Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Thug Memorials" Refreshed In North Minneapolis--No Good Will Come Of This!

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

On Memorial Day--the holiday set aside to honor dead members of the military who actually made some kind of (expletive) positive contribution to this nation--at least two "thug memorials" were refreshed in North Minneapolis. One of the memorials, pictured above, is at Hawthorne Crossings strip mall and memorializes Haywood Eaton, who died in a hail of bullets over some kind of drama involving a vehicle--badly borrowed, but NOT stolen.

The other memorial is in the Jordan Neighborhood and memorializes Marvin Ray Maynard, a much-too-young-to-die young man who was hanging out with the wrong crowd and paid for it with his life.

Despite promises made in the dark by the 311 system, check out this blog post, the Marvin Ray Maynard memorial has only been "addressed" by being ignored. At one time there was one teddy bear in the memorial--tied to the tree like a torture victim--now it appears the first teddy bear died in a gang-related incident, but left a whole brood of little bears with no decent father figure in their life.

As for Haywood Eaton's memorial, the soggy remains had been removed--apparently by management at the drug-and-thug infested Hawthorn (sic) Crossings strip mall, only to...

...reappear on Memorial Day.

Despite my hard ass tone, I am sorry for the loss represented by these memorials. I think memorialization is appropriate and, indeed, could take place at the site of their untimely deaths for as long as a month. But after a month or so, the appropriate place for a memorial is a CEMETERY. My neighborhood is not a cemetery and my neighborhood should not LOOK like a cemetery.

The Mayor has announced crime-fighting initiatives in North Minneapolis, including (my personal favorite) leaning hard on uncooperative victims of shootings living the "thug life." Well, I think getting rid of these "thug glorifying memorials" is surely one valuable piece of the strategic puzzle.


8bit4life said...

Although this may not be a popular belief, I say at least take it easy on the pictured memorial. I would like to assume a memorial like this is put up by people in his family who care and the death is less than 6 months old. I can't imagine how hard it is to lose a son, sibling, etc...to a stupid act of violence (even if their involvement is somewhat their fault.)

From the picture, I'm assuming there isn't anything gang related or violence inducing at the memorial. You can correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't been by there since this post but will be near tomorrow. I'll correct this if I see something overly out of line.

Sanjeet said...

These people need to learn how to mourn like the white people who run this country. I don't care about their African traditions - this is not Africa. I am from India and I do not burn my dead on a public funeral pyre or throw them in the river.

Anonymous said...

Actually this memorial is from 9-27-09. That makes it over 8 months old. It has been refreshed several times.

It is time for the family to memorialize this person at the grave site.

I do not want to live in a cemetary or a memorial "garden" and the stress is affecting my everyday life. On my commute to work I pass 3 of these thug memorials. I have to take drugs and seek counseling because of this environment created by these thug memorials.

I am considering action agains the City of Minneapolis because of their refusal to upkeep our neighborhoods to avoid them from becoming permanent memorial sites for violence.

Anonymous said...

What is most disturbing to me about this new photo is that they seem to have gotten some kind of permanent memorial made to fit on the fence. Is that what I see? A green lettering placard that says RIP HAYWOOD with a little crown at the top???

la_vie_en_rose said...

I knew as soon as I saw this the other day that there would be a post on here.

I'm accustomed to these memorials. There were a ton of these things in the tri-state area (that would be the area where Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio meet). Most were roadside memorials to people who had died while drinking and driving, although a few were for officers who'd lost their lives due to idiots not moving into the left lane when passing by. I don't find anything wrong with people erecting them (because it's how people mourn), but at the same time, I don't see anything with tearing them down when they start to look like hell.

I'm surprised they have a fitted crown for the fence. Is that actually allowed?

Johnny Northside! said...

I'll have to take a closer look at what's going on with the fence.

As a professional truck driver, I believe roadside memorials are distracting and should not be allowed. However, I think there should be an opportunity for such memorials to be erected at the nearest rest stop or other suitable sites.

Johnny Northside! said...

Sanjeet is not real. Sanjeet is a troll. Everybody ignore the troll. I approved the comment because it fits the "substantive"criteria, but it fits the "stupid" criteria, as well.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Personally, I would never erect one myself (or want one erected for me) because I think they're somewhat distracting, too (and some just look awful after a while of no maintenance). However, I've had friends who were killed in crashes, and memorials were placed at the crash sites (even though the families place stuff at the graves, I know!), so that's why I say that I can understand that some people mourn in that way. I try to respect it.

And yeah, the crowning on the fence...I'm surprised that's even there. I'd expect the property owners to have a fit.

Out of curiosity, how long has the tree memorial (can't remember whose it is at the moment) at 18th and Girard been up? I know it's been months, at least.

Anonymous said...


I know it's a little outside you area of focus, but I'm really annoyed by that memorial to that cop that was killed in the line of duty in North St. Paul. It has a big spiderman doll and a huge Bart Simpson plush toy. I don't know what those things could possibly have to do with a cop and they just look bad.

If there's anything you can do to help or suggestions you can offer please let me know.


Patrick said...

I say we go tear it down now. All memorials must die (pardon the pun). I may go tonight and grab it.

That's it, you gone and done it! said...

I believe that these memorials should not be up. For a point of which right now, with the increase "gang violence" with the Taliban vs "all their enemies" there will be memorials all over the cities.

If they wasn't living wrong, and their parents didn't allow this sort of behavior then we wouldn't have to see such sites in our neighborhoods. I could understand if it was a victim such as that lil girl that got shot while doing her homework at the dinner table, but not for no gang banger.

Folwell Fox said...

Well, they could always etch their name in a brick, and place it next to a WWI vet's, on the parkway, who got killed protecting their "in the thug life" freedoms?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for tearing it down Patrick. That crap has no place on a sidewalk, especially to commemorate a thug. Leaving it up just encourages the thug lifestyle.

Johnny Northside said...

The prediction that "no good will come of this" came true. Read the subsequent blog post about the small riot which took place at this very spot when relatives of Haywood Eaton scuffled with the police.