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Jogger Wondered Whether To Call The Cops

by Paul Bass | Mar 11, 2014 4:14 pm

(93) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Parks, Edgewood, Westville, True Vote

Paul Bass Photo The man lurking under the bridge pressed his body up against a concrete wall.

A jogger, out on a run with his dog Saturday afternoon, didn’t notice the man at first.

It was around 3:50. The jogger was on his regular route on the pedestrian road that cuts through Edgewood Park. Heading alongside the West River toward the duck pond and Chapel Street, he entered the underpass below the Edgewood Avenue bridge, which is supported by arched steel-reinforced concrete ribs.

Once under the bridge, the jogger saw the man pressed up against one of the arched ribs.

The sun had come out and the temperatures warmed up; most people in the park had dispensed of winter gear. This man had on a ski cap pulled down. Underneath his coat he had the collar of a turtleneck pulled up to conceal part of his face.

The jogger made eye contact with the man. “Hey,” he asked. “What’s up?”

The man in the ski cap said nothing. He glared. He didn’t move.

The jogger kept moving. He knew that some disturbing attacks have occurred on joggers and cyclists in Edgewood Park over the past year. Some involved teens on bikes. The jogger hadn’t remembered that one attack occurred at this very spot under the bridge: A man hiding under the underpass jumped out to attack a 37-year-old woman cycling home from work. He pulled out a gun, then made off with her bike. (Read about that here.)

After he exited the park, the jogger ran into two friends from the neighborhood, my wife Carole and me, out for a Sabbath afternoon stroll, without cell phones. He stopped to ask for advice: Should he call 911?

On the one hand, he believed a crime would soon occur. The man was clearly trying to make himself invisible.

On the other hand, he had two reservations.

First, the man under the bridge was black. The jogger, who’s white, worried he was racially profiling.

Second, the jogger has a libertarian streak. He believes “people be allowed to hang out and loiter” in a park without having the cops called on them.

Our advice: Call the cops.

He took the advice. He jogged home, called 911.

Maybe 20 minutes later we arrived at the bridge—just in time to see three New Haven cops escort the man out of the underpass and up the stairs to Edgewood Avenue.

Sgt. Renee Forte, Westville’s top cop, later related the rest of the story: The officers checked to see if the man, who is 46 years old and lives in New Haven, had any outstanding warrants. He did not. They asked why he was standing under the bridge. “He claimed that he was cutting through the park and ducked back there because he wanted to urinate.” Also, the police had been told by the 911 dispatcher that the call had concerned a man with a ski mask over his face; he had a knit cap, not a ski mask. Without any evidence that he had in fact urinated, the officers had no grounds for an arrest. They ordered the man to leave the area and stay out of the park. He complied.

Forte said “it’s very possible that the dispatcher” didn’t ask for enough information from the jogger. “That’s a problem we’ve been having.” (Judge for yourself: Click here to read the transcript of the 911 call.)

Following a call from the Independent Monday, Lt. Jeff Hoffman, who oversees patrol, checked the man’s record. “The subject has an extensive out-of-state criminal history,” Hoffman subsequently reported. “Larceny, narcotics, one assault. No robberies.” Hoffman said both Forte and the detective division planned to follow up on the incident.

Forte said the jogger was right to call 911. Officers were able to respond quickly and remove the man from the park. What do you think? Register your “True Vote” above and feel free to comment below.

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posted by: Bill Saunders on March 11, 2014  4:49pm

Maybe using the “Polce Non-Emergency Number” would have been more appropriate…..

posted by: Threefifths on March 11, 2014  5:47pm

Sgt. Renee Forte, Westville’s top cop, later related the rest of the story: The officers checked to see if the man, who is 46 years old and lives in New Haven, had any outstanding warrants. He did not. They asked why he was standing under the bridge.

What probable cause did the police officer have to stop him and check for outstanding warrants?


Forte said the jogger was right to call 911. Officers were able to respond quickly and remove the man from the park.

On what grounds did they have to remove the man from the park.


looks to me like good old stop and frisk.

posted by: Westville voter on March 11, 2014  6:16pm

Thank you for reporting on this, Paul.
This is an important reminder that the crime and safety issues that drove many of us out of the park last summer have not been addressed. The crimes were never solved, nor really investigated, lighting has not been added, etc. The police and our elected officials remain AWOL on this issue. Sadly, my family and I have already resigned ourselves to avoiding this beautiful park in the spring and summer because of these concerns.  I guess it is too much to ask that the city and our alder make even a token effort…

posted by: TheMadcap on March 11, 2014  6:20pm

There seriously needs to be lighting put in there. Maybe even a camera. When they built the tunnel under Skiff St in Hamden on the Canal Trail the other year they put cameras up in it.

posted by: William Kurtz on March 11, 2014  6:41pm

This incident is a perfect example of the benefits of community policing, walking beats, bicycle patrols, downtown and park ambassadors, clean teams, etc.

It sounds like the police handled it very well and I don’t fault them. But when the only easily-accessible tools in their kits are warrant checks, arrests and instructions to move along, it’s difficult to reconcile the need for safety (actual and perceived) and the civil rights of people who might not be doing anything wrong.

‘The jogger’ is probably right to challenge his own interpretations and consider the role race may be playing in them. And I agree that people should in general have the right to hang out in a park. And there have been disturbing incidents of daylight violence in that very park, in that very spot. And eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, as, um, some guy we learned about in school once said.

Are there no alternatives to a) nothing and b) 911?

posted by: HewNaven on March 11, 2014  6:49pm

On the one hand, he believed a crime would soon occur. The man was clearly trying to make himself invisible.

On the other hand, he had two reservations.

First, the man under the bridge was black. The jogger, who’s white, worried he was racially profiling.

Second, the jogger has a libertarian streak. He believes “people be allowed to hang out and loiter” in a park without having the cops called on them.

How about being a pragmatist? The guy is hiding in the shadows under a bridge. Stop your reasoning right there. What do you think he’s doing there? Before ideology there is always common sense.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 11, 2014  7:07pm

The Police Contact Numbers are here:
http://www.cityofnewhaven.com/police/ImportantPhoneNumbers.asp

The Non-Emergency Number is listed right under 911: 

Call the NEN, and maybe make a post to See Click Fix to get the word out in the community..  NEN goes straight to 911, at which point an internal decision would be made whether to dispatch or not.

If you have direct concerns with Edgewood Park, get them out to ‘the powers’  (that includes The Parks Department).  In Fact, SCF might be a really great tool for this purpose.  But above all follow up…..

posted by: Theodora on March 11, 2014  7:20pm

Standing under a bridge while black. And the advice is CALL THE COPS.

Do you, under any similar situation, think to call the cops on a white person standing?

posted by: Edward Francis on March 11, 2014  7:26pm

Very plain and simple decision - “If you see something - say something”.

