Saturday, April 3, 2010

How Long is Long Enough for Makeshift Memorials?



Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman


Earlier this week, I was talking with some employees at businesses in the Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall. One concern that got brought up was the memorial for Haywood Eaton on the corner of Broadway and Bryant.

The sun has faded much of the lettering away. The balloons have long since deflated. Many of the businesses don't want this on the property anymore, and their customers have said so too. Calls to the property owner, Sherman Associates, have gone unanswered.

People have said they wouldn't even mind taking down this memorial themselves, except for two things...

...first, a level of respect for the deceased and his loved ones, and second, the nature of Eaton's death. Like too many of our youth, he was senselessly killed in a tit-for-tat argument. Folks are rightly concerned that if the wrong person is offended by their taking down the memorial, then such action could spur more violence directed either at an individual or business in the area.

Personally, I think this makeshift memorial has long outlasted its usefulness in its current form. This isn't to say that no such memorial to Eaton should ever be placed here, and I freely admit that I have no comparison to the depths of grief that Eaton's loved ones must still be experiencing. But something that looks like this no longer pays respects to Haywood nor does it help the community. So what to do?

Ideally, the family and other loved ones of Haywood Eaton would remove these items on their own. That way if anything has sentimental value to someone, it would not be taken down and disposed of by anyone else. And then nobody would accuse people of disrespecting anyone's memory. The family could even contact Sherman Associates to see what kind of more subtle memorial the property owner might be willing to allow.

If that doesn't happen, then either the property owner or the city should remove these items, and soon. If the family and friends of Eaton, and those who placed these items here initially, don't clean things up, then somebody's got to be the bad guy.

How long do we allow such memorials to stay up? Who takes care of them? And most importantly, what do we do as a community so that these don't even need to go up in the first place?

43 comments:

MeganG. said...

I've been in contact with some high ranking electeds about this issue. I proposed that they start writing some new ordinances around this issue, and whatever the law ends up being, it is nicely commincated in a graceful piece of literature that is left with the family when the police chaplins are doing their work in supporting the family through their loss.

And I have also proposed that when the allowable memorial timeframe has expired, that the public works employees work directly with the family to move the memorial items to the burial site or other place of permanent rest.

This is an extremely hard topic to legislate, however, if nothing is done about these makeshift memorials, then I see several things happening:
- we will be living/walking/working/playing in a cemetary
-the message that goes out to everyone is "this is a place where people are killed" - and that has a damaging long term effect - kids grow up becoming desensitized and nonchalant about murder, depressions are more deeply entrenched, visiitors, would-customers, would-be residents are given the message that they should go, go go before they are the victim... I could go on and on but I do see the con's outweighing the pro's here. The place for long term memorializing should be done at the permanent resting place.

Patrick said...

I'm calling 311 now. If it's not down in the next few days I'll take it down myself. That "memorial" has no place there anymore and should be taken down. From the first moment that someone put something up there 311 should have been called and the city should have taken it down. That's private property.

In the future, I intend to aggressively take down any of these so called "memorials". I praise Hawkman for his war on those garbage signs and I am going to join him by going after "memorials".

Hillside Chronicles said...

30 days.

Plaxico said...

This is a long held tradition in the African-American Community, with roots in Africa. Slaves could not bury their dead and their masters would only allow them to construct small memorials like this one.

I think that we should encourage these memorials because they celebrate the diversity of our community and its roots. It's not for some people to judge how other people mourn their dead.

Anonymous said...

what does the poster on the near left say??? "Haywood did not shoot Donnell Malone...???? murder 'Wood'. Justice for Haywood"

Can anyone fill in blanks or interpret?

Anonymous said...

This is one of those times it would be politically correct to call 311 and let the city deal with it. They can contact the property owner and or make arrangements to remove the memorial. Or maybe call your precinct crime prevention specialist who can contact the victims family and ask they want to come get the memorial items or if the city should drop them off. This is not one of those times you should remove the items as litter.

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that 311 WAS called, several times, long ago and up until recently! The 311 operators argue with the caller, saying it isn't debris and there is nothing they can do about it.


By the way... Plaxico??? As in Plaxico Burress??? Dear god we have a real, live, famous thug amongst us folks! Albeit a thug with a gimpy leg. hahaha live by the gun, get shot by the gun, I guess.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/2008/11/29/2008-11-29_giants_receiver_plaxico_burress_accident.html

Anonymous said...

I think if it's on private property you all should mind your own business and let the property owner decide how long and what to do with it. If you want to deny those with African roots their memorials fine if on public property but lay off the ones on private property

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Patrick, I think "immediately" or even a day or two is too short of a time for the families of the deceased. But I am with you in that I would be willing to take something like this down myself and if someone were pissed at me, oh well.

Plaxico, the issue I have with encouraging these memorials and leaving that open-ended is that...well, LOOK at this one. It hasn't been kept up at all, for one thing. And what if an owner of a property wants to take it down?

