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St. Louis Metropolitan Police Overkill On Washington Avenue

A week ago tonight the St. Louis Metropolitan Police were all over four blocks of Washington Ave  (10th-14th). This will be my fifth summer as a downtown resident and last weekend seemed very familiar based on the last few year.

It goes something like this:

  1. Zero police presence during the busiest times (late friday & saturday nights)
  2. Something bad happens, usually a late night shooting
  3. Everyone gets upset
  4. Elected officials and police develop a plan
  5. Following weekend make a huge show of force
  6. Next weekend police nowhere to be found
What will tonight and tomorrow night look like? My guess is nothing like last weekend.
ABOVE: The St. Louis Police "Incident Command Center" truck was parked on Tucker at Washington Ave.
ABOVE: Flares were used at 14th Street to make sure drivers saw the barricades

As officers began placing the barricades to block eastbound Washington at 14th the officers were wearing dark uniforms and the lighting is poor, drivers couldn’t see them. One officer yelled at a couple of drivers like this was an occupied police state. Maybe the flares were necessary given the poor execution of going from open to closed road. The number of police was astonishing, blue uniforms and vehicles everywhere.

Personally I think closing the street to traffic killed the vibrancy of the street.  Will this be sustained all summer or will it be impossible to find a single cop on these four blocks tonight?

– Steve Patterson


Poll: Concealed Weapons Allowed On Public Transit

The National Riffle Association is in St. Louis and outstate Missouri legislators are trying to change Missouri law to force concealed guns onto public transit. House Bill 1483 was introduced in January but it had it’s first hearing last week in the “General Laws” House committee.  The bill summary:

This bill specifies that a political subdivision in the state cannot prohibit a person with a valid concealed carry endorsement from carrying a concealed firearm onto a train or public bus.

This isn’t about preventing the City of St. Louis, Kansas City, St. Louis County, Richmond Heights or any over “political subdivision” from prohibiting concealed weapons on public transit vehicles. No, this is about preventing the Bi-State Development Corporation, the political subdivision that operates as Metro St. Louis, from prohibiting concealed guns.

ABOVE: Sign on MetroLink train, no such sign exists inside MetroBus vehicles

Metro St. Louis is the Bi-State Development Corporation is joint political subdivision of Missouri & Illinois. I personally don’t have fear using public transit but some seem so struck with fear they feel the need to carry deadly force on their person. The only guns I think should be on public  transit would be those of law enforcement:

Law enforcement officers (including reserve officers, police cadets and turnkeys) may ride whether in or out of uniform. These individuals must present an appropriate badge and identification card to the bus operator or fare inspector when boarding out of uniform. Firefighters may ride free of charge when in uniform and wearing appropriate insignia. These individuals are permitted to ride free of charge because of their ability to assist an operator with dealing with emergency situations that might occur while on the bus. Any of these individuals identified “above”, who accept free transportation are in fact, expected to assist in emergencies in return for their free transportation. (Metro FAQ)

What do you think about concealed guns on public transit? The weekly poll is in the right sidebar. Vote there and share your thoughts below.

– Steve Patterson


The Homeless Don’t Drink Bottled Samuel Adams

December 2, 2011 Crime, Downtown, Featured, Homeless 8 Comments

Last month I noticed two beer bottles on a window sill (Ely Walker bldg) on 16th between Washington Ave & St. Charles Street. It was a Saturday so I figure someone had a nice Friday night.  But who?

ABOVE: November 19, 2011

Often it is the homeless that are accused of public drinking, and no doubt some do. But they aren’t drinking Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA:

Samuel Adams® Latitude 48 IPA is a unique IPA brewed with a select blend of hops from top German, English, and American growing regions all located close to the 48th latitude within the “hop belt” of the Northern Hemisphere. The combination of hops in this beer creates a distinctive but not overpowering hop character. The beer is dry hopped with Ahtanum, Simcoe®*, and East Kent Goldings hops for a powerful citrus and earthy aroma. The hop character is balanced by a slight sweetness and full body from the malt blend.

I’ve not tried this beer or any of the others in their Brewmaster’s Collection, though I’m sure it’s a fine beer. Please don’t blame everything on those without homes.

– Steve Patterson


Where is Downtown St. Louis? KMOV Needs to Know

September 26, 2011 Crime, Downtown, Media 31 Comments
ABOVE: Story from the KMOV iPad app

It seems the local media has no clue where downtown is, or isn’t. Or they just think it’s much much larger than it actually is. A story from this morning:

“ST. LOUIS (KMOV)– A man is shot and killed for allegedly trying to break into a home in downtown St. Louis.

This happened around 1 a.m. Monday in the 5600 block of Maple.”

Really? 5600 block of Maple in downtown St. Louis? Reporter Robin Smith correctly says north St.Louis in the video report but the online report said downtown (corrected following my tweet). Google Maps shows the distance from KMOV’s downtown studios as a 21 minute, 6.5 mile drive. Downtown? Past Saint Louis University, past Grand Center, past the Central West End — nearly to Page & Goodfellow.  Downtown huh?

Who types this stuff? Do they have editors? Are they all from Chesterfield or further where the view is the city limits is synonymous with downtown? I don’t care what the excuse is,I want them to get their stories correct. It’s no wonder I meet people who are afraid to come downtown — all they here is every bad thing that happens in the City of St. Louis is in “downtown.”

– Steve Patterson


Gun Show Billboards in North St. Louis

September 13, 2011 Crime, Featured, North City 23 Comments
ABOVE: Orange billboard on N. Florissant advertises a gun show in St. Charles

Billboards for a gun show in St. Charles appeared all over North St. Louis, but some objected:

“We have a lot of momentum going, so to see an advertisement for a gun show really struck a major nerve,” James Clark of Better Family Life said.

After all, Clark’s mission is to encourage teens to put down the pistol and settle beefs by talking instead of shooting.

“This urban core where citizens go to sleep hearing gunshots — we do not need to have that image in these neighborhoods,” Clark said. (KMOV)

Residents got CBS Advertising to removed the billboards in one neighborhood but they remained in many others.

ABOVE: Hard to miss these billboards with images of guns.

Should the community be able to set standards for such advertising or does that violate the free speech of the show’s organizers?

– Steve Patterson