found to be accurate and deserved to be reported.  The police confirmed the shootout took place but did not have many details.  The decision was made to post the messages sent to JJ.

All names were redacted. Period.  I did not violate a user agreement or Nextdoor guidelines because I do not belong to Nextdoor nor did I access the website to read messages.   It is not unethical when there was no agreement to violate nor did I publish any names.  However, I took the extra precaution of speaking to Dennis Smith, retired News Director of WLBT.  He said that publishing these messages if they were received as tips was permissible and ethical.  He agreed it would be unethical if I broke the rules and posted messages as a member.  However, that did not take place.  These tips were treated as any other tips that are sent to this website.

However, such facts escaped some of the Nextdoor members.  They proceeded to do things like post my phone number and other information while making pretty damning comments about this correspondent.  The charges of exploiting this incident for traffic and ads were made. Um, yeah.  The extra 500 hits generated by that story are going to make a whoooole lot of money.

If all I want to do is generate clicks, there are easier ways to do it.  Posting bikini pics of hot women every so often is one way to do it. I could just listen to the scanner and run out to crime scenes with a camera as does the rest of the media.  It's simple, quick, and brings in the readers.  Crime is great for traffic.

However, JJ has been covering crime for the last few months on a deeper level than has the rest of the media.  The criminal justice system is broken.  Too many suspects are going to trial more than two years after they are arrested or indicted.  They are all too often committing more crime and each crime seems worse than the previous one they committed.   I spent three hours in courthouses in two counties Monday digging up files on Melvin Potts and other defendants.  Several  more hours were spent in circuit clerk's offices during the week as well.  It was this website that broke the news that Carolyn Temple's alleged killers were out on low bonds for armed robbery with a handgun. Readers are starting to get the idea about what is going on in Hinds County: The police usually does their job but the judges and prosecutors fail the police and the people they are supposed to protect: us. 

Criminals are getting out on low bonds and committing more crimes.  Prosecutors are not opposing continuances.  They aren't moving to revoke bonds.  The police pray that they will find a prior arrest in Madison or Rankin Counties when they arrest violent criminals so Michael Guest will try to revoke their bonds.  The police in Jackson, Clinton, Byram, Raymond, and Hinds County have no faith in the District Attorney or most of the judges in Hinds County. That is the real story of crime in Jackson.

JJ has not followed the path used by other groups such as the Metropolitan Crime Commission or Safecity.   JJ is following a path that is more personal and vivid.  Individual cases are pulled and published.  You are starting to see what goes on with each individual criminal and how he will surf through the criminal justice system.  You are seeing the bonds, the delays, and the excuses.  Drug busts dropped by the District Attorney after the drug dealer was indicted. Alleged drug dealer, sorry.  There have been numerous cases that were no-billed by the grand jury- and the police were never called to testify.  JJ has gotten copies of police files and posted them so you can see what the police and prosecutors see.   Judges don't hear cases and refuse to set bonds that will protect society from repeat criminals. 

Apparently the redactions and the fact I'm not a Nextdoor member escaped some of the members of Nextdoor as they refuse to admit there is a crime problem. Some even accuse anyone who says there is a crime problem is either being a racist or of trying to exploit someone's misery. Uh-huh. Then You-know-who from the JFP took over the discussion and you can imagine how that went.  The truth is that some of those who actually feel that way about crime aren't worth saving or protecting when it comes to crime as they see this website as more of a threat than someone who will kill them over a purse or for no reason at all.  However, there are many decent people who live in Jackson.  They deserve protection from crime and also deserve a criminal justice system that actually works.  If ruffling some feathers by reporting crime is the price to pay to protect them, so be it.


Burke said...

On fleek, Fisher King.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time I asked a native New Orleans uptowner about the Popeye's boxes and clutter on the neutral grounds and in the gutters. "We just don't see things like that," he said. It's the same with Fondren. It's all positive-speak. Shooting? What shooting? I didn't hear any gunshots."

Anonymous said...

What's ironic is that the ones who don't want anyone else to know about the huge amount of crime happening in Belhaven and Fondren are the ones who want to be able to get out when and if the time comes without losing their shirt because property values have sunk.

Anonymous said...

Fisher Kingfish? :-)

Seriously, the only way to convince anyone to buy a place in Fondren, or invest in opening a business there, is to keep hidden the truth about what's going on there. KF, you are seriously disrupting their business model by giving outsiders access to the truth.

As for DonnerKay I think she s just delusional, and you can't fix psych problems. Don't waste your time trying.

But hey - didn't the C-L have a great cover story today on the HO model train useum? Much more important to Jacksonians that some boring story about gunshots in a public park. Mo' bread! Mo' circuses!

Kingfish said...

She didn't condemn anyone for posting my cell number either. Can you imagine her histrionics if someone did that to her?

Native Jacksonian said...

My wife was recently an overnight patient at University Med Center and from her window I watched as two University police cars with blue lights flashing patrolled the State street parking lot all night, plus a private security patrol at the rear exit. Despite Jeff good's assurances, and only positive Jackson spoken here, this area is not safe. Hasn't been in years.

Anonymous said...

Posting bikini pics of hot women every so often is one way to do it.

THOSE were the days on JJ!!!!!

Anonymous said...

There are too many citizens in Jackson who are just blindly choosing to "accept the things they cannot change" without ever even trying to change a damn thing! Thankfully, there are also us citizens that are just as determined to "change the things we CANNOT ACCEPT"!!! And then there are those like 1:03 referred to that are simply delusional that us less simple-minded citizens need not even waste the time or energy to acknowledge such nonsense.

Johnny Weir said...

