Depends On Which Window Is Broken

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In the past two weeks, as St. Louisans took to the streets in order to send a message to their government and their courts, some voices chose to speak mostly of broken windows. Some people – whom police cannot yet even link to the city’s civil rights movement — shattered windows downtown, in the Delmar Loop and in the Central West End. Television news reveled in chop edits suggesting that pandemonium had set in.

Predictably, elected officials came to the forefront. Mayor Lyda Krewson told the city that “destruction cannot be tolerated.” Right-wing Governor Eric Greitens, a former neighbor of Krewson’s in the city’s Central West End, was more fixated on windows than the mayor. After the Delmar Loop had a few storefront windows broken, the governor posted an image of a man who did not break windows being arrested with this warning: “You break a window, you are going to be behind bars. It’s that simple.”

Unfortunately for the head of state, it’s really not that simple. It may depend on which window is broken, and who breaks it.

A few days ahead of the verdict in the Jason Stockley case, Governor Greitens implored those who might disagree with an acquittal to not turn their “pain into violence.” This platitudinous remark followed a near century of similar remarks, uttered by politicians right, left and center, all urging the disenfranchised not to take rebellion too far. Each and every one of these remarks has been callous in its lack of empathy, especially following the loss of lives.

Every time an elected official raises the specter of the destruction of private property, that person elevates mere building material into the chief subject of law, when in fact the law promises that human beings are its chief subject binding the state to prosecute violence against them. However, there is an almost theological dimension to these statements – as if property is a sacred thing, and its condition a covenant with the very order of life itself.

Property, however, is a very profane thing – and its history in St. Louis and the United States demonstrates the lie of its supposed sanctity. The history of private property in this nation is capacious in literature, but overflowing with details that begin with the theft of the very land of this nation from those who were already here. Beyond the early bloodshed, the remaining history under the law of the United States of America has failed to protect property when it stands in the way of the most powerful and predator citizens, and had enabled its weaponization through public subsidy.

The rights to even own real estate in St. Louis were gravely restricted from the get-go. First, human beings were subjected to racist laws that considered their own bodies to be property. Later on, after emancipation, St. Louis took to using its first zoning law in 1916 to restrict the rights of people of color to title land in their names. When the United States Supreme Court struck down that law in a 1917 decision, the Real Estate Exchange expanded an emerging system of restrictive covenants to bend the legal system to its white supremacist aims. From 1923 until 1948, real property ownership was restricted to only those who felt that their god made them worthy of its ownership.

This horrid chapter was not just limited to St. Louis. In 1925, Dr. Ossian Sweet purchased a new bungalow in Detroit. Dr. Sweet was black, while his neighbors were white. When he moved in, he found his house surrounded by a white mob, who attacked the house. The white mob first broke windows to signal their domination, and none who broke the windows were arrested or charged. Dr. Sweet eventually fired shots into the mob, killing one person. He stood trial, represented by Clarence Darrow, and was acquitted under the logic of the castle doctrine. The Detroit police assiduously refused basic protection of the doctor’s property while he was in jail, however. A mob tried to burn the doctor’s house while the police had custody of the property. No one was arrested.

In St. Louis, after liberation of land ownership in 1948, the city government ended up breaking many windows. The city used a federally-enabled slum clearance program to eradicate black land ownership in Mill Creek Valley and DeSoto-Carr. Missouri abetted the project with its new interstates in the 1950s – one cleaved the Pleasantview neighborhood in half in south city, while another was built atop bodies buried in the black Washington Park Cemetery. The titles held to secure these places as private property mattered little. Equivalent figures to Mayor Krewson and Governor Greitens did not assert the sanctity of ownership then. These figures extolled the need to steal and clear in the interests of increasing the values of land owned by other St. Louisans.

More recently, Missouri and St. Louis colluded to enable developer Paul J. McKee, Jr. to use property as a weapon against a part of north St. Louis where many people were toiling to rebuild houses despite years of disinvestment and demolition. To counter their leverage of property and wealth, the city and state pressed for McKee’s massive subsidized project, which to date has not resulted in a single new or rehabilitated building save his small field office.