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on March 11, 2014  7:30pm

Bill Saunders, I think when you combine that kind of sentiment with the non-responsiveness of the non emergency number that’s the reason a lot of people just ignore things and look the other way.

posted by: Theodora on March 11, 2014  7:43pm

@HewNaven ... So a guy standing ON A PATH under a bridge doesn’t respond to pleasant converation, so the answer is CALL THE COPS.

How very Frank Rizzo of you. Or George Zimmerman of you.

posted by: 14yearsinNHandgone on March 11, 2014  7:53pm

Definitely right to call.  White guilt at it’s finest.  Walk away and possibly let someone else get mugged because you don’t want to be insensitive?  Not cool.

posted by: nhaven88 on March 11, 2014  9:25pm

You need only reasonable suspicion to stop someone…not probable cause…There is also a thing called consensual encounters.

posted by: robn on March 11, 2014  10:21pm

The man was obviously a bridge inspector who is just sensitive to the cold.

posted by: WestvilleAdvocate on March 11, 2014  10:33pm

A good old-fashion walking-the-beat would solve many of these “issues”.

I’m unclear why the guy called 911.  What did the man do to the jogger?  This is a stretch but: this is the stuff of Zimmerman without a gun.  I mean, come on….  If this was FL the jogger may have shot the guy and gotten away with it.

Maybe the guy likes resting in the shade…maybe the guy thought it was cold so needed a knit cap.

I’m unclear what grounds the police had for telling him to leave the park?  Its a park…for people.  Maybe he was a mugger but he didn’t do a damn thing to the jogger.

The city needs to see that police, walking the city, in all parts of the city, will help reduce crime.  Why are we having this conversation in this city like a broken record?  Or get a few more Segways if walking is too much.

posted by: pd093 on March 11, 2014  10:48pm

There was NO reason to call 911. No Emergency. What probable cause existed? None. The Officer can make a consensual encounter and say “hi, how are you doing? (see the Ocquendo case) If you are going to run the streets of New Haven, like running the South Bronx, be prepared to protect yourself. You cannot say ” I see a black male in my neighborhood and am suspicious”, what is he doing to make you suspicious?

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 11, 2014  10:52pm

Maybe the guy was scared of dogs? 

Would you admit that to an inquiring police officer, having been part of ‘the system’?

posted by: romby on March 11, 2014  11:09pm

I am new to the area and have few questions for the group:

1) Is wearing a turtle neck in a New Haven park against the law or not?

2) What if one “glares” or momentarily “didn’t move” for whatever reason in a New Haven park? Is that against the law too? What if the reason was that I was clearly not publicly urinating but had considered it previously but then I decided against it.

3) Should I consider adding a knit hat to my park ensemble to soften the edges of the turtleneck a bit or could it be misconstrued as a ski mask by a jogger with a libertarian streak?

Seriously, the mere existence of this story in print is pretty embarrassing. Was an editor even involved?

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 12, 2014  1:30am

Romby,

Maybe the editors choice had something to do with getting a dialog going.  The Spring is upon us.  There is not a reason on earth people shouldn’t enjoy the amazing natural resource that EP is.

If you are worried, get directly involved.  Put up a sign over the gorgeous underpass graffiti that sez : 

Beware of Lurkers—This Means YOu

Or have a picnic with your family.

USE IT, DAMMIT, AND OWN IT.  IT IS YOURS.!

I am really sick of the complainers.  Seems this town is rife with them.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 12, 2014  2:11am

“This is a stretch but: this is the stuff of Zimmerman without a gun”

No, it’s not, in fact it’s inane to say this. Zimmerman without a gun is a just a local neighborhood watch person, you know, the things we have signs for up all over the city warning people about. This is suspicious behavior in a place that in the past year has had several attacks. You’d be silly and frankly irresponsible to not call the cops. If you actually care about violent crime in this city then the police need to be proactive, not reactive, and they can’t be proactive if people don’t actually report suspicious behavior.

posted by: UNH Grad on March 12, 2014  7:10am

@Threefifths

Police Officers do not need Probable Cause to stop a person on the street and run them for warrants, they need Reasonable Suspicion.  Totally different legal standard.

I know everyone is all up in arms about “stop and frisk,” something they believe to be a new concept, but this has been affirmed by the Supreme Court since 1968 in the case of Terry v. Ohio.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/392/1

posted by: robn on March 12, 2014  7:18am

Bunk to the naysayers and the trigger happy profiling accusers. If a person is concealing themselves and their identity, loitering under a bridge on a beautiful day completely overdressed, THATS suspicious. If your elderly mom took her walk through this park every day and this guy was spotted doing what he was doing you would expect nothing less than the cops to check him out. It would have been different if he was seeking shelter from bad weather or if there was a bench or something there; but there wasn’t.

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  8:41am

posted by: UNH Grad on March 12, 2014 7:10am

@Threefifths

Police Officers do not need Probable Cause to stop a person on the street and run them for warrants, they need Reasonable Suspicion.  Totally different legal standard.

So what was the Reasonable Suspicion to stop him.


I know everyone is all up in arms about “stop and frisk,” something they believe to be a new concept, but this has been affirmed by the Supreme Court since 1968 in the case of Terry v. Ohio.

About 684,000 people were stopped in 2011.The vast majority of these people were African-American or Latino. Some judges have found that these stops are not based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.


posted by: robn on March 12, 2014 7:18am

Bunk to the naysayers and the trigger happy profiling accusers. If a person is concealing themselves and their identity, loitering under a bridge on a beautiful day completely overdressed, THATS suspicious. If your elderly mom took her walk through this park every day and this guy was spotted doing what he was doing you would expect nothing less than the cops to check him out. It would have been different if he was seeking shelter from bad weather or if there was a bench or something there; but there wasn’t.

How do we know the jogger is telling the truth.How many of you remeber this.

Ken Burns & “The Central Park Five”

http://youtu.be/AvUxO7EemV4

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  9:15am

DONT TALK TO COPS- NYPD Detective

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=548855458545889

posted by: robn on March 12, 2014  10:03am

3/5,

Hmmm….

...lack of communication between AA neighborhoods and cops…

...and…

...many unsolved crimes in AA neighborhoods.

See any correlation?

posted by: darnell on March 12, 2014  10:41am

I want to change my vote from “tough call” to “No”. I think it is reasonable that the man was cutting through the park, and at 46, I can understand his need to urinate, and it makes sense that he would attempt to be as invisible as possible while doing so, and yes, if walking, even if it were a little warm he would dress for the cold since the mornings and evenings are so (especially if he were homeless), and yes, it is not a crime to NOT speak with strange white guys in a park, in fact, our mothers tell us not to do so, so in conclusion I voted wrong the first time and rather err on the side of protecting personal freedoms (let him be) than stop and frisk based on one guy’s suspicions.

posted by: Trustme on March 12, 2014  10:54am

Threefifths I can see you are trying to preve a point, but your wrong or maybe I just don’t see it. It’s not natural for someone to hide under a bridge between the ribs. It seems like the jogger did not want someone to get hurt.

