Repeal the lurking ordinance
The Minneapolis Lurking Ordinance (385.80) was enacted in 1877 to deal with stowaways on trains. This antiquated law has vague language such as "no person, in any public or private place, shall lurk, lie in wait or be concealed with intent to commit any crime or unlawful act." Basically, if a police officer thinks someone has the intent to commit a crime, they can arrest them.
Common sense informs us that this is problematic. But there are at least four other reasons why this law should be repealed: One, it is unconstitutional. Two, it doesn’t make communities safer. The Council on Crime and Justice reported that more than 70 percent of lurking charges were dismissed. And this brings me to the third reason why this law should be repealed: It is a waste of taxpayers’ money. If someone picked up for lurking spends two nights in jail plus processing fees, that costs about $247 per arrest, and this doesn’t include the police officer’s time spent with the arrest instead of with effective work. Fourth, the way it has been applied is discriminatory and racist. According to data compiled by City Council Member Cam Gordon from Minneapolis Police Department data, a homeless person is 15 times more likely to be cited for lurking.
Heading Home Hennepin 2.1.3 states that local ordinances should be examined "to ensure that they are not criminalizing the homeless." Also according to the same study by Cam Gordon, an African-American is four times and a Native American is three times more likely than a white person to be arrested for lurking; 80 percent of people cited for lurking were people of color. If any of these reasons outrage or disturb the citizens of Minneapolis, please call your city council person and ask them to repeal the Minneapolis Lurking Ordinance. Thank you.
Beautify the Bancroft site
Bancroft, Schmancroft. For my part I hope the threatened monolith never sees light of day. But, what I find truly noisome is that skuzzy gravel pit of an expanse of derelict wasteland — with a sump hole to boot; one that holds the promise of becoming pestilential once the spring rains fall and fill it, and the blood-sucking “state bird” begins hatching by the millions.
This ugly desert-like windswept mess of a vacuum bears more morbid a presence than the undertakers operation that was razed to make room for it.
It beats me that for the nonce the developers haven’t done the surrounding community a favor by gracing the lot with a temporary park. No doubt if the initiative were taken, the locals would eagerly participate in getting it going and maintained.
S. D. Klipper
Isles residents should pay for parkway
I have an idea for funding the Isles Pkwy mill and overlay. The families in homes adjacent to the parkway and in the general neighborhoods surrounding that street are pretty well off could easily raise the required $2 million just among themselves. That way, other parts of the city wouldn’t have to sacrifice their own roads for the sake of the Isles folk.