The state even created a Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit in 2007 – mercifully sunset in 2013 thanks in part to then-Governor Jay Nixon – to finance 50% of McKee’s land purchases with state tax credits. When I looked at board-ups this week in the Delmar Loop, adorned now by artful murals and messages of conciliation, I though back to my years living in Old North during the peak of McKee’s secretive purchasing.

In those years, McKee’s companies would buy occupied houses, requiring evictions before closing with an owner. Some were owner-occupants, and others landlords. All received payments larger than McKee could afford, thanks to the tax credit provided by Missouri state government. Each building told of its purchase as soon as it happened. The grass began growing wild, before the front door would be kicked in. Soon enough, the windows where once I saw people watching out or curtains would be shattered. Trash would pile up. Brick thieves would pull down walls, often in concert with arsonists either assisting or just taking advantage. Part of the city seemed to be under siege by a lawless force.

And yet, law was actually on the side of this project. Beyond the state tax credits, the City of St. Louis granted McKee redevelopment rights and the ability to exercise eminent domain in 2009. Krewson, then an alderperson, voted in favor. At the time, a beleaguered mass of residents of the north side begged the city not to hand out redevelopment rights to someone who was using his properties to inflict spatial violence upon our own houses. Some of us even presented the effect of the purchasing on our property values or ability to sell our houses. City leaders, who now seem infatuated with property based on a few broken windows, told us to wait and see.

Two years ago, resident of St. Louis Place were disposed of their land ownership in order to relocate the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to land that required remuneration of nearly $17 million to McKee (some of it for land he had purchased from the city for much less). McKee and city leaders used images of broken windows to make the case for a large-scale project remediating blight, but did not attest to how many windows their own militancy had shattered. Neither did they seem to think much of the private property in the way of the project, or the rights of its mostly-black owners.

Thus today there are many of us who have watched the contradictions in how our governments assert the right to property, and sigh at the piety around a handful of windows. That does not mean that we think those windows should have been broken. Focusing on the supposed approval of breaking windows negates our memories only by logic that embraces the ways in which private property has been a fiction. In fact, it admits that it is a fiction and not any real guarantee of law. St. Louisans should question that gap in their words and deeds.

Instead of the elected officials’ statements, I think of one made by Dr. Ossian Sweet’s attorney. In 1902, Clarance Darrow addressed the prisoners in the Cook County Jail. Darrow presciently linked crime to poverty, and told those jailed that “[t]here is one way to cure all these offenses, and that is to give the people a chance to live.” I don’t use this an excuse of all crime, but as a small declaration against those who freak out at broken shop windows but don’t try to understand the systems of legal exception that make all windows vulnerable.

More simply, perhaps, are the words of one placard that someone carried through St. Louis University’s campus after the Stockley verdict: “Justice Not Justification.”

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  • gmichaud

    Great article Micheal, you illustrate well how justice has been corrupted. St. Louis, and America have a long way to go.

    • HawkSTL

      Did you read the verdict? If so, what error(s) did Judge Wilson make in the findings and application of law?

  • HawkSTL

    For those who support breaking windows, does data matter? I ask sincerely. From Investor’s Business Daily with data from the Washington Post:

    “Do you know anyone who has been struck by lightning? Neither do most people. Yet each year an average of about 300 Americans are killed or injured by lightning. That’s approximately 40 more than the number of blacks killed by the police in 2015. Is there an “epidemic” of Americans being struck and injured by lightning? Out of the 965 people killed by the police in 2015 (as of Dec. 24), the Post reported (on Dec. 26) that “less than 4 percent” involved an unarmed black man and a white cop, the fact pattern most commonly referred to by anti-police activists like Black Lives Matter. Last year, The Washington Post put the number of unarmed black men killed by the police at 17, less than the number of blacks likely struck by lightning. Twenty-two unarmed whites were killed by the police. Any death that results from police misconduct is one death too many, but the point is that police killing of a suspect is rare, no matter the race of the suspect or the cop. And a police shooting of an unarmed black male is still more rare.”