So threefifths, do you actually believe a person recessing himself between the ribs of a bridge in a park (where attacks have occurred) is not suspicious? That sounds nuts to me. And checking for warrants is routine for cops to do, takes no more than 2 minutes, might be hard for you to understand threefifths, but that’s how police can make an effective arrest and get a criminal off the street.

Yes, a crime has not been committed, but that’s what a good samiritan does, call the cops and let the cops figure it out. Reasonable suspicion is definitely there and if it wasn’t, the police can encounter the person in a consensual conversation.

posted by: DrJay on March 12, 2014  11:41am

In an analogous situation, someone asked the police to investigate my suspicious behavior in an airport (I was praying). The officer was respectful, checked my id, and apologized for the intrusion. It didn’t bother me a bit - in fact, I was glad they were being careful .
Asking an officer to investigate someone is just that- not a punishment, just an investigation. We should have a low threshold to check things out. Of course, that requires well trained and courteous police, which I believe we have in New Haven.

posted by: willie f hoffman on March 12, 2014  11:56am

Dear NHI readers,

If you would like to contribute to positive solutions of safety issues in Edgewood Park please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to join the safety team.

We are working on a date to paint the bridge, until this week it has been too cold. We are also in discussion with parks on installing lighting under the bridge.

Another team to join is The Coogan Pavilion Team.  Coogan is scheduled to be rebuilt this summer. Friends of edgewood is forming a team to assist parks in their goal of making ng coogan a regularly staffed community center with after school programming and the ability for groups and professionals to use the space for meetings, exercise, indoor recreation, and much more. A fully functioning Coogan will drastically improve the safety of Edgewood.

Thanks

Willie Hoffman, President Friends of Edgewood Park.

posted by: DavidK on March 12, 2014  12:03pm

What’s wrong with stop and frisk? I bet if they frisked the man they would have found a weapon. We may have been able to get one more gun off the street.

We loved that walk along the river. We would like to get it back.

posted by: nhctguy on March 12, 2014  12:13pm

The police responded to the underpass 20 minutes later and the man’s story was that he was urinating.  Think about that…. 20 minutes later and still under the bridge.  I don’t think so.  Good job to the citizen and NHPD to address the situation.

posted by: IloveMYcity203 on March 12, 2014  1:04pm

People can we stop playing the race card and just look at the situation for what it is? Every time a situation involves black and white, there is no need to make it out to be a race thing.

I am a black male who was born and raised in New Haven, and I still live in New Haven. If that were me walking through Edgewood park, I would have called the police too 946-6316 (Non Emergency Number for NHPD). I wouldn’t have called them because he was black, but because he was being sketchy and showing behavior of someone who happens to be suspicious. He could have very well been trying to urinate and be discreet about it, but it’s better to be safe than be sorry. Lastly, seeing that I grew up in the Hill, it’s easier for me to determine if someone is up to no good because I grew up in the environment, so for someone who isn’t use to that day to day life of having to learn how to be street smart, it was out of character for him. You also have to take into consideration the previous crimes that occurred in that park.

Would he have bothered me;probably not! Why? Because I am not an easy target.

All I am saying is look at the whole picture before going directly for the kill with why this man did not do the right thing. It’s too easy to be the back seat driver these days.

Last but not least, a lot of people say they wouldn’t have called the cops right? Well, I’d like to see you walk down some streets in my neighborhood and other neighborhoods when no one is around and you see a guy (black or white) hiding behind a tree while looking at you. I guarantee that all of that second guessing and thinking that you are doing on this forum will go out the window and 911 will be the 1st thing that you do!

posted by: TheMadcap on March 12, 2014  1:44pm

@DavidK

Stop and frisk is bad because when people mention it they’re usually referring to how it works in NYC, where the basis for reasonable suspicion is being a black man in public(and to a slightly lesser extent Hispanic. Really though, the NYPD last year stopped and frisked more black men than black men who live in NYC).

This may have been a literal stop and frisk, but it’s not stop and frisk in the colloquial sense. This is good, proactive policing and cooperation between citizens and the police.

posted by: FacChec on March 12, 2014  3:06pm

If the story is an actual adaptation of the unfolding events, then without doubt the jogger was racial profiling. According to the jogger, “The jogger made eye contact with the man. “Hey,” he asked. “What’s up?”

The man in the ski cap said nothing. He glared. He didn’t move”.

It was the jogger who took the timid action by getting the man’s attention, and then later being talked into a decisive judgment by friends and the NHI, neither was on the scene:

“After he exited the park, the jogger ran into two friends from the neighborhood, my wife Carole and me, out for a Sabbath afternoon stroll, without cell phones. He stopped to ask for advice: Should he call 911?

NHI:
“Our advice: Call the cops.

He took the advice. He jogged home, called 911.

Cops findings:

They asked why he was standing under the bridge. “He claimed that he was cutting through the park and ducked back there because he wanted to urinate.” Also, the police had been told by the 911 dispatcher that the call had concerned a man with a ski mask over his face; he had a knit cap, not a ski mask. Without any evidence that he had in fact urinated, the officers had no grounds for an arrest. They ordered the man to leave the area and stay out of the park. He complied.

At this point there is no evidence that the man had any intentions at all. The fact that the man had a previous out of state record means nothing as it relates to the man’s action in this incident.

Clearly, the jogger questioned his own initial thoughts, and was talked into action by others based on the description given to them by the jogger with no empirical evidence of their own.

My advice to the jogger, his friends and the NHI, stay out of the park underpass and ride your bike in cycle lanes instead.

posted by: parejkoj on March 12, 2014  3:07pm

No-ones bothered by this person’s claim to be peeing under the bridge? Aren’t there public toilets in that park, or are they not yet open?

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  3:44pm

posted by: DavidK on March 12, 2014 12:03pm

What’s wrong with stop and frisk? I bet if they frisked the man they would have found a weapon. We may have been able to get one more gun off the street.

We loved that walk along the river. We would like to get it back.

This is what is wroug.

Stop-and-Frisk secret recordings prove NYPD targeted blacks,

http://youtu.be/DXHIH1eaZLs


What you Didn’t know about NYPD’s Stop & Frisk program !


http://youtu.be/rfJHx0Gj6ys

We loved that walk along the river. We would like to get it back.

who are the we that would like to get it back.

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  3:52pm

posted by: IloveMYcity203 on March 12, 2014 1:04pm

People can we stop playing the race card and just look at the situation for what it is? Every time a situation involves black and white, there is no need to make it out to be a race thing.

How is this playing the race card.It is a fact that people of color are stop by the police at a high rate.Look at how the police in east haven was stoping latino people.Would you say race card on that.

posted by: Sagimore on March 12, 2014  4:09pm

The jogger worried he was racially profiling when I dude with a ski mask is hiding behind a pillar under a bridge where recent attacks have taken place.  Abandoning common sense is not a requirement of not being a racist.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 12, 2014  4:32pm

@parejkoj

I don’t really care if he was peeing, I’m more concerned over the fact when the cops came they said they saw no evidence he ever peed there and more importantly someone who was supposedly just peeing was still there 20 minutes later.