Anon 8:17 and others unfamiliar with blogspot, you can click on each individual photo and they appear on a new page, much larger. Even then, the image can be enlarged. The statement on one card says that Denell Malone, aka Lil Don did not murder 'Wood, and that Haywood did not shoot Malone.

Eaton's murderer is believed to be Denell Malone and the police have him in custody. Whoever wrote this sign thinks that this is not the case. If anyone has information that the police currently do not have regarding Eaton and Malone, they are encouraged to contact the MPD.

Johnny Northside! said...

Actually, Malone has already been CONVICTED of shooting Eaton.

The sign seems to deny that Eaton ever shot (at) Malone. This is contrary to information in the Star Tribune, which says Eaton DID once take a shot at Malone. Here is the article.

http://www.startribune.com/local/82301307.html?elr=KArks:DCiUHc3E7_V_nDaycUiacyKUnciatkEP7DhUr

On another note: the citizens in the neighborhood have every right to ask U.S. Bank to get rid of this "memorial" and to withhold their business, etc. until that happens. We do not live in a cemetery.

Anonymous said...

@ JNS, why US Bank?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Thanks for the correction/update John. For some reason, I had trouble finding updated info on this last night.

But why are you singling out US Bank here? They are not the owners of the property, and their business is on the opposite end of Hawthorn (sic) Crossings from this memorial. Furthermore, they are one of the most reputable businesses IN the Crossings. Perhaps THE most. Boycotting them is misguided and even if it were effective, all it would do would be to cause a major banking chain to close down an underperforming branch. It would hurt us more than them.

Lance said...

This is nothing more than a collection of garbage and litter and should be treated as such. NoMi has been celebrating thug culture for too long. Tear it down!

Anonymous said...

"Plaxico said...

This is a long held tradition in the African-American Community, with roots in Africa. Slaves could not bury their dead and their masters would only allow them to construct small memorials like this one.

I think that we should encourage these memorials because they celebrate the diversity of our community and its roots. It's not for some people to judge how other people mourn their dead."


With all due respect to the African culture, we don't see funeral barges floating down the Mississippi(Scandinavian and Hindu ancestral beliefs) or have scaffolding erected in trees (some American Indian beliefs) or any number of other ancient cultural funeral rituals.

When we form new multi-cultural societies we adapt to the new norms of that society out of respect for others in our community.

Johnny Northside! said...

In regard to "why US Bank."

There are people in US Bank who care about cleaning up that area, and when there is talk of NOT doing business there, the US Bank people actually appear to give a damn.

I doubt we will get ANYWHERE with the McDonalds people, based on what I've seen so far, and the other businesses are too small to bother about. Banks care about money and law and order. And, oh gee, there happens to be a Hawthorne board member at that bank.

So, yeah, I think we can get somewhere with the folks at US Bank. I've made it known a long time ago I'd do business with US Bank instead of TCF if only Hawthorn (sic) Crossings was a safe place to visit and do business.

Johnny Northside said...

Troll comment rejected. The usual.

1915bung said...

I think Sherman Associates is the responsible party also. They own Hawthorn Crossing and have responsibility for Maintenance and Security. I bet a heap of tax payer dollars went into developing this real estate!

Hawthorn Crossings I and II
904 Broadway Avenue West
Minneapolis MN 55401

612-604-0869
rkost@sherman-associates.com

http://sherman-associates.com/hawthorn-crossings-i-and-ii/contact/

Anonymous said...

Well I could guarantee you that there would not be any memorials left for JNS when he dies.

Johnny Northside said...

Absolutely. I don't want litter on the public boulevard, not even for my death. I'm sure all my revitalizer friends could meet somewhere, have some little funeral sandwiches or whatever and then--I would hope--everybody could make 100 calls to 911 and 311 in my honor.

Seriously, that's what I want.

SKIORDIE said...

What about allowing people to do what they want for as long as they want, especially when grieving. Nosey people can remove these memorials only if they are morally superior(lead sarcasm). Why don't you do something about actual garbage, refuse, litter and black market recycling all over our streets!

SKIORDIE said...

Lance- you are a troll
NoMi is the dumbest nickname ever and it certainly doesn't fit residents. Where are people from that call it NOMI? Wisco?

Anonymous said...

Skiordie- I live in NOMI and I say NOMI:

NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI NOMI.

Memorialize your own property and no one else's, including the public's. Don't you have a date with a tree or a chair-lift pole, or something? We'll memorialize you with a flag that says NOMI.

Lance said...

SKIORDIE,

NoMi is a great nickname. It's really catching on. We are doing something about litter. We're also doing something about these stupid memorials. NoMi is getting better every day. We are revitalizing the place day by day and step by step.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Stop the murder; there will be no need for the memorials in the first place. Problem solved.

CONCRETE ROSA said...

Lance: You should be ashamed of yourself. These "stupid memorials" are the most influencial format in which to protest street violence. Have you considered voicing your opinions to grieving family members rather than spouting off from behind your monitor?

CONCRETE ROSA

SKIORDIE said...