    • adam

      because it’s only about blacks being shot by cops and there’s no other context. sigh.

      • HawkSTL

        Ok. I’ll ask a similar question. The latest protests began the day the Stockley verdict was handed down. Have you read the verdict, and if so, with what specifically do you disagree? Sigh.

        • Adam

          i have not. from what little i’ve read, the judge’s reasoning regarding “never seeing a heroin dealer that wasn’t armed” is extremely questionable.

          but again, you’re ignoring decades and decades of context and trying to make these protests about this one incident.

          anyway, i’m not here to change your mind. i really don’t care what you think. i’m just here to say it doesn’t f*cking matter what you think; shit is gonna get broken until something is done to ease the anger and suffering that boils over each time a white cop kills a black guy.

          • HawkSTL

            Well, that’s the problem. People are protesting when they haven’t read the verdict, the evidence, the standard, and the analysis. Instead, you’re talking about one sentence–yes, one– that you heard about. That isn’t being informed, thoughtful, or even sympathetic. It is the exact opposite.

          • Nick

            “anyway, i’m not here to change your mind. i really don’t care what you think. i’m just here to say it doesn’t f*cking matter what you think;”

            This mindset is the real problem. If we’re not going to at least attempt to respectfully discuss issues with those of us who disagree with each other, then there is truly no hope for a better for future outcome. Telling people like HawkSTL that his (or her) opinions are irrelevant will just entrench themselves in their beliefs, regardless of what viewpoints they hold, and he (or she) will then care less about anything else you have to say. And that may not matter to you, but you still have to live in a society full of people you disagree with, whose decisions and lifestyle choices and voting patterns affect your life and everyone else’s around you. The lack of respect for this fact, at least partly, how we’ve become so polarized in society, and is why society looks the way it does today…and no amount of bashing windows will come close to overcoming this.

          • HawkSTL

            Thanks Nick. I’ve asked so many — working and living in the City makes this a topic of interest — what they think the “change” should be in light of the Stockley verdict. Bruce Franks says “police need to stop killing us” (the police killings are both unfortunate and rare, and, aren’t police supposed to protect the public? Are police supposed to stop patrolling neighborhoods with urban blight without use of reasonable force?). Some say new Mayor (but the Mayor wasn’t the mayor in 2011 when the shooting happened). Some say new police chief (this was 2 police chiefs ago). Some say new judge (judges are randomly assigned, so that is not productive). Some say new standard to convict Stockley-type shootings (but those people haven’t come up with wording for a new standard, and most alarmingly have not read the verdict). Other than being against racism (which almost everyone supports), these protests amount to nothing except higher insurance premiums. They are solving nothing. And that’s the large problem here IMO.

          • Jack

            “i havent taken the time to read the actual verdict, but here’s a snippet i caught while reading the always objective RFT.” ironic that you’re accusing someone else of ignoring context.

    • WikiWild

      So far, thousands of hours of able bodied people have been spent protesting and “disrupting” in St. Louis. Nothing wrong with that. It’s legal to peacefully protest. Conversely, it would be interesting to see what those thousands of hours could accomplish doing something like volunteering in underprivileged areas, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, etc. I’d imagine that 10,000 hours over a two week period of free volunteer labor in the St. Louis area would be an adrenaline shot in the arm for the city that would act as a real catalyst for change.

      • HawkSTL

        It is easier to be against something than to devote time and being for something. Protesting is the easy way out. Temporary, less time consuming, and less work.

      • tport

        The protests are about police shooting of unarmed Black people. I would love to hear your thoughts on how working for Habitat for Humanity will prevent cops from killing unarmed civilians and depriving them of their due process.