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  4:39pm

posted by: Trustme on March 12, 2014 10:54am

Threefifths I can see you are trying to preve a point, but your wrong or maybe I just don’t see it. It’s not natural for someone to hide under a bridge between the ribs. It seems like the jogger did not want someone to get hurt.

We only heard the jogger side.How do you know the jogger is telling the truth?

So threefifths, do you actually believe a person recessing himself between the ribs of a bridge in a park (where attacks have occurred) is not suspicious? That sounds nuts to me. And checking for warrants is routine for cops to do, takes no more than 2 minutes, might be hard for you to understand threefifths, but that’s how police can make an effective arrest and get a criminal off the street

Answer this.What probable cause did the police officer have to stop him and check for outstanding warrants?

Yes, a crime has not been committed, but that’s what a good samiritan does, call the cops and let the cops figure it out. Reasonable suspicion is definitely there and if it wasn’t, the police can encounter the person in a consensual conversation.


The police can encounter the person in a consensual conversation.But the person has the right, when stopped, to refuse to answer any questions for any reason or no reason.  questioning by police.The officer would also need to support his suspicion later should the matter should wind up in court by referring to specific facts that prompted the suspicion.

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  4:51pm

RACE CARD?

White People Stopped By New York Police Are More Likely To Have Guns Or Drugs Than Minorities
BY AVIVA SHEN   ON MAY 22, 2013 AT 12:20 PM


The data, however, tells a different story: weapons and drugs were more often found on white New Yorkers during stops than on minorities, according to the Public Advocate’s analysis of the NYPD’s 2012 statistics.White New Yorkers make up a small minority of stop-and-frisks, which were 84 percent black and Latino residents. Despite this much higher number of minorities deemed suspicious by police, the likelihood that stopping an African American would find a weapon was half the likelihood of finding one on a white person.The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded a weapon was half that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered a weapon in one out every 49 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 71 stops of Latinos and 93 stops of African Americans to find a weapon.

• The likelihood a stop of an African American New Yorker yielded contraband was one-third less than that of white New Yorkers stopped. The NYPD uncovered contraband in one out every 43 stops of white New Yorkers. By contrast, it took the Department 57 stops of Latinos and 61 stops of African Americans to find contraband.

It’s unlikely that the appropriate lesson to take from these findings is that stops of white people should increase because they are more likely to carry weapons and drugs. Rather, they suggest that police are excessively targeting minorities. Officers may be netting more successful stops of white New Yorkers because they are only likely to stop a white person when they actually suspect that person.of committing a crime. Considering one officer’s testimony that superiors explicitly directed him to target young black men, minorities are judged by a much more flexible definition of “reasonable suspicion.nearly 89 percent of all stops result in no charges.

Race Card?

posted by: IloveMYcity203 on March 12, 2014  4:52pm

@TheMadCap, you made an excellent point. If in fact he was just urinating, why was he still there 20minutes later.

As far as the knit cap/Ski mask, the knit cap turns into a ski mask. When it’s hot, guys roll them up and they fit like a beanie hat (or whatever you wanna call it), then we you mark your victim, it rolls right down.

@Threefifths

You wrote:
“How is this playing the race card.It is a fact that people of color are stop by the police at a high rate.Look at how the police in east haven was stoping latino people.Would you say race card on that”

I won’t deny that people of color are stopped by police at an alarming rate. I agree with you there. I happened to never get stopped, and I am in wealthy towns outside of new haven, but it could be because I have a very nice car lol, but I’m just one person.


The reason why I said, “people should stop playing the race card,” is because some people are just looking at the fact that it was a WHITE jogger, who saw a BLACK man and creating their own story without reading the facts. It happens all the time when Black activist holler and hoot whenever they feel justice wasn’t served when a black person is involved in a high profile case, but when the black person isn’t on the receiving end, no one has anything to say. When blacks are on the receiving end, the world stops turning.

I do agree with you your comment about east haven. It might happen to be that latinos were driving uninsured and without licenses, there is still a way to go about stopping them without breaking the laws.

Thanks for challenging my comment. I like that :)

NOTE: Let’s not all forget that white/black police officers use reverse racism as well. White guy in a black neighborhood at 2am = almost a guaranteed stop.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 12, 2014  5:03pm

I think it was this guy…...

http://fatalbert.wikia.com/wiki/Dumb_Donald

posted by: robn on March 12, 2014  5:23pm

3/5,

The sociopolitical drama queen way to put those statistics is that…
“WHITE NEW YORKERS WERE TWICE AS LIKELY AS BLACK PEOPLE TO BE FOUND WITH A WEAPON OR CONTRABAND DURING STOP AND FRISK.“

The mathematical way to put those statistics is that…
“of all New Yorkers stopped only 1-2% were found with contraband or a weapon.”

The results are the same; the program yielded few results for the energy they put into it.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 12, 2014  5:46pm

After reading some 42 comments here so far, I find it fascinating that no one has pointed out how biased the “reporter”, Paul Bass, here is. Far from giving us any hint of journalistic objectivity, Bass, who is a part of the story (admitting that doesn’t change the level of objectivity), has used words and created images that he cannot possibly defend as provable or accurate.

For example: How would he know the man was “lurking”, and what is that?  Or that the man “pressed his body up against a concrete wall” or why, if he in fact did?  Could he have been afraid of the (innocent?) jogger’s un-described dog?

Since the man has lived “out of state”, how do we know that his choice of clothing was not related to his actually feeling cold in the “warm” NE weather?  Or how can we prove that his collar was “pulled up TO (emphasis mine) conceal” his face, rather than the fact that it just did.

Furthermore, the picture of that bridge, under which I’ve both walked and rode my bike, shows a pretty wide space.  Are we sure that the man was standing in the “very spot” where another attack occurred, or are those words simply convenient ones to paint the picture and dramatize the situation Bass is so eager to present here.

If we take Bass at his words, and we have little reason to do that, as he is telling this story 2nd hand with words so subjective that he is not able to defend or define, then we might be drawn to the same conclusion and advice he give.

But a posture of suspicion, based on his act of writing, not on any perception of how he looks, I can only conclude that neither he, the jogger nor the police had a REASON to suspect this man of anything.

The police’s order to “leave the area and stay out of the park” I’m sure is a violation of this man’s rights.  That’s the REAL story here.  That and the fact that this “reporting” is more criminal than anything that man did in the park that day. 

The Rev. Samuel T. Ross-Lee
Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church
New Haven, CT

posted by: DavidK on March 12, 2014  6:13pm

@Threefifths

The we in my comments is me and my wife.

