Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Memorial Goes Up In North Minneapolis, This Time Where Rufus O. Victor Killed A Family Of Three...

Photo and blog post by John Hoff

Above is an image of the memorial which went up yesterday at the scene of a deadly crash, where Rufus O. Victor killed a family of three while driving a stolen car.

What is there to say beyond that? Throw the book at this guy.

(Do Not Click "Read More")


Anonymous said...

How long do you think a memorial like this should remain? Should there be various lengths vs memorials on inside streets of the neighborhood?

Johnny Northside! said...

I think what the city needs is a policy and then it needs to seriously enforce the policy.

Anonymous said...

I think this is best left for each neighborhood to decide. Many of these memorials are cultural in nature so to make one set of standards across the city would likley violate the norms of the more concentrated neighborhoods where these are culturally relavant.

Johnny Northside! said...

There is more than one cultural standard in these neighborhoods, including a very strong standard which doesn't want this stuff up more than a couple of weeks. Since there is no one standard that fits all cultures, the city should come up with a single standard which will be some kind of compromise.

Anonymous said...

Give us a break. You and Jeff Skrenes have labeled these "thug memorials" and advocated that they be torn down ASAP.
Both you and Jeff have blogged about how you either take them down, or file 311 complaints to the city to have them removed.
You say there is more than one cultural standard, yet you impose your standard on everyone else by having them removed based on what you feel is appropriate.
There is no one standard that fits all cultures, but you want your standards to prevail.
That is the theme of this blog. John Hoff wants to call the shots and dictate what goes on in NoMi.
Read your own words John, that is the message you give - that you know what's best for the community and you will make it so, and screw anyone who opposes you.
Some innocent people died. Let's not be so concerned about how long memorials stay up because you & Jeff Skrenes think "thug memorials" are blight. A baby died, that memorial can stay there as long as the family wants, since there is no policy for you to enforce.

Johnny Northside! said...

This particular memorial is clearly NOT a "thug memorial." The individuals who died were not thugs who could have easily been the shooter on a different day. This is a standard "traffic accident" memorial.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to propose what I think is a reasonable stanards.

Traffic Accident or Innocent Death Memorials: The neighborhood would allow them to exist for as long as they are properly maintained. Because they will weather it will be up to the greving to maintain said memorial.

Thug Memorials: Any victim who has a gross mis-demeanor or above on their record. Their memorial would be allowed to stay up for 36hrs maximum to ensure that the neighborhood is not blighted. After 36hrs 311 would be contacted or the property owner asked to remove any Thug Memorials to ensure the neighborhood maintains community standards.

MikeT said...

In my humblest of opinions;

If it is on private property, then it is entirely up to the owner of said property.

If it is on a public sidewalk or boulevard that relies on a property owner for it's upkeep and maintenance (the sidewalk in front of your house, for example), then it is again up to that individual. I'm sorry for your loss, but I don't want to have to mow around your soggy teddy bears and empty liquor bottles.

If it is on public property, then it should stay up until the deceased are buried, wherein the spot of mourning is moved to the gravesite. 10 days should be sufficient.

I have yet to see any serious treatise or study that validates these memorials being part of some sort of "cultural standard".

Now let's stop all this fussin' and go sledding!

Anonymous said...

I agree with MikeT it is only fair to leave the memorials up until the dead are buried. Should we still make a distinction between Traffic deaths and the homicide of someone with a record? I know we could look them up on to see if we should be asking for it to be removed. However if we just say after the burial for everyone that would eliminate alot of checking and looking up etc.

Anonymous said...

I did some research and there is an entire culture tied to these much of it in the African American community. Here is a quote from a family interviewed in the NYTimes. So it may be fairly one sided for say a bunch of white folks to say we can't have these memorials to a bunch of people who memorialize loved ones in a predomanantly African American neighborhood. It might not be YOUR culture but it is culture none the less.

