Monday, November 30, 2015

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
It must truly be exasperating for Urban American citizens.  Radical activists tell citizens that young black men are targeted by racist police.  Until racism is resolved, only the overthrow of the  US government will satisfy their demands.  From the podium in Urban America, political leaders and law enforcement officials ask that you not believe your lying eyes.  The homicide rate and the unresolved homicide cases are rising.  However, violent crime is not the problem.  Gang Warfare is not the problem.  The lack of confidence in law enforcement officials and the criminal justice system is not the problem.  The problem is that we are not properly "prosecuting" violent crime in Urban America. We must change our philosophies to add "public health" to "community policing" which will reduce the homicide rate.  We must get "millions of dollars" out of the Treasury doors and that will reduce the homicide rate.  We must strengthen the gun laws so that criminals will only use baseball bats and law abiding citizens will never have access to the tools necessary to take-down a terrorist.  It seems that the podiums in Urban America are as empty as the sense of hope that citizens have towards their government.  The coveted role of manager is pursued when the City screams that it is not safe.  The absence of leadership is glaring.

The War on Violent Crime in Urban America has a tremendous number of managers yet, is lacking sincere leadership.  In Shomari Stone's NBC News4 story, "Five Shot Within Hour and a Half in SE D.C.", the obvious frustration is emitted in the proposals of men that have practiced institutional responses to violent crime that fit their ideological comfort zone.

"The violence in Southeast has to be stopped," ANC commissioner Anthony Muhammed told News4. "We need more resources for the young people in Ward 8."

Another ANC commissioner, Paul Trantham, said he's considering suggesting a curfew in southeast D.C.

Before the elite District activists protest greatly about this prose, let us take a look at what some experts say on each of these proposals.  When community activists argued for more resources to fight the recent St. Louis homicide epidemic, my good friend, Alderman Jeffrey Boyd (D) responded in a very unorthodox manner to constituents.  "We already have enough resources!"  Regarding resources, since September 22, 2015, the City has pumped $13.6 million into a social workers' war on crime.   Mayor Bowser will offer “mini-grants” for non-profit organizations and individuals that work in communities hard hit by crime.  DC Council's Committee on the Judiciary Chairperson Kenyan R. McDuffie, through his Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Act of 2015, created an Office of Neighborhood Engagement and Safety.  Its focus is to identify teenagers and young adults who are at a higher risk of committing a crime and help them seek and execute a successful life plan so that they don’t fall through the cracks.  The City spends federal and state taxpayers' revenue to the tune of $115 million to subsidize training programs, education initiatives and human support services.  So that extra $14 million will go a long way to fending off violent criminals.  Right?

District Crime Data at a Glance
Homicide Count As of September 16, 2015
       This Year                Last Year                 Percent Change
     111                    92                       +18.0%

Homicide Count As of November 25, 2015
        This Year                Last Year                  Percent Change
     150                    92                       +63.0%

Then, there is that safe cornerstone of crime fighting: curfew!  Yeah, let's get all of the teenagers off the streets.  Kenneth Adams, The Effectiveness of Juvenile Curfews at Crime Prevention, writes, "Overall, the weight of the scientific evidence, based on ten studies with weak to moderately rigorous designs, fails to support the argument that curfews reduce crime and criminal victimization".  So, community activists should push for DC to implement such a law.  Right?  The Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995 (DC Code 2-1541 et. seq.) states that persons under the age of 17 cannot remain in or on a street, park or other outdoor public place, in a vehicle or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours, unless they are involved in certain exempted activities.  Passed in 1995, DC's curfew law was set up to protect the health and safety of young people and our communities. After the law was challenged in court, MPD stopped enforcement until the court decided whether the law was constitutional. In June 1999, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the law to be constitutional. The District began enforcing the law again in the fall of 1999.  So how is that enforcement working?

The answer is very easy.  Culprits don't feel any fear.  They do not fear the citizens.  They do not fear the politicians--legislative or executive.  They do not fear your community proposals.  They do not fear law enforcement or your judiciary.  They certainly do not fear their victims.  What have they to fear, you ask.  Only themselves.  This is a sign that Urban America is not safe.  Where people lack safety, they do not worship, they do not live and they do not do business.  So that you get the drift, understand this.  Less tax revenue comes from a lack of safety.  Less revenue means either raising taxes to make illegitimate promises or enforcing the law to secure the revenue.  Maybe we need to poll if I'm right.