I will make a prediction, New Yorkers will regret getting rid of stop-and-frisk. Crime in general and murders will be up. People on the streets of New York will be concerned a passer-by will be carrying a gun. More will be tempted to carry a gun in self defense. More innocent bystanders will be shot.

posted by: Theodora on March 12, 2014  6:59pm

Bill,

Perhaps you are trying too hard to be funny with an episode that isn’t all that funny. Folks calling the police on a guy who’d done nothing wrong because they are afraid of his color is ridiculous. Perhaps if white people quit being such alarmists, race relations would be much further down the road.

posted by: SLP on March 12, 2014  8:09pm

Those who are familiar with traveling under this bridge know that the many recessed areas offer hiding spaces for people who want to be hidden. The angle of the photo in the story is misleading in that it makes it look as if it’s easy for a someone on the path to see inside the recesses; in fact it is not. You can’t see in until you’re adjacent, and it can be scary. At all times of day, I’ve seen kids skipping school, people doing or dealing drugs, and people with the demeanor of potential muggers. This is a major thoroughfare through the park, and can’t be easily avoided (nor should it have to be). I understand the jogger’s dilemma. I don’t know if I would have called, but I support the decision. I love cities, I love Edgewood Park, and I’m relatively fearless—but the “underbridge” is scary, and those who aren’t familiar with the layout need to be less quick to judge.

posted by: Threefifths on March 12, 2014  8:12pm

posted by: robn on March 12, 2014 5:23pm

3/5,

The sociopolitical drama queen way to put those statistics is that…
“WHITE NEW YORKERS WERE TWICE AS LIKELY AS BLACK PEOPLE TO BE FOUND WITH A WEAPON OR CONTRABAND DURING STOP AND FRISK.“

The mathematical way to put those statistics is that…
“of all New Yorkers stopped only 1-2% were found with contraband or a weapon.”

The results are the same; the program yielded few results for the energy they put into it.

But as the you tube shows.


Stop-and-Frisk secret recordings prove NYPD targeted blacks,

http://youtu.be/DXHIH1eaZLs


What you Didn’t know about NYPD’s Stop & Frisk program ! In fact in this Video a police officer expose the police department.

http://youtu.be/rfJHx0Gj6ys

posted by: Jones Gore on March 12, 2014  8:39pm

Being that Edgewood park spans to sections of city, West River and Wesville, there needs to be a bike cycle patrol for it. The Ranger station is perfect to have police there during the summer months. Police can patrol the park and surrounding neighborhoods from the Ranger station bikes.

posted by: darnell on March 12, 2014  11:26pm

Since when did it become illegal for a black man to wear winter clothing in the winter while resting in a public park in the middle of the day?

When did it become illegal for a black man to refuse to engage with a sweaty white man in a park, after the white man says “what’s up?” with no further explanation?

Why is it illegal for a man taking a walk to relieve himself in nature’s bathroom when there isn’t anyone around?

I know the answer, 1860, pre-civil war and pre freedom for slaves. Yes, that’s right, I am “playing the race card”. You would think that in America the crime of a “Black Man minding his own business and not being forced to show his papers to any white man” has been abolished, but I guess not. So the guy says didn’t answer the sweaty jogger, so what. I may not either if I was suddenly surprised by this dude. How did he not know that this guy wasn’t out cruising for some extracurricular activity, like many of our GOP Senators do in public bathrooms (foot tap anyone).

So you all feel justified in your racism since the guy had a past (could have been yesterday, could have been 20 years ago). “He believed a crime would soon occur.” I sure wish I had his crystal ball, Powerball is $60 million this week. Now it is your public duty to call the police on a black man resting in the park, since something COULD have happened.

And talk about witness testimony and how reliable that is. The turned down sky cap suddenly becomes knit cap.

“The man was clearly trying to make himself invisible.” Most of the time, guys like this, homeless and alone, are invisible to all of you. You don’t want to see them when they are standing on the corner or huddled on a park bench on the Green. But when he is “loitering” in your park, all of a sudden you see him.

The jogger made a mistake, very much based on race, and almost all of you apologist do not want to admit it. Well, you can not kick a bad habit (racism) without first admitting that you have the habit.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 13, 2014  1:34am

“The jogger made a mistake, very much based on race, and almost all of you apologist do not want to admit it.”

Then why was he still there 20 minutes later if he was ostensibly just taking a leak?

I mean I want to ask people, do you want to lower crime in the city? Because if you do, aside from anti-poverty measures that actually give oportunities to people, you need a proactive police force, not a reactive one, and a proactive police force can only happen if residents(legal or not, because New Haven hosts a lot of undocumented immigrants, most people here know at least one, and we all know they’re all mostly good people trying to make a better life for their family) report activity they see as seriously suspicious to the police. We all travel these streets every day, we all know what looks suspicious. To ignore that is ridiculous.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on March 13, 2014  4:26am

3/5, just a reminder:

New Haven is not New York.

What is the point of pasting in all this stuff about Stop & Frisk in NEW YORK?  This episode took place in NEW HAVEN.  The cops who were called (rightly or wrongly) were NEW HAVEN cops, not New York cops.  They were not going to implement the NEW YORK Stop & Frisk policy.

posted by: Threefifths on March 13, 2014  6:30am

posted by: DavidK on March 12, 2014 6:13pm

@Threefifths

The we in my comments is me and my wife.

I will make a prediction, New Yorkers will regret getting rid of stop-and-frisk. Crime in general and murders will be up. People on the streets of New York will be concerned a passer-by will be carrying a gun. More will be tempted to carry a gun in self defense. More innocent bystanders will be shot.

Not true.

New York City Is Safer Than Ever—Even With Less ‘Stop and Frisk’

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/12/new-york-city-safer-evereven-less-stop-and-frisk/7981/


Here’s what you need to know about stop and frisk — and why the courts shut it down
BY DYLAN MATTHEWS
August 13, 2013 at 4


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/13/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-stop-and-frisk-and-why-the-courts-shut-it-down/

posted by: Wikus van de Merwe on March 13, 2014  6:45am

I think this would have been a better piece if NHI had left out the race of the actors to let it be judged from a neutral place. (even better if they did a follow up and revealed that they had switched the races deliberately!)

A man wearing obscuring clothing, hiding under a bridge, in a park known for crime, was acting suspicious.  Should the jogger have called the police? Yes, of course.

I’m sure most of the current naysayers would agree, save for those with “libertarian” bents.  The funny part is that I bet that 100% of people would say “no” to the proposed question if it was a woman instead.  So that makes everyone a sexist?

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  8:17am

@Madcap

“Then why was he still there 20 minutes later if he was ostensibly just taking a leak?”

The answer - because in American, it isn’t illegal for him to be in the park for 20 minutes. In fact, the reporter and his wife were still there, and I don’t think anyone was accusing them of getting ready to commit a crime.

I again ask the question, when did it become illegal for a man dressed in winter clothing during the winter to spend time in a public park in the middle of the day?

The answer - either you are living in 1860 (when it was actually illegal), or in 2014 when he is Black and possibly homeless.

I guess much hasn’t changed.