        • WikiWild

          I think a mass volunteer project would attract positive attention for said cause. I do not see where breaking windows and blocking roads to hospitals helps raise awareness for this issue. If Habitat for Humanity isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps canvassing the entire Greater St. Louis Area getting signatures on a petition to change laws to get an independent tribunal to review incidents involving fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians.

          • tport

            It isn’t that Habitat for Humanity isn’t my cup of tea. Rather it’s an organization for creating housing for homeless people and when you bring up volunteering for that organization as a solution to police shooting of unarmed Black people you just sound bizarre. It also demonstrates how shallow, yet judgmental, your thinking is on issues that are life and death to many of us. It’s as if your main goal was really to trot out the same hackneyed racist narratives that the author critiques except you wrap it in a thin veneer of concern to make the narrative more plausible. If you really are sincere and not just concern trolling maybe you can talk about the issues that were raised in the department of justice report on Ferguson which described systemic problems that are shared across many regions in the country.

          • WikiWild

            I’m not getting into any dialogue with someone who calls me a racist on the internet.

        • Jack

          the protests are based off of anecdotal evidence that is not supported by actual data in any way. context matters. when you factor out the number of police shootings that involve armed civilains perpetrating a violent felony, unarmed white’s are 1.7x’s more likely to be shot as unarmed black’s. yes, blacks are being shot by police at a higher rate than whites, asians, hispanics. they’re also committing a disproportionate amount of the violent crime. this false narrative that police are seeking out minorities to kill is distracting the public’s attention and diverts energy from alternatives that could actually solve this issue, i.e. attacking the causes of the poverty and lack of education in these areas that lead young black men that divert young black men into a life of crime, and is one of the reasons i support body cameras on police officers; it adds context to situations like the stockley case, and helps hold dirty cops accountable.

    • STLExplorer

      Only about 10 percent of those struck by lighting die. That’s only 1 tenth of the rate that those killed by police die.

      • HawkSTL

        That’s an argument that the end result of a police shooting vs. a lightning strike is worse. However, it doesn’t address the frequency at all. In other words, the point of that article was that police shootings are rare and are not an epidemic. Your statement does not refute the data.

    • palli Davis Holubar

      Specious argument about lightning deaths. 1. lightening is indiscriminating but cops are killing Black, Brown & poor people at a discriminatingly higher percentage than deaths of other people. 2. lightning cannot be “controlled” but violent cops can be controlled, i.e. fired, indicted & placed on a national NO HIRE in law enforcement list. 3. Lightening is not an entity paid by the American taxpayers (thus tacitly endorsed by all of us), cops are. Palli

      • HawkSTL

        Poor areas (regardless of race, ethnicity or gender makeup) have a higher crime rate statistically throughout the US and the world. Therefore, there is more police presence needed to keep law abiding citizens in those areas safe (again regardless of race, ethnicity or gender). You’re leaping to “discrimination” based on what exactly? Poor urban areas are more African American in makeup? Poor white population is also more likely to be shot by police. Same reason. Higher crime rate. Again, that is simple statistics. But you focus on one group and ignore the same result in the other. Specious indeed.

  • RJ

    I know Mr. Allen is a historical preservationist and enjoyed reading this historical albeit ugly piece of American History. It infuriates me, as a child of the 60’s generation when these same issues were fought and laws changed, we are still dealing with racism. As the late Jim White used to say, “You can’t fix stupid” and unfortunately even though the laws are changed people’s attitudes are not! The real issues in all this mess is the social injustice the black/brown communities have had to endure over time which Mr. Allen brings to life in this piece, the incidents with the police killings are the results of this injustice. Sure when you don’t do what the police instruct you to do and point a weapon, you give the police an excuse to shoot to kill and it is way to easy to claim self defense beyond a reasonable doubt when the system is rigged against you. There are better ways to deal with this, one of which is to quit discriminating against people of color. The only good thing I have seen in this latest round of protests is that more “white” people are involved. If these “white” people really want to do something positive start integrating our neighborhoods because I am tired of watching our beautiful historical housing and city be allowed to crumble to the ground because of racial disparities. The human species must do better than all this hate.