"Crime has become the biggest problem in Washington, say D.C. residents, far surpassing concerns about the economy and the quality of public schools for the first time in almost a decade, according to a new Washington Post poll."

Well maybe it's just a concern about Southeast DC?  No.  Criminals think alike no matter their geography.

"Despite a multitude of differences in their backgrounds and crime patterns, they are all alike in how they think.  A gun-toting, uneducated criminal off the streets of southeast Washington, D.C. and a crooked Georgetown businessman are extremely similar in the way they view themselves and the world."

The instability of SE DC becomes the instability of the remaining City.  The Price Paid May Be A Lost Election.  The question is who is willing to pay the price to continue to manage violent crime rather than solve it.

You know I'm right!

DC Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier testified before the DC Judiciary Committee on September 16, 2015.  She spoke of the Major City Chiefs (MCC) survey of its members on Urban Violent Crime and advised:

• Three out of four of the cities that responded had seen increases in homicides this year and
about 60 percent reported an increase in non-fatal shootings.

• The shootings seem to be more lethal. Almost half of the cities reported crime scenes with
casings from multiple guns involved in the shootout, many with high capacity magazines.

• Almost half report an increase in gang-related and retaliatory violence. As one of my
colleagues said, homicide has become a means for conflict resolution among the criminally

• Synthetic drugs have not reached all cities yet, but 30 percent of the responding cities
reported an increase in violent crime in which the offender is under the influence of synthetic

• We are all seeing people who shouldn’t be on the streets because they have a significant
violent history ending up back on the streets. 

Lanier received national attention recently regarding her advise on confronting terrorists with a run, hide or attack strategy.  When "homicide has become a means for conflict resolution among the criminally involved", citizens must demand that government secure our right not to become victims.  Bob Owens, Bearingarms.com, referred to Lanier as the one that "lords over a city where snotty white liberals have denied the entire population the right to bear arms in any practical sense, in which it is almost impossible to get a concealed carry permit".  The limitation of baseball bats as a tool of defense is unacceptable.  Criminals only respect armed resistance.  Thomas Sowell writes, “Gun-control zealots are almost always people who are lenient toward criminals, while they are determined to crack down on law-abiding citizens who want to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”  Government has exhausted what it can do within the confines of the governing ideology.  It is time for citizens to stand for our God given right to protect ourselves and our City.  Activist theatrics, while entertaining, will not suffice.  Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never ever depend on governments or institutions to solve any major problems.  All social change comes from the passion of individuals.”  The answer to our violent crime problem is not to take away the liberties of free men but to bring into captivity those that seek to make a nation or city unsafe.  There are better options.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Advancing in Glory: A Letter to Paolo Stella Casu on the Status of the Charnice Milton Murder

Dear People at Open Heart / Close Case Campaign,

I am an European journalist and blogger who was greatly moved by the story of Charnice Milton, which I read on the New Yorker.  I was really struck because as a local journalist, although living in a peaceful place, I somehow can relate with the endeavor of her work as a reporter and I felt the urge to tell this story for my Italian readers. 

I am writing to you because I would like to know how is the campaign going: did you succeed to have councilmembers debate with you in your neighborhood?  Is Anacostia becoming a slightly safer place?  Is Charnice still remembered?  I have read some of her articles and I find them brilliant.  Some people don't understand how hard it is to be a local reporter, and I think that her story, although physically distant from here, can shed a good light on this work. 

I thank you in advance for your answer and also for your great work in making the world a better place.

Sincerely yours,
Paolo Stella Casu

Advancing in Glory: A Letter to Paolo Stella Casu on the Status of the Charnice Milton Murder
By Kenneth McClenton

Dear Paolo Stella Casu and the Citizens of Italy,

I thank you for your outstretched hand of compassion and wonder regarding what has become of the Investigation of the Charnice Milton Murder and of the City's Culture since our tragic loss.  