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  8:31am

I knew several people like 3/5’s would turn this subject into RACE. Stop n Frisk as nothing to do with this incident. How can someone be under a bridge for 20 minutes and when he gets approached by the cops, his excuse is urinating. Peeing under a bridge in a park, WHERE THERE IS THOUSANDS OF TREES. there is no way a guy would pick peeing under a bridge over going behind a on bunch of trees. Peeing on concrete bounces back all over your shoes and the ground behind a tree WONT. Wow 3/5’s and to the other commentators who don’t see the picture, I don’t get it. Don’t understand your logic because RACE as become the topic again. Some people really want racial division to continue. 

And if he didn’t answer any questions during the suspicious encounter? it only would have raised the officers suspicion because there was a formal complaint. What if when the cops ran the suspicious subject for warrants and he had an outstanding felony warrant. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THEN 3/5’s.

A person doesn’t need to be visible and commit a crime before someone calls the cops 3/5’s. I would like to know 3/5’s??? whats suspicious behavior to you?? without being extreme. and I wonder if you ever called the police before?? I would not like to have a friend with your specific view, example; let’s go out for a beer, but let’s walk through the dark alleyway instead of the lighted street or lot to get to the bar, no thanks 3/5’s.

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  8:33am

Remember this, there has been murdered bodies found on Edgewood Park, and several reports of serious assaults, shootings, and robberies. Stay safe out there.

posted by: Threefifths on March 13, 2014  8:42am

Can some one explain this.

Study shows police see black boys as less Innocent-than-white-boys.


http://globalgrind.com/2014/03/12/study-police-see-black-boys-as-less-innocent-than-white-boys-details/

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  9:00am

Darnell your right but he was under a bridge and his excuse was that he was looking for a place to pee. 20 minutes to pee? It’s ridiculous, so Darnell you and 3/5’s might love crime, but I just want our parks, streets and this city’s crime to go down and down. I hate when people are victims of crimes. See something call the cops and let them check it out. Do not wait until something happens people. It could be nothing but it could be something.

SCENARIO, if you see a white guy slowly driving a box shaped van around a school several times would you call the cops, Darnell or 3/5’s???? I definitely would, but wait a minute…..?.... the white guy driving the van has NOT committed a crime yet, so what?? Call the police and let them check it out, it could be something or it could be nothing, but I would still call.  And if you 3/5’s or Darnell say you won’t call the police to protect OUR CHILDREN, it won’t matter what I write because your on a different planet.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  9:11am

@Trustme

You are making assumptions that are not in the story, and ignoring other facts that are.

1. The race of the participants (jogger, innocent park dweller) were first highlighted by the reporter, not 3/5ths or anyone else.

2. You claim that the innocent park dweller was under the bridge for 20 minutes, whereas that fact was not in the story. he could have traveled hundreds of feet from the bridge when stopped by the police, we simply don’t know from the story where he was when he was illegally ejected from the park.

3. You claim that the innocent park dweller “didn’t answer any questions during the suspicious encounter?”. Again untrue. According to the reporter, he answered all police questions honestly, even putting himself at jeopardy for arrest by admitting that he had urinated in public.

Again, it is NOT illegal to be dressed in winter clothing during the winter in a public park during the middle of the day, unless of course, you are BLACK. It is NOT illegal to refuse to respond to and answer questions from a strange white man with a dog, unless of course, you are BLACK.

PS - it appears that you have extensive knowledge of or experience with “peeing” on concrete outdoors. During those times you enjoyed natures toilet, have you ever done so hidden from public view? Did you think you deserved to be stopped, questioned, and ejected from that park?

posted by: anonymous on March 13, 2014  9:52am

“Stop and Frisk” has not been “shut down” in New York City.

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/02/25/bill-bratton-nypd

“You cannot police without it. If you did not have it, then you’d have anarchy.”
-Bratton (the new Commish)

The police do have the authority to stop and frisk anyone who has been reported as a suspicious person.

Lurking under that bridge is a suspicious activity, regardless of the appearance, age, or gender of the person lurking there.

posted by: vc man on March 13, 2014  9:59am

I don’t think the jogger had an unreasonable suspicion and this is why: 1.There have been several recent attacks in the park in the last year: 2. ANY person who is dressed in a manner inconsistent with the temperature, particularly overdressed in warm weather, should merit a second look; 3. If he was so cold, why be under the bridge in the shadows and not enjoying the sun; 4. Seeing someone attempt to conceal themselves is rarely a good sign; 5. The male’s presence being unchanged for 20 minutes is also at the very least unusual. Are any of of these facts in an of themselves unusual? Not necessarily. But together they should make anyone cautious for themselves and concerned for someone who may need help.

posted by: webblog on March 13, 2014  10:16am

So the moral of the story is that the jogger, with the help of his friends, were right. The man was guilty of standing in the park under a bridge in broad daylight, while BLACK.

At second glance, why didn’t the jogger report the graffiti on the bridge walls as well?

This reporting may not have intended to be racist, but it sure as heck is bias, perhaps by the NHI’s own daily crime log above.

posted by: markcbm on March 13, 2014  10:32am

Amigos,

It should be recognized that under that bridge is also a good place to smoke marijuana cigarettes.  Much of the behavior described in the article could be attributed to that (innocuous) activity. 

In such a situation, the bystander would be in a sight-obscured place, leery of anyone approaching, and still there twenty minutes later enjoying the serenity, although perhaps in a slightly more mirthful state.

Not saying that the bystander in question was innocent, guilty, or somewhere in between.  Just wanted to point out an alternate possibility.

Lets not forget an important fact here: no one got robbed.  In my years here I’ve found that, usually, when someone seems intent on committing a crime they go for it and don’t stick around for po-po to come and shutdown nefarious activity.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  10:44am

@Trustme

if the Black guy in the park was hanging around a group of playing children glaring, then perhaps I would have considered checking a little further. If a white guy is driving a windowless van around a school, then I’m definitely checking him out.

If a Black guy is spending part of his day in a park in the middle of the day, dressed in winter clothing during the winter, I wouldn’t give him a second look. The same for a white guy.

Your lame attempt to connect this innocent park dweller to pedophilia, and the even lamer attempt to try to paint 3/5ths and I as lovers of criminals, falls flat on its face.

He had every right to be in that park as the jogger did, whether he was running with a dog or not. He had every right to run, jump, walk, sit, whatever a free American man decided he wanted to do. He did not deserve to be accosted by a sweaty white man with a dog, and then later three police officers with guns.

When you are a victim of an overzealous citizen and uncaring police force, then you have the right to address this matter. I, on the other hand, have experienced this first hand, being falsely accused of CRIMINAL trespass by someone who wasn’t even at the scene, arrested 5 hrs later, and then attending court 7 times before the charges were dropped completely, all while serving as a BLACK public official.

When you experience a false arrest, come back here and let us know what you feel about reporting of crimes BEFORE they occur.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 13, 2014  10:45am

@darnell

It’s not illegal, notice how he wasn’t arrested or fined. It’s also not illegal for the police to question people who had a suspicious activity report called on them. I mean are we really going to just pretend like we don’t know what suspicious behavior looks like?

