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October 02, 2002

Same Story, Different Facts. The

Same Story, Different Facts.

The Durham Herald - Man, 20, shot to death at Durham apartment
The Raleigh New & Observer - Robbers kill 18-year-old in townhouse

Someone above has gotten a fact wrong. If you can't rely on the media to get the basics correct, you cannot rely on the media. Not that this is a surprise to anyone.

I only noticed this because the poor murdered kid lived right across the street from the townhouse we lived in up until last year. We moved out after the city strong-armed the neighborhood association into accepting rent-subsidized tenants from the notorious public housing development being torn down on the other side of Durham. It wasn't the only reason we moved, but it certainly spurred our heels. It's still described as safe;

Police records show few crimes there. Since Jan. 1, 2001, there have been reports of three burglaries, one larceny, two larcenies of motor vehicle parts and one incident of vandalism at the townhouse complex, which stretches across the street to 1227 Seaton Road.

but what is doesn't say is that in the years I lived there previous to that date, there was one domestic disturbance, and one car break in*. It also doesn't mention that it's located in one of the hottest housing markets in the Triangle, yet has several empty townhouses that have stood empty for months. The original owners of the townhouses are mostly retired, but they're being inundated by the subsidized tenants.

It's a bad situation. Certainly I don't think we should keep poor people and their kids in the ghetto, but when they move the ghetto comes with them. It's not as if their relationships with undesirable elements cease. They're still in the same city, sometimes still in the same school district, and they've all got cars. The only solution I can think of is pervasive monitoring of any quasi-public space, and personal monitoring of private space. There's just not enough cops to go around. In the end, I don't see any alternative to the Transparent Society.

*I'm checking this with the Durham PD, which I did not know I could do until I called them to see how the reporter did it. I'm relying on the tenant grapevine for that statement, which makes me nervous, even though it is normally a pretty reliable source.

Posted by Bigwig at October 2, 2002 12:13 PM | TrackBack
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