    • HawkSTL

      Two questions: 1) have you read the Stockley verdict, and if so, with what do you specifically disagree?; 2) when police witness the breaking of windows, regardless of whether it is the mayor’s house or an abandoned property, should they detain and arrest the culprits?

    • John

      Part of the problem is a false narrative. The media and special interest groups point fingers and label people and acts as racist when that is not true. I am not saying racism does not exist on multiple sides, but I am saying there is a lot of confusion and untruthful behavior. When I watch a newscast interview of a protesting woman saying, “An innocent man was killed…” that is NOT true in the Stockley case. Anthony Lamar Smith was guilty of selling narcotics, fleeing and trying to run over police, in addition to being out on parole from his criminal record.

      The literal and figurative broken windows in St. Louis are misguided and wrong. I would like to see productive and truthful behavior instead of destructive and untruthful behavior. I would like to see accountability and responsibility from the people causing damage. Will this ever happen? It is too easy for people to blame and shame, and it solves nothing.

  • Nick

    Would the city of St. Louis been better off having the NGA relocate to Illinois?

    • Adam

      But does that excuse McKee’s tactics given that he had been collecting/neglecting properties, evicting people, and lowering their property values long before NGA even became an option?

      • Nick

        It doesn’t excuse or not excuse anything. McKee’s actions are just part of the history of what happened to the neighborhood. Yes it’s terrible the decline that neighborhood has experienced over the past 50 (or so) years. But most of that decline had nothing to do with McKee. Even if it did, should we then punish ourselves by sending the NGA to Scott Air Force Base just to spite McKee? You think that would be better for the neighborhood?

        Also you completely avoided my question.

        • Adam

          but your question has nothing to do with the point that Michael is making: that McKee is yet another layer in a many-decades-long double standard when it comes to the sanctity of property, or in your words “just part of the history of what happened to the neighborhood.”

          • Nick

            My question has everything to do with his point of whether or not destroying things justifies the end results. I also happen to think his equivocation of destruction caused by protests vs eminent domain is a false one.

          • Adam

            “My question has everything to do with his point of whether or not destroying things justifies the end results.”

            can you direct me to where he made that point? i don’t think he made that point anywhere, but perhaps i missed it.

            “I also happen to think his equivocation of destruction caused by protests vs eminent domain is a false one.”

            also don’t think he asserted any such equivalence. seemed to me his entire point is that property is only considered sacred when it is owned by the right people.

          • Nick

            I mean, I think we’re all basically saying the same thing, just wording it differently. Also I think I’m the only one who disagrees 🙂

          • It’s not an equivocation. I think that the taking of people’s homes and personal wealth is far more immoral than the breaking of a window.

          • HawkSTL

            How does taking one’s home for a public benefit, when they receive just compensation due to the Constitution, wind up being a “taking” of their “personal wealth?” They receive fair market value for their property. Many times (Brentwood Promenade, Kirkwood Commons), they receive 150% to over double of fair market value to avoid litigation costs. Some of the Brentwood folks, for example, had enough money to move to places like Ballwin. Many of them are African American. Your point is baseless.

          • Nick

            So you know of specific examples of owners who were not paid for their confiscated property by the federal government for the NGA relocation? Also, you are saying there is no example of a ‘moral’ eminent domain? All are immoral?

    • Nick

      Yes. In my view, St. Louis would be better off without NGA.

  • STLEnginerd

    While I respect the historical viewpoint tied to the current protest i hesitate to allow that history to justify tolerance current destruction of property.

    • Nick

      I feel like we’re becoming more and more entrenched in a world where you’re either 100% accepting of every aspect the protests, with even the slightest criticism whatsoever proving you to be 100% against.

      • Framer

        Yup. Gray areas don’t seem to be tolerated anymore.

      • HawkSTL

        People have a right to protest (1st Amendment), but they don’t have the right to destroy property (various misdemeanors and felonies). There isn’t a gray area. But, I understand what you’re saying. Everyone seems to have “you’re with us, or against us” attitude. That is not productive.