Charnice was a tremendous young woman.  She was an Overcomer in Christ Jesus.  When spurned in grade school for her speech impediment, she focused on her immense gift of song which mesmerized all that heard her.  She excelled academically, earning scholarships to Bishop McNamara High School and Ball State University.  The Ball State Daily remembered her as a "Champion":

The first time Charnice Milton earned a B in high school, her father Kenneth McClenton remembers her telling him, "Sometimes stuff happens."
"I said, 'Stuff happens?  Well, now I'm about to take your stuff away,'" McClenton said laughing.
Francine Milton and McClenton pushed their daughter to her fullest potential, never letting her get down on herself despite a speech impediment and form of Asperger's syndrome. And their efforts proved to be successful as she graduated from Bishop McNamara High School with honors, and she accepted a Presidential Scholarship offer to Ball State.
       After deciding to commit to Ball State, she boarded an
       airplane on her 18th birthday with 
       her mother to attend her freshman orientation.
"She truly loved being there," her mother said. "She wasn't afraid of trying new things."

With a BSU communication studies degree, she continued to Syracuse where she received her master's degree in journalism in 2011 from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.  While never a Pulitzer winner, her commitment to community newswriting was appreciated in every Disrict of Columbia cultural institution.  Andrew Lightman, the Managing Editor of Capital Community News publisher of The Hill Rag, MidCity DC and East of the River community newspapers, grew her from an accomplished student writer to an accomplished community writer.   Under his mentorship, she was able to tell the stories of inner city Washington with the skill of a literary artist and the power of a Native Washingtonian.  The Syracuse University alumna, who was shot and killed while heading home from an assignment on May 27th, will be among the names considered in 2015 for the Newseum's memorial to slain journalists.

Every morning, I check the refrigerator.  I look in the spot where she left my great treasure--a canister of Southern lemonade.  Every morning, she would prepare this Southern jewel for my great enjoyment.  Charnice was a wonderful human being.  She left an indelible mark on us, her parents.  She brought out the beauty of Urban America beyond the confines of stereotype and disenfranchisement.   She touched the city as a human shield between inner city gang members.  She has touched the world living for Christ with an impeccable character and sincere pursuit of the highest good of mankind in her every work.  Her death is not the last scene of her impact.

My wife, Francine Milton, and I have been as resolute in our grief as we had been in memorializing Charnice.  From the moment we learned of her death, we vowed a fight on behalf of the innocents.  For the voiceless like Charnice that are killed on the streets of the inner city by gang members, we wage battle against the silence of neighbors that honor the "don't snitch" demands of the criminal tyrants and against the ideological partisanship that promotes victim-hood, fear and death.  For decades, it has seemed that the culprits have been able to get away with murder in the Nation's Capital.  In the realm of public safety, many have softened cultural stances against violent crime prosecution by falsely aligning reform arguments against non-violent reform stances.  The reasoning has been enveloped in the cause of "prison reform" in the United States.  Worse, advocates use "race" as a sincere argument against prosecuting violent crime.  However, over 85% of those on the List of Unresolved Homicides in the District of Columbia are black men.  As of this writing, the District has recorded its 140th Homicide, up 56% from last year.  The heightened march of death is felt around the City however, more expressly in the most impoverished communities East of the Anacostia River.  Wards 7 and 8 compose this area and is blighted by poverty, unemployment and violent crime.  Simply put, no one wants to risk their lives to seed businesses, build worship centers or live in places where their life, liberty and pursuits of happiness are at great risk.  Public safety is the foundation for economic renewal and cultural revitalization.  We are committed to come against all that makes our Nation's Inner Cities chaotic and unsafe.

The Open Heart / Close Case Campaign was created on August 9, 2015 under the auspices of The Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC).  The OHCC Campaign is the Public Safety Arm of the Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC) in Washington, DC.  It is our advocacy agency for the defenseless like Charnice Milton and the voiceless like Relisha Rudd.  We understood that when the media, the reporters, the bloggers and camera crews all go away two things remain: the need for justice and the need for closure.  Justice comes when our cultural institutions open their heart to the devastation felt by the victim’s loved ones and a responsibility to make our public safe.  Closure comes when all has been done to find and sentence the guilty, to salve the gnawing question of what happened to our loved ones and to set in place obstacles from such occurrences repeating.  Our Campaign has yielded much fruit in the first 120 days.

