Recent gun crime – mostly gang and drug-related

Meeting with members of the Citizens Police Review Board

On Wednesday, March 21, 2018, Police Chief Ken Burton said that a recent spike in shootings and home invasions in Columbia can primarily be attributed to gang and drug activity. Burton explained, “We’re talking under 2% of the population engaging” in these behaviors “and they generate 90% of the crime.”

His statements on gun crime were made when he met with eight members of the Citizens Police Review Board on Wednesday to answer their questions. The CPRB is entrusted with reviewing appeals of Burton’s officer conduct decisions and department policies. The Board members had questions about homicides, a noticable increase in shootings and other gun-related crimes. They also quesioned Burton about recent department procedure changes to hiring and disciplinary actions.

Shootings not random

Most shootings in Columbia are not random. The same groups of people are usually involved – gangs, and drug dealers as well as drugs users and abusers.  Burton noted that efforts to solve the crimes have been hindered by “uncooperative witnesses” – people who are afraid that speaking with the police may result in retaliation against them – but police is dependent on the public’s help.

90 homicides have been recorded in Boone County in 2017, with eight of them inside Columbia, an increase compared to past years. According to crime statistics, 6 Homicides were recorded in the city of Columbia in 2016, only one in 2015 and five in 2014.

Why have thefts of guns from vehicles increased?

Burton said – guns disappear from vehicles for the same reason laptops or other valuables do — people leave valuable items, including guns, in cars and homes unlocked.

 “I think the bigger question is why are they left out in the first place?” Burton added, also acknowledging, that all guns should be kept in a secured place.
This was certainly the right thing to say one might think in times of increasing high school shootings and nationwide marches to end gun violence, in the schools as well as in the streets and neighborhoods in Columbia and the rest of the nation.

 

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America’s Most Segregated Cities | Huffington Post

Of the 28.7 million black Americans living in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, nearly one-quarter reside in segregated neighborhoods — where at least 80% of residents are black. People living in urban areas are even more likely to be isolated, with 44.4% living in homogeneous neighborhoods, where the vast majority of residents have the same skin color or ethnicity.

read more:  America’s Most Segregated Cities | Source: Huffington Post

Gang banging is like being addicted to drugs

First you wanna try cuz everybody around u is doing them too. You wanna try because you feel like this would help you escape from the bullshit you are surrounded by. You are in search for people you think understand you and accept you because u feel unappreciated and misunderstood at home. In the beginning drugs make u feel better, so does the set. Once started u get all excited about it, u love to be in the streets.

Now you are really into it. You put in work, more than into anything else. You promote and praise your set just like an addict praises his drug as the best thing they ever had in their life. You get used to what you are doing.

After a while gang banging changes from being all fun to being hard work. That is when the addiction starts to fully unfold. You realize that it is not all fun but you also become aware that you need this lifestyle because by now you cant live your life any differently no more. You have commited yourself to the set and the lifestyle that comes with it. But still you feel like being in control of what you are doing even tho you by now have been in and out of jail a couple of times already, stopped going to school or can’t keep a job (if you managed to get one anyway) and it starts to influence your life negatively. If you manage to stay alive and don’t die from this drug called gang-banging, you remain it that stage of the addiction for years.

After many years of being in and out of jail, after almost dieing a couple of times, you realize that there must be something better out there. You start questioning what you are doing. The wish to get away from all this starts to grow inside of you. Now you realize that you have invested way to much time and effort into something that hasnt really brought you any further in your life. But what to do now? There is no getting away from it without any external help. You are being stuck way too deep into it and you know that.

For an addict, a rehab is the method of choice. Of course it doesnt work for the majority of people at first attempt. They need several attempts to get away from their addiction because a rehab only works if the addict himself really wants to get away from his addiction. Forcing people into programs doesnt make any sense.

Same goes with gang banging. The method of choice here is a therapy. Yes, you read it right. I am saying every individual that lived that kind of lifestyle needs a therapy but they have to be ready for it. Why do I say that? I believe that changing the environment only, doesnt have the expected effect. If you remove all the drugs from an addict they will always find a way to get what they need. And the same thing happens with gang banging. There can as many injunctions as possible. Gangs simply relocate and continue doing what they are doing. You can offer an addict as much help as u want, if they aint ready, they wont listen or take the hand u are reaching out to them.

As far as changing the environment in the neighborhoods – all the attempts of making a change are only a drop in a bucket full of holes. You gotta fix the holes first. And the holes are the personality issues that people living that lifestyle develop over the years. That is where the real change has to start.

First you wanna try cuz everybody around u is doing them too. You wanna try because you feel like this would help you escape from the bullshit you are surrounded by. You are in search for people you think understand you and accept you because u feel unappreciated and misunderstood at home. In the beginning drugs make u feel better, so does the set. Once started u get all excited about it, u love to be in the streets.

Now you are really into it. You put in work, more than into anything else. You promote and praise your set just like an addict praises his drug as the best thing they ever had in their life. You get used to what you are doing.

After a while gang banging changes from being all fun to being hard work. That is when the addiction starts to fully unfold. You realize that it is not all fun but you also become aware that you need this lifestyle because by now you cant live your life any differently no more. You have commited yourself to the set and the lifestyle that comes with it. But still you feel like being in control of what you are doing even tho you by now have been in and out of jail a couple of times already, stopped going to school or can’t keep a job (if you managed to get one anyway) and it starts to influence your life negatively. If you manage to stay alive and don’t die from this drug called gang-banging, you remain it that stage of the addiction for years.

After many years of being in and out of jail, after almost dieing a couple of times, you realize that there must be something better out there. You start questioning what you are doing. The wish to get away from all this starts to grow inside of you. Now you realize that you have invested way to much time and effort into something that hasnt really brought you any further in your life. But what to do now? There is no getting away from it without any external help. You are being stuck way too deep into it and you know that.

For an addict, a rehab is the method of choice. Of course it doesnt work for the majority of people at first attempt. They need several attempts to get away from their addiction because a rehab only works if the addict himself really wants to get away from his addiction. Forcing people into programs doesnt make any sense.

Same goes with gang banging. The method of choice here is a therapy. Yes, you read it right. I am saying every individual that lived that kind of lifestyle  needs a therapy but they have to be ready for it. Why do I say that? I believe that changing the environment only, doesnt have the expected effect. If you remove all the drugs from an addict they will always find a way to get what they need. And the same thing happens with gang banging. There can as many injunctions as possible. Gangs simply relocate and continue doing what they are doing. You can offer an addict as much help as u want, if they aint ready, they wont listen or take the hand u are reaching out to them.

As far as changing the environment in the neighborhoods – all the attempts of making a change are only a drop in a bucket full of holes. You gotta fix the holes first. And the holes are the personality issues that people living that lifestyle develop over the years. That is where the real change has to start.