Great Post. Please, Please keep uncovering the news in Jackson that being swept the rug. I get more real news from this blog as opposed to the clarion-ledger!

Robert said...

Great job KF.

Anonymous said...

"There are too many citizens in Jackson who are just blindly choosing to "accept the things they cannot change"..."
February 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM

That's because a huge percentage of the whites left in Jackson are Twelve-Steppers. They derive their life-philosophies while working on their addictions.

The quality of my Labor Pool improved, noticeably, once we moved across the County Line. Aside from the elderly and some med students, I don't think there are many white Jacksonians left, who do not have life-defining substance issues.

Every time I drive in Jackson, I'm left with the impression that it's becoming like New Orleans: a place for the dysfunctional (and delusional).

By the way: is there such a thing as METH RAGE ROAD RAGE? I seem to have encountered that, several times (white drivers, in each case) on forays into Jackson.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason I'm on Nextdoor is to monitor CRIME in my area. Anyone who thinks I'm not going to forward CRIME info to neighbors and others who choose not to participate or to the media including Kingfish can pound sand. The same bullshit busy bodies in my neighborhood who for years have tried to hush-hush any real open discussion about crimes being perpetrated on us as if the facts about actual events are confidential neighborhood secrets are all over on Nextdoor trying to silence people there too. I'm sure many of them are only on Nextdoor because their control freak selves can't deal with the fact that they've lost control over the narrative. Well freaks, and you know who you are, SCREW YOU.

There is one thing good feature about Nextdoor. It is a mute feature and I have Donna Ladd on MUTE. Since I know she'll never report any crime nor anything useful about crime I'm next to guaranteed that I'll never miss anything imnportant with her on MUTE. SCREW YOU TOO DONNA.

Anonymous said...

The hilarity is all the people that moved 2 miles to the north, east or west who enjoy pointing fingers at the ones who are still here and are trying to make it work. If they fail, you don't think this crap will be in madison and rankin? You act like there is some magical line that trouble won't cross.

Anonymous said...

5:09 is dead on

Anonymous said...

Nextdoor was a lot more useful before Donna Ladd showed up to chastise everyone for not volunteering to mentor the criminals.

Anonymous said...

The hilarity is all the people that moved ...

No, the hilarity is that you believe in contagion theories.

Anonymous said... 5 minutes from a war zone is not exactly bliss. One option is to move to another state (one that is a long way away). But you might as well be a having hot tea in the suburbs of Baghdad if you are sitting in Madison county laughing at the tsunami up the river. You better hope Jackson pulls through.

Anonymous said...

The problem is predation. Jackson tolerates it - the suburbs do not. If you tolerate predation you get more of it. The Jackson police know who the preditors are but can't keep them in jail. The victimized neighbors know who the preditors are and wish they were gone.
Demanding that everyone ignore the problem is a horrible idea that makes the problem worse.

Anonymous said...

I live in Fondren. I'm not a twelve-stepper. I'm not an artsy type. I'm not trying to "save" anyone. I'm a tranplanted Delta boy with a young family who has a blue collar job.

The reasons I live in Fondren are many. I like the fact that not everyone has the same house. I like the fact that I don't have to ask someone what kind of tree I can plant in my yard. I like that I have neighbors who don't think exactly like I do. It challenges me and I hope I challenge them.

I sent an email to Kingfish as soon as I heard this happened from one of my neighbors. I'm not sure if I was the first to tell him, but he would have known about it and researched it without Nextdoor.

For those of you who may chastise me for telling Kingfish about something bad in my community, I say to you I am a proud, tax-paying property owner in Fondren. If you want all the "bad" things hidden about your community, please move to Madison or Rankin and hide behind the sameness.

Anonymous said...

Your contagion theory 7:39 PM is an argumentative fallacy. Jackson has been failing for 30+ years and the crime rates in Madison and Rankin counties have not sharply risen as a result. Argumentative fallacies and excuses are all that remain for Jackson and Hinds County. You've lost population. Your middle class residential tax base, both white and black, continues to flee for safety and schools. The business tax base follows those rooftops with precision. Your representation and influence in the Legislature continues to wane. So keep deluding yourself with the myth, and warped hope, that all the shit going on in your denial state is soon headed to the suburbs. It isn't the responsibility of surrounding communities to fix, and pay to fix, the mess you refuse to acknowledge you've made.

Anonymous said...

10:20 So the Suburbs tolerate Meth Labs instead? I don't understand...

Anonymous said...

11:44 You are delusional. Look at who we elect as DA. Look at the bail levels that are routinely set in Madison. We don't like ANY criminals.

Just $Saying said...

What few people look at is how little time is actually put in by most Judges, prosecutors & public defenders, most work only part time as evidenced by all the empty reserved parking spaces at the courthouse parking lots, continuences are regularly granted so no one will be unconvinced (lawyers & judges).The welfare of the Public be dammed!

Burke said...

Thanks, 10:39. You speak for me as well. So much gets lost in these "nyah, nyah" posts. No one from the suburbs ever says something like "if you like living in Jackson, that's all right with me." I do not begrudge my friends who have moved north and east. They chose and I chose. Honor our choices.

Anonymous said...

Burke, I'm completely supportive of all my family and friends who still live in Jackson.

Where I disagree with them, and where I draw the line, is when they stupidly parrot the storyline that their crime is soon to be coming to my street, that the suburbs can't survive without Jackson and that I have to be more flexible by helping them solve their Jackson problems with my money.

It is good to know you never fall back on any of that mindless gibberish.

Parking Space Patrol said...

"...continuences are regularly granted so no one will be unconvinced".

Well, hell ~ You sure convinced ME.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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