“At second glance, why didn’t the jogger report the graffiti on the bridge walls as well?”

Probably because graffiti isn’t people.

posted by: JohnTulin on March 13, 2014  10:57am

Where the is smoke there is (usually) fire. 

I am glad the jogger is using that portion of the park, I wouldn’t, and I am glad he (whether he was white, black, or Asian) was concerned enough to call the police to check into something that didn’t feel right.  I am glad the cops showed up and that the NHI started this conversation.  Maybe some lights will go in there, and cops will regularly patrol there now. Sorry if the creepy man with an extensive criminal record, including an assault, felt put off by it.  I’m sure he found another bridge to lurk under soon enough and urinate on….

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  11:39am

@Madcap,

No he wasn’t arrested, just publicly and unceremoniously kicked out of the park, told to never return. I guess if it were you being escorted out simply because someone didn’t like your appearance, it would be OK.

For me, I’d be a lot pissed off (excuse the pun).

posted by: TheMadcap on March 13, 2014  12:07pm

@darnell

If this was about appearance then there wouldn’t be any black men in Edgewood park and I can assure you there are. This is about a guy acting sketchy as hell. For all the moral outrage here who actually thinks this guy doesn’t at least have a reasonable chance of trying to commit a crime. If someone is not willing to call out sketchy behavior that may be the prelude to a crime for what it is when it’s seen, I don’t think city life is right for you, particularly a city with a high violent crime rate.

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  12:17pm

See something, but don’t alert the police when someone is under a creepy bridge, Ok I got it. Race became the main objective in this incident, ok got that too. Police should not check for warrants on a stop and let potential criminals get away, it’s all clear now Darnell, I got that as well.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  12:38pm

@Madcap,

I grew up in Dixwell and Newhallville, in the projects, I know about city life and I know what a potential criminal looks like, and in most of my adult experience, it is usually the young white boy “having some fun” or the older white men and women with degrees who lived “good lives” but “lost their minds for a moment”. This man may have in the past may have a history of “Larceny[ may have shoplifted when he was a teenager or down and out], narcotics [got caught with joint], one assault [had a fight with his brother or girlfriend]. NO ROBBERIES.” How many of us, especially when disadvantaged, have made a mistake or two.

Nothing in this story defines this guy as “sketchy”, except that he may have been homeless, perhaps was urinating, and definitely was BLACK.

He didn’t approach the guy, in fact, he was trying to stay as invisible as possible. He didn’t say anything to the guy, even when approached in a threatening manner with a dog.

So again, I ask, besides the language used by the writer “pressed against the wall”, “lurking under the bridge”, “glaring”, “skycap and sweater concealing his face” which turned out to be untrue; what may I ask turned him into a suspect?

@Trustme - I’m glad you finally got it; don’t accuse innocent Black men of having the potential for committing crimes - just because it makes YOU feel safer.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  1:31pm

I just realized that this conversation sounds eerily similar to the conversations we had after Trayvon Martin was killed.

Good Samaritan/Block Watcher/Jogger sees a “strange” Black man in “his” hood, and assumes because of past crimes committed in that hood that this person must be up to know good.

Wow, that Black dude is lucky he got out of that park with his life.

posted by: vc man on March 13, 2014  1:40pm

Darnell -

So what is the recourse for someone who sees something they feel is suspicious (in this case, I think the justification was warranted given the facts i listed above and leaving race aside) but are cowed into not wanting to be accused of racism by reporting it? Are people only allowed to call the police on people who look like them, or does a crime have to actually be in progress before calling the police? I do think racism exists, in every group, but I also believe if someone sees something they can articulate as being unusual/suspicious,  they should report it with out fear of being branded a racist.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 13, 2014  2:04pm

Theodora,

While my last post may have injected a little levity into an unfortunate story, just because it was a cartoon, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot to say about stereotyping…...

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  2:34pm

Darnell, this so called suspicious guy could’ve changed his life around,!could still be a criminal, or could be a nice guy now, but there is no good reason of knowing that unless you have a crystal ball. I guess when something doesn’t feel right, use the race card, white versus black instead of unity.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  2:36pm

@VC

I think the jogger’s first instinct was right, it was just a lonely man spending time in the park, leave him alone.

Should you report to the police if you had a REASONABLE suspicion that a crime will be committed? Of course. What is the definition of reasonable suspicion? Well, it certainly doesn’t include seeing an innocent yet hulking Black man in a public space in the middle of the day wearing winter clothing in the winter.

If it were in the middle of the night, and he was cutting through your or your neighbors’ yard (private property) well, feel free to call the police.

If he were hanging around a park with children, without a child of his own, talking with children, then please do call the police.

If he jumped out of a hiding space and called you over, then run and call the po po.

If he is walking in the rain with his hoodie on and candy and soda pop in his hand, please DO NOT call the police.

If he doesn’t answer to you when you say “what’s up?”, please DO NOT call the police.

But most of all, take time to figure out what is wrong in you to assume that someone different than you frightens you to the point of calling the police. Maybe next time apologize for breaking that man’s solitude. And most of all, smile a little more, could have gone a long way in diffusing that whole situation.

My one and a half cents.

posted by: TheMadcap on March 13, 2014  2:57pm

“Nothing in this story defines this guy as “sketchy””

What exactly is your definition of sketchy? Someone standing in a corner appearing to try to hide themselves in a place where attacks have already happened recently is a bit sketchy, but when the police come and the reasoning is an apparent 20 minute long pee, it becomes super sketchy. I mean if we put the standard you’re trying to use to other things, we could never be proactive about crime. Most tips the police get are hunches, not solid evidence delivered to them. And it’s nothing like the Trayvon Martin case, the dude went along his way and called the police to handle it like a normal person is supposed to, he didn’t pull a gun and shoot the guy down(also the jogger wasn’t neurotically patrolling the park as a wannabe cop, he just happened to be there)

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  3:02pm

At trust me, he did use his crystal ball, he told the reporter that “he believed a crime would soon occur.” And he was right, an innocent man was illegally ejected from a public park.

And I would venture that the jogger was the first to use the race card, and it could have turned pout different if he had a gun or knife and followed his “what’s up” with something more (Zimmerman).

Thank God he didn’t have a weapon. Would have been another Black man dead, another white man just doing his job.

I’m sick of this crap!

posted by: Threefifths on March 13, 2014  3:17pm

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014 8:31am

And if he didn’t answer any questions during the suspicious encounter? it only would have raised the officers suspicion because there was a formal complaint. What if when the cops ran the suspicious subject for warrants and he had an outstanding felony warrant. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY THEN 3/5’s.A person doesn’t need to be visible and commit a crime before someone calls the cops 3/5’s. I would like to know 3/5’s???
The question I ask you is How come in this video when the white guy breaks in a car and no one calls the police.But when the Black man breaks in the car the police are called.Race card?