Lance you are a bloody troll and should be ashamed of yourself

Johnny Northside! said...

I see very little "protest of street violence" in these memorials, and more stuff like gin bottles, etc.

I'm also very interested to know what, so many months later, this sign goes up saying "Justice" for Haywood Eaton. The guy who shot Eaton is in prison. What "justice" remains to be obtained, unless it is some kind of extra-legal justice? So I don't see this memorial as "protesting street violence" at all and, hell, maybe even CALLING for street violence.

It should go away. The folks running Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall should take it down. And, no, I'm not "hiding behind (my) monitor."

I said...

There are more appropriate and respectful places to memorialize a dead person. After a person has been interred all tributes should be left at their grave not in someone's back yard. How do you figure leaving booze bottles or teddy bears to rot and break in the elements is a meaningful way to remember a deceased person? To me it seems as though these things left out to the elements are a sign of disrepect. ie. I think so little of your memory that you nothing more to me than the garbage I leave out here to rot.

to Concrete Rosa: These memorials are in fact not a way to protest street violence. As an example, mourners gathered at Ms. Neely's "memorial" who were dressed in head to toe gang colors, smoking pot and leaving vodka and 40 oz bottles behind, someone drove by firing shots into the air. This memorial did nothing but bring more violence to my neighborhood.

I understand that people need a place to grieve but there is a time and place for everything.

Danielle said...

I think you are forgetting that the prople visiting this memorial may not be able to get to the cemetary. There is no light rail that goes there and not everyone is wealthy enough to own a car. It is a community service that is provided by keeping memorials up as long as possible so the Northside community can remember it's people.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Danielle,

The problem with your statement is twofold: first, how long is "as long as possible"? An open-ended time frame, especially in cases like this where the memorial clearly has no upkeep, does not respect the dead.

And let's say this happened on my property. I might want to be respectful and allow it to stand for a short period. But ultimately, what if I don't WANT this on my property? What, I'm supposed to just leave it there? Or put up with a teddy bear taped to a tree or a bunch of scribblings about "my n*****"?

I'm not of the opinion that these things have to come down immediately, but after a while, they no longer serve a purpose.

Oh, and can we NOT place bottles of liquor at a memorial for underage persons?

Johnny Northside! said...

I'd like to point out many Native Americans used to live around here, and I'm sure many of them died in tragic ways. But you don't see their memorials all over the place.

There has to be a reasonable time limit for these memorials to go. A few weeks is LONG ENOUGH.

Crazy White Lady said...

I have lived in many areas of the US that had high populations of African Americans. Trashy memorials that have been neglected or encouraged to be trashy is not what I would want someone to say about my culture. I have seen some nice memorials that have pictures, crosses, and prayers for the family and the deceased. This is more what the "culture" would dictate, not beer bottles, curse words, ecouragement of hate and violence, and a continuation of hate in the community.

Margaret said...

Danielle is right. Until light rail and public transportation is more fully developed, these memorials need to stay up and be lovingly cared for by the community.

Folks, let's work together to foster diversity and lower our carbon footprints. If we can't do that, what can we do?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

The memorial in question has been taken down, although by whom, I do not know.

Margaret, your comment muddies the water even further. Who is "the community" that will keep these memorials looking nice? Is there even evidence that the makeshift memorials are more accessible to those without their own transportation? And at what point does the owner of the property where the memorial is placed have the ability to say, "Okay, I've had enough," and take it down?

Patrick said...

Simple trash. I'm glad it's down. But I won't say who did it :-)

And so will you said...

Margaret is right.
There should be no more styrofoam memorials, no more plastic memorials and no more glass memorials. All memorials should be made of biodegradeable material that dissolves in water. The color doesn't matter.
Memorials of this type can stay up for as long as the community wants.

I like it, and so will you.

Aint got no grave said...

Does anyone know the percentage of north minneapolis murder victims that are buried or creamated?

I'm not looking for a scientific answer here...

Hilary said...

I hope no one on this blog took down this memorial. Patrick and his troll ilk (e.g., "Margaret" and "So Will be Said," scare me and make me feel invisible with their attacks on community diversity initiatives.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking this "memorial" down Patrick. You're a true NoMi warrior.

I said...

If you can find your way to the street "memorial", I think you can find your way to the cemetery. All these people are not getting killed in their own yards or even their own neighborhoods and it seems people aren't having a problem getting to these "memorials"

Minneapolis is not a rural area, we do have an effective public transportation system (I use it everyday). I think this transportation issue is reeally a poor execuse to condone these trashy "memorials".

I say said...

"I said" said what I was thinking.
Well said, "I said," I say!

Johnny Northside said...

It is my belief somebody associated with the property management at that location finally took the memorial down, after one of the businesses there contacted them over and over.

Now...what about the memorial on Irving Ave. N.? That is on public property, so it will have to be the city to take it down.

Anonymous said...

Can we get some pictures of that one John? And thanks for bringing attention to it.

Oh yeah, thank you Patrick for actually taking it down.