Police Are Busy

Jim writes: A carjacking at Fashion Square and a drive-by shooting on Prospect Avenue show that C’ville has truly moved into the big-time. (See WINA.com.) Charlottesville Police have a tough road ahead of them in light of their recent track record and media attention. What is the ratio in the City (and County) of violent crimes committed to solved with convictions? Might we be able to have real police officers at Fashion Square, a la Barracks Road? Perhaps an anti-loitering ordinance as well?

Fashion Square seems to have significantly more serious crime than anywhere else in town, but it is private property.

17 thoughts on “Police Are Busy”

  1. An anti-loitering ordinance? I can’t see how that would help — this is a carjacking and a drive-by, both acts that inherently involve a great deal of movement. Ignoring the practicality issue, such laws are horribly unconstitutional (ref: Cf. Kolender v. Lawson, City of Chicago vs. Morales). If I want to stand somewhere, that’s my business. The First Amendment ("congress shall make no law…respecting the right of the people to peaceably assemble…") guarantees it, and the courts uphold it.

  2. I hope the car-jacking and shooting perpetrators are white so the cops are allowed to aggressively try to find them.

  3. Waldo says:"An anti-loitering ordinance? I can’t see how that would help — this is a carjacking and a drive-by, both acts that inherently involve a great deal of movement"

    I think a case may be made certain areas have "loiterers" who contribute to crime in that particular area although I also so believe moving them merely moves the crime or crime planning to a different location.

    I may be mistaken on this but I think during the "clean-up" of Times Square anti-loitering or similar ordinances played a major role and were not judged unconstitutional.

    Waldo also states:"such laws are horribly unconstitutional (ref: Cf. Kolender v. Lawson, City of Chicago vs. Morales). If I want to stand somewhere, that’s my business. The First Amendment ("congress shall make no law…respecting the right of the people to peaceably assemble…") "

    I don`t know to what degree of unconstitutionality "horribly" takes us but the key modifer in that amendment is "peaceably" and if the "loiterers" are "getting together" to plan unlawful activities, and that can be proven ,then "peacably" becomes a key factor in deciding if the First Amendment affords protection to the loiterers.

  4. I don’t know to what degree of unconstitutionality “horribly” takes us but the key modifer in that amendment is “peaceably” and if the “loiterers” are “getting together” to plan unlawful activities, and that can be proven ,then “peacably” becomes a key factor in deciding if the First Amendment affords protection to the loiterers.

    You’re quite right, which is why a loitering law is unnecessary –we should proscute them for whatever crime that they are committing. To make merely existing in a particular location a crime is not just unconstitutional, but a bit silly. :)

  5. The crime is "loitering with intent to commit an unlawful act" although admittedly a lot like rape – easy to accuse, difficult to defend, and even more difficult to prove or something like that – memory dims.

  6. Oh yeah man, I’m scared shitless every time I set foot in Fashion Square. That is one rough neighborhood. My friend got gang-raped in the Gap dressing room. And this one time, this guy stabbed my cousin with a broken bottle in front of Spencers.

  7. I must plead my ignorance here, but since Fashion Square is private property, how would public assembly be an issue? Do private property owners not have the right to tell those who (in this case) who are not contributing to the property owners’ coffers to take their non-business elsewhere?

    I think this is a different situation than the Downtown Mall which is, to my understanding, public property.

    –J

  8. "Note: Fashion Square seems to have significantly more serious crime than anywhere else in town, but it is private property."

    well, when the youths of CVille have NO WHERE else to go, why not go to the overprice mall and hang out. Wait lets make it a law that if you ain’t there to shop, you must leave.

    Sometimes the comments on these boards trip me out. You people need to get your head out of the sands for once and take a moment to look at REAL WORLD things. It is like you are surpise there is crime at the mall. HELLO!

  9. Barracks Road shopping center has had its share of crime over the years. The crime goes in cycles and shifts around. I still haven’t seen a repeat of the crime wave of the spring of 2000.

    We’re better off having private "security" guards than real police because the police would be too busy issuing tickets for expired decals to raise tax revenue, as they are at Barracks Road. The customers avoid the police anyway for fear that they will be charged with some minor crime if they bring attention to themselves.

    The solution is fewer police, not more.

  10. maybe then people would stop whining and moaning about the police actually trying to catch the serial rapist.

  11. The police in C’ville aren’t busy. They’re busybodies.

    We had one ossifer drive through our (cul-de-sac) neighborhood and ticket everyone with an expired sticker. He also ticketd my Mother In Law, who was visiting at the time, who doesn’t have a city sticker because she’s not from C’ville. He also ticketed her for parking facing the wrong way on the street, while she was parked in our gravel driveway.

    Then when my wife and MIL saw him writing the ticket, and ran out to protest, he not only disregarded their arguments (remember, she’s not from here?), he told them that he’d be “keeping his eye on them.”

    So the MIL had the incident go to some review board, only to be turned down and told she’d have to go to court to get the tickets reversed, if she could. She decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and paid the tickets.

    Yeah. The police are real busy. Making themselves look like fools.

    (disclaimer: I have met exactly two decent city cops, so I know they’re out there. They just seem to be in the minority.)

  12. A guy backed into my car at the Forest Lakes Food Lion parking lot two years ago. Gave me bogus insurance info AFTER I caught him trying to leave the scene.

    Called the cops. Sorry sir, can’t help you – private porperty. (To be fair, the officer did go and talk to the guy, off the record. But, they couldn’t cite him for no insurance.)

    But they CAN come onto private property to enforce tax stickers.

    WTF?

    Want a cop at your house for any reason? Dial 911 and tell them you just saw a guy with no tax sticker. They are on their way.

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