Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2006/05/disclaimer.html#links

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Lurking" in Spokesman-Recorder

The Spokesman-Recorder has run an article on the "lurking" ordinance repeal effort.

Interesting quotes from my colleague Don Samuels: “The whole intent factor might be giving too much discretion to the officers," and “Tests show that pretty much all Americans across all races tend to give White people a pass on the appearance factor… So giving people, in this case police officers, the power to decide what the intent of someone is when their behavior is actually a passive behavior — it might be putting too much decision-making in the hands of any one person.”

Interesting quotes as well from Ralph Remington: “I think that the intent behind those who want to remove the lurking ordinance is noble, but it doesn’t have any teeth.”

We also see some of the arguments used by the Police Department (said by Lt. Amelia Huffman): “Many of the most deeply impacted neighborhoods in the city, those crime victims are also African Americans. Certainly it’s something that, like the other ordinances that we use in the Minnesota, we would want to apply to keep all of our residences in Minneapolis safe.”

However, if you look at the data on "lurking" arrests in Minneapolis, they don't happen in the "most deeply impacted neighborhoods in the city." In 2006, 41 people were cited for "lurking" in the Seventh Ward (primarily Downtown), more than twice the number of people cited in any other Ward. Interestingly, the Second Ward saw the second-most "lurking" citations last year, with 18, many of which were on the East Bank.

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