What Happens When A Black Man And A White Man Try To Break Into The Same Car (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post | by Cate Matthew

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/19/black-guy-breaks-into-car-simple-misfits_n_4816041.html
posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on March 13, 2014 4:26am

3/5, just a reminder:

New Haven is not New York.

What is the point of pasting in all this stuff about Stop & Frisk in NEW YORK?  This episode took place in NEW HAVEN.  The cops who were called (rightly or wrongly) were NEW HAVEN cops, not New York cops.  They were not going to implement the NEW YORK Stop & Frisk policy.

They do it here,But most people do not know about.In fact it is done at check points.

posted by: vc man on March 13, 2014  3:20pm

Darnell, I agree with most of what you said. However, I think this in this scenario, the jogger wasn’t wrong to call the police. Taking race out of the equation, I think the male was acting in a sufficiently out of the ordinary way to arouse the thought that something wasn’t right, weighing all of the circumstances in totality: location,  unseasonable clothing, duration. I’m not saying that it was necessarily of a criminal nature. What if the man was having a medical issue and couldn’t communicate? Community activists constantly preach getting involved and not treating everyone else’s problems as simply their own. Every day there are horror stories of people in desperate need of help being ignored as everyday citizens walking right by. The police, fire, ems, politicians, the Government, can’t be everywhere and nor should they be. It’s up to us as citizens to act when we feel we should.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 13, 2014  3:28pm

Darnell,

Having once been detained for being white and weird looking in a black neighborhood, I second your sickness to this crap.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 13, 2014  3:52pm

This quote by William S. Burroughs comes to mind….

“Most of the trouble in the world has been caused by ten to twenty percent of folks who can’t mind their own business”.

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  3:58pm

@Madcap, he approached the guy and said “what’s up?”. If he had a weapon, or if the guy pushed back with something like “none of your business asshole”, only good knows what two testosterone laden guys could have gotten themselves into.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on March 13, 2014  4:31pm

@Darnell,

I have read little here that makes this on-going discussion useful.  When the people with whom you are debating will insist on accepting a description of a man in words that are highly subjective, biased, and in the end racist, how do you intend to convince them of anything?  They have swallowed whole what Bass has spoon fed them. 

This is not a legitimate discussion about whether or not the White jogger should have called 911 to report a Black guy who made him uncomfortable.  The legitimate discussion here should be whether or not Bass’ depiction of the situation and the scene is defensible in the first place.  His illicit word choice to describe a situation that he did not witness is simply horrendous, and it further perpetuates the racist attitudes and presuppositions in this comment section and in responses to your statements here. 

Interesting note: I printed this article and handed it to a precocious High School student to read yesterday without any comment or commentary.  Three words into the story (THREE WORDS!), she stopped reading and said “This is about a Black Man, isn’t it?”  I asked: “Why do you think that?”  She responded: “Because they only apply the word ‘lurking’ to Black people.  White people don’t ‘lurk’, only Black people.”

This type of “journalism” is the stuff upon which racism is based and continues.  This and the image of a Black man on the cover of the NHRegister wearing a mask and gripping a gun are the words and images that make us Black Men “scary” on-site, and justifies the fear factor that undergirds the arguments put forth by the murderers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in Florida, not to mention the countless other violations against our lives and our living.

My advice: Stop wasting your time and energy, Brother! 

The Rev. Mr. Samuel T. Ross-Lee
The Immanuel Missionary Baptist Church
New Haven CT

[Paul Bass: Thank you for the comment. I agree with you that I shouldn’t have used the word “lurking.”]

posted by: darnell on March 13, 2014  4:49pm

@Rev Ross,

Thanks.

posted by: Jones Gore on March 13, 2014  5:36pm

“Lurking” is code for black?

I did began to write something lengthy, but realized that people choose to believe things and pander to ideas to hold power over others.

With disrespect to the Pastor, I really think you should reach out to the people in Dwight where they are directly threaten by crime instead of being concerned about words Paul Bass used to describe someone who was wearing a ski mask on a warm day, which concerned the jogger.

posted by: Trustme on March 13, 2014  5:55pm

Not getting the video 3/5’s because I’m not considering this incident having anything to do with RACE. And referring to that dummy zimmerman’s incident Darnell is completely left field from this, again nothing to do with this incident. I believe division will continue due to your type of comments.

posted by: 14yearsinNHandgone on March 13, 2014  6:54pm

It’s hard to take someone’s claims of racism seriously when they are being openly prejudiced at the same time.

posted by: vc man on March 13, 2014  7:18pm

Reverend, I agree that media helps propagate a distorted caricature of blacks. However, my own frustration with the media’s portrayal of racism is that it is only perpetrated by whites against everyone else. For example, the elderly white man who was attacked by a mentally ill black man last year in the same park for racially motivated reasons, garnered barely a blip in even local press. Had the roles been reversed, I’m sure there would have been a much larger uproar.  In this case, no one was even arrested yet there are almost 100 comments.

On a side note, I don’t like the terms black, white, etc. I think they imply a monolithic viewpoint which doesn’t exist. Just because I’m “white” doesn’t give me the same values and views as some other “white” person.

posted by: robn on March 13, 2014  9:58pm

BS

The author of the offensive stereotype Dumb Donald must be incredibly racist.

posted by: IloveMYcity203 on March 14, 2014  10:32am

@Darnell and @TheMadCap and @Samuel T. Ross-Lee as well as others made some very good points.

Had it been Darnell, someone else or I, and I am using Darnell as an example because he is from New Haven, we probably would have looked at it differently because we grew up in that environment. We (including others who grew up in the city life) know what to look for, what’s out of the ordinary etc..etc..

My point is, there is a disconnect between people who grew up in New Haven or in other decent size city with a fair amount of crime and people who haven’t, so we are going to react differently to the same situations.

It is what it is. The only thing we can do is educate one another, go into each other words just to get a better understanding of how people a decent size city with a high crime rate (in this case New Haven) live, think, react to thinks, what to look out for etc.

A man/woman from who was born and raised in New Haven has different experiences, a different thought process, street smarts etc. etc. as oppose to someone who grew up in Southbury, Cheshire, Newtown etc.

Instead of arguing like Democrats and Republicans (they always disagree), we need to come together and find out what we agree on and work on the things that we don’t agree on to better understand. :)

Last but not least, I’m not agreeing with anyone here, but if you haven’t lived the city life, and I’m not just talking about hanging around downtown New Haven, it’s difficult to understand where Darnell is coming from.

I’m not here to argue or disagree. I’m here to educate and help others understand.

I wasn’t in the park, so I am not going to be a backseat driver.

posted by: westville man on March 14, 2014  10:58am

Rev. Ross-Lee & Darnell

You are arguing with many here who don’t understand the basic difference between “racism” & “prejudice”, how and when practiced and by whom.
In other words, they don’t get it and probably never will.
Thank you for your posts.

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