Our mobilization of neighborhood leaders and petition efforts bore the first Pubic Safety Hearing by  the DC City Council in over a year.  The hearing, entitled "Judiciary Public Hearing: Beyond 100 Homicides & B21-0261", gave neighbors the opportunity to speak against the societal ills that permit the continuance of violent crime and offer solutions.  My testimony is concluded in the District record.  Many of the solutions offered centered around the City Mayor's political desire to fund social workers and community groups to fight against violent crime.  The result?  Homicides continue to rise.  Political patronage does not end violent crime but produces visible hands that seek financial reward for teaching people to endure "the spike" in violent crime.  Realizing that politicians prefer endurance over eradication, our Campaign proposed and hosted two Townhall Assemblies over the weekend.  Why Assemblies and not Meetings?  One of my slain daughter’s hobbies was movie watching.  We both enjoyed watching Marvel’s Avengers.  In reminiscing, it came to me that those who wish to do justice and protect the common good did not come together to talk about their problems.  They assembled to solve their problems.  Over the weekend, from the various cultural institutions, leaders assembled to present solutions for the societal ills of unresolved homicides, missing persons and exploited children.  They toiled under three expectations.  One, they were to inspire listeners to break the binds which keep them silent and victims.  Two, they were focused on solutions to the societal ills and not reciting the ills arriving at fate of paralysis in their cities.  Finally, three, they were to mobilize listeners to leave their seats and use their pens as swords to exact change in every individual, family, neighborhood, economic entity, educational center, governmental servant and Faith leader.  We need Warriors on the Wall to protect and serve the least, the last and the lost.  Their words opened hearts and will lead to closed cases.

The "Real Solutions" Townhall Assembly: A Cultural Public Safety Conversation events were held in Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.  What became of these events?  An answer to closing cases not just the Charnice Milton murder case but unresolved homicide, missing persons and exploited child cases around the world.  Howie Comen of the Comen Detective Agency arranged a great opportunity.

The Balt.and DC meetings were very exciting. When I announced the fact that some 60-75 Intellenet members (former FBI, CIA, IRS, KGB, and international law enforcement and military retirees) would donate 20 hours investigating unsolved murders, Missing Person, and cases involving exploited children the clergy and laity at both venues were overwhelmed. One mother of a murdered child broke out into tears of joy. They see the private detectives from all over the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, S Africa, Brazil, Pakistan, France and England as Human Angels.
In these times of greed, self interest, and murder rates increasing in the US and worldwide due to hate between faiths the Intellenet members offer was very powerful.
Rest assured we all will spend considerable time raising funds to go beyond the two month trial period and fund these efforts permanently.
As soon as Open Heart Closed Case Chair Kenneth McClenton approves, I will announce a major international effort in Justice, Education, Police Oversight, and an International Movement to Declare January of February Interfaith and Racial Harmony Month.  

Imagine what an impact to have 75 of the world's top detectives helping local police agencies in closing unresolved cases.Imagine how the Campaign's soultion will bring closure and justice to the many families that have gone days, months and years without even the slightest moment of hope. Finally, solutions that work by the spirit of action and results.  

Our Campaign is geared to mobilize cultural leaders—individuals and families, neighbors, educational centers, economic interests, governing bodies and the Faith community—to challenge the status quo in various cities and advocate for the closing of unresolved homicide, missing persons and exploited persons cases.  We will fight for those that face injustice and familial disruption from those that purposely terrorize and from those that, through every form of intimidation, remain silent.  Opening Our Culture’s Hearts to Closing Unresolved Homicides, Missing Persons and Exploited Children’s Cases throughout the World is Our Eternal Endeavor.  We ask that the good people of Italy and the world join us in defeating the devices that keep us from achieving the peace that our Cities desire.  Like our Facebook page and encourage others to join us in our fight to solve our crisis.  Champions like Charnice deserve our resolve.