      • I have yet to meet anyone who is 100% with every aspect, and have participated in demonstrations and have had many conversations. So many people selecting their level of involvement and affinities, with shades of gray all around. The one thing that people are 100% down with is that police should stop killing unarmed people (of color, most dire in St. Louis, but also every human), and that the courts should send murderous officers to punishment. Beyond that, from who should be mayor, what rate the minimum wage should be, which god is in the heaves above us, what chants to shout, whether to block streets and so forth you will find dozens of opinions. If you can point to statements or people who are suggesting a 100% approach beyond the basic goal of the movement, I would appreciate the sources. I’m just not catching that from my own involvement.

        • HawkSTL

          Using loaded terms like “murderous” puts you in the 100% group. Sorry.

          • I am sure that it does put me in the 100% group in your mind. And the 25% group to others, 50% to some, 0% to many. I really don’t have any control over that, and actually welcome the transfers of perspective happening right now (even those where one person thinks something is diametric, which is rarely the case). I do empathize with Mayor Krewson right now: Use one word or phrase, and you have either made a fast friend (who then will fly when you use a different word) or a fast enemy (with whom you probably actually have a lot in common). Thanks for reading the article and sharing your views in the comments!

          • HawkSTL

            Michael: I understand your viewpoint (at least I think so). But, here is what I don’t understand specific to Stockley. People haven’t read the verdict, yet criticize the result. People don’t know the evidence, yet criticize the result. People don’t know the standard, yet criticize the result. They leap to conclusion of “unjust” knowing really nothing. You are in that camp (critical). So, what precisely did Judge Wilson get wrong. All I hear on this site (and around town with protest crowd) is crickets or leap to racism. So please explain the gripe about the verdict. Not policy, but errors in findings and application of law.

          • STL Forever

            There is no substance to the gripes about the Stockley verdict. No truth in the protests. Is is all based on false beliefs and lies. There is a hidden agenda. People want to point fingers and label hard-working law officers and leaders “racist,” when it is NOT TRUE. The insanity and hypocosy of the protests over the Stockley verdict and the Michael Brown case…it is all being overlooked by the fake media. People are afraid of being labeled as insensitive or racist for calling it what it truly is. It is insanity!

          • HawkSTL

            And that’s the problem with trying to resolve this. More crickets.

        • Nick

          ‘The one thing that people are 100% down with is that people should stop killing unarmed people.’

          You’ve seriously have never spoken to anyone who sympathized with, say, Darren Wilson, or George Zimmerman perhaps? Or perhaps a myriad of other situations where people feel justified killing an unarmed person? You are seriously not considering the opinions of a very, very large part of the American populace if you believe your statement to be true.

    • jhoff1257

      I don’t think that was anywhere near the point he was trying to make.

      • STLEnginerd

        I thought it was fairly clear. He says That the black population has endured decades of neglect and injustice and have been since disadvantaged by the white abandonment of black neighborhoods. This is very true. Then he goes on to describe the decision making that has led to a Paul McKees’s Northside and it devaluation through neglect. Also very true.

        The Northside comparison is very interesting because even though the choices were in retrospect I think clearly bad for St. Louis, and admittedly there were many residents and experts who have been proven right in the process, I do think that most of the people who chose to support McKee’s vision did so because they thought it would help it the city not hurt it. They are accountable to those decisions, of course, at the ballot box, but not at their mailbox.

        Then he goes on to reference the “piety” of the public officials who vociferously denounce the current violence to some of the cities neighborhoods. He references it as “a handful of windows” (which to my reading means approximately 5, as in 5 fingers, a gross underestimation but I guess such colloquialisms mean different thing to different people) as if there is no significance to the actions made by the hooligans who have infiltrated this protest movement. To me this is at least a mild justifying of the destruction.

        I don’t mind the piece, it is instructive especially to those who aren’t familiar with local history, except where it infers how we should use historical context to measure our condemnation against. I have a measured interpretation of the peaceful protester because ultimately they have reason to be upset and a right to raise their voice to call attention to it. Blocking streets with their bodies.. OK, marching through malls and hotels chanting slogans.. sure, as long as when the police arrive they only resist peacefully and go to jail for their overnight stay until they are released the next day. They probably won’t even face charges. But smashing windows should really be categorized as mild terrorism in its goals and impact. They went to the mayors house and threw rocks (or was it bricks) through her windows. It was wrong when white supremacists did it and it its wrong now. Coopting those tactics is truly a low point in our quest for ultimate equality. The vandals should be weeded out and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. IMHO.

        • HawkSTL

          Spot on. I couldn’t agree more.

        • jhoff1257

          This is much more thoughtful than your first comment. Should have led with this.

    • Adam

      I don’t really think it matters if we like it or not. Change doesn’t happen unless you bother/inconvenience/force the people with the means to make the change. That’s how it’s always worked. These comments are a prime example; people don’t give a sh*t about other people’s suffering. They care more about broken windows. So that’s how you force change. You break windows. Otherwise people just sit around and go “Oh, that’s really terrible but not my problem.”

      • HawkSTL

        So, a question. If the protesters come and start breaking windows down Meramec, that is okay with you?

        • Adam

          It is what it is. I’ll deal with it, friend.

          • HawkSTL

            I’ll paraphrase Joe Edwards the night the windows started breaking in the Loop: It is senseless. This is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the City. Our businesses and people support the protesters. And, then they start hurting our people, our businesses? Exactly Joe. Meanwhile Chesterfield is just fine.

            Breaking windows doesn’t do squat except commit a crime, hurt our own people, and cause insurance premiums to rise. But, go ahead and just deal with I suppose. At least you’re consistent. 5 blocks.

          • Adam

            okay. good luck with your thoughts and prayers.

          • HawkSTL

            See the top post with actual data from IBD and Wash. Post. Does it matter to you? Or are facts irrelevant?

          • Adam

            i’d say the facts you selected ignore decades upon decades of systemic racism and its long-lasting effects on the community, which boil to the surface under these circumstances. also, 17 black men killed at, what, 15% of the population vs. 22 white men killed at 80%+ of the population = black men much more likely to be killed by police. as far as “unarmed”, i don’t necessarily buy the data. it’s pretty easy for cops to plant guns.

          • HawkSTL

            Well, whether the guns are planted (conspiracy theory much?) or not, the statistics don’t lie. Anyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender, is more likely to be hit by lightning than be shot by a cop. But, sure, let’s protest. Sheesh.

          • Adam

            okay. sounds good.

          • HawkSTL

            Watch out for those lightning strikes tonight. Be safe.

          • STL Forever

            Blacks make up only 13% of the population but commit 40% of all violent crimes. 93% of all blacks murdered are done so by other blacks.

          • HawkSTL

            Because the statistics and data do not support racism as the root cause, those statistics and data must be racist. Circular reasoning wins … because it has nothing to do with poverty or crime rate.

          • Framer

            Quoted from Bill McClellan in today’s Post Dispatch:

            “When the unrest began a couple of weeks ago, the city had already experienced almost 150 murders this year. Almost all of the victims were black. Every single suspect who had been identified or arrested was black. Every single one”.

          • HawkSTL

            Do you know what the following statement from you is called: “I don’t necessarily buy the data. it’s pretty easy for cops to plant guns?” Prejudice.

      • John

        Change can happen without bothering, inconveniencing and forcing people to make change. There are productive ways to pursue change, and change is not one sided. People don’t force change by breaking windows. That is total B.S. non-sense. Broken windows and the people breaking them are part of the problem and not the solution.

        • Adam

          okay. don’t really care to argue about it with you. all you need to do is read a history book.

      • Nick

        Today I learned you have to be accepting of your neighborhood getting destroyed by vandals, or you’re a racist.

        • Adam

          lol. okay. as long as you learned something.