Victims’ Families Denounce Call for Time Limit on Street Memorials
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CloseLinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink By GEORGIA KRAL
Published: November 4, 2007

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In the Region
Long Island, Westchester, Connecticut and New Jersey
Go to Complete Coverage » PLASTIC flowers and yellow foot-tall candles surround a laminated picture of Aaron McCrea on the sidewalk on Church Street South near the train station, not far from where he was shot to death in September 2006. He was 27.

On Quinnipiac Avenue, in the Fair Haven Heights neighborhood, there is another memorial, this one for Chino Roman, called Angel by his friends. There, graffiti covers the sidewalk and more than a dozen empty liquor bottles are scattered about.

That is the problem with many sidewalk memorials, said Gary Hogan, deputy director of the Livable City Initiative, the city’s antiblight agency. They start out as small, private ways to honor loved ones, but often turn into sprawling public eyesores.

Some in New Haven see sidewalk memorials as reminders of violence and want them removed. Jorge Perez and Andrea Jackson-Brooks, members of the Board of Aldermen who represent the Hill, a neighborhood with several memorials, recently proposed an ordinance that would limit the displays to 30 days and require a permit to put one up.

Opponents say it is a matter of free speech, that the families and friends of victims should be able to mourn as much, and wherever, they like.

“When you lose your son or your daughter, that person is not coming back,” said Doug Bethea, an ambulance driver, whose son, Robert Scott Bennett, was shot on Ashmun Street on the front porch of his aunt’s house on Nov. 27, 2006 — four days after turning 20.

The family put up a memorial in their front yard and are adamant that it remain there.

“It’s become part of our street culture,” Mr. Bethea said of the memorials. “Yes, they should be kept clean, but don’t sit here and tell me when and where ... ” His voice trailed off. “He’s my kid.”

Anonymous said...

The sidewalk is not public property, there is an easement. The property owner has the right to remove anything other than traffic signs and lighting.

Anonymous said...

I dispute that north Minneapolis is a predominantly African American neighborhood.

Get used to the "diversity".

Johnny Northside! said...

Indeed, until we get the census figures we don't know.

Johnny Northside! said...

In regard to the sidewalk easement: one might argue that anybody has a right to take this stuff down, as much right as somebody has to put it up.

BUT AGAIN!!! I WOULD POINT OUT!!!! I think it's common decency to allow the memorials to remain for a short period of time. Arguably until the person is buried. At that point, such memorials should be at the gravesite. Otherwise our whole neighborhood will look like a cemetery.

On another note: the criminal complaint in this matter was CHILLING. What an awful and cold blooded vehicular homicide.

Johnny Northside! said...

Something interesting I read:
It is rare that an impaired driver who kills is charged with first degree murder. It is even rarer that an impaired driver who kills is charged with capital murder. However, two states, North Carolina and Kentucky, have charged impaired drivers with capital murder. These states have not created any new law; they have simply used the existing capital murder law and applied that law to the facts of the vehicular homicide. If a vehicular homicide case meets all of the statutory criteria for capital murder, there is no reason the case cannot be charged as such.
So here's my question: if the car was stolen in Illinois, and crossed a number of state lines to end up in Minnesota where three people were killed, is a death penalty under federal law possible? (Don't answer whether it's likely, it certainly isn't, but is it legally POSSIBLE given the current state of the law?)

I can't help but think of the case of Dru Sjodin, whose kidnapping began in North Dakota but whose body was transported to Minnesota. Neither state has the death penalty but her killer is now sitting on death row.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that the owner of the Illinois vehicle drove their car to Minnesota where it was then stolen by rufus o. victor

Likely not a state line crossing theft... does anybody know for sure?

Anonymous said...

It's not up to John Hoff or Jeff Skrenes to decide when memorials come down. If the memorial is not on or adjacent to property you own, HANDS OFF!! Thousands of people live and work in north Minneapolis, and they have just as much a right to decide if the memorial stays or goes.
You insist in inflicting your morals and ethics on everyone else.
You need to learn and understand you are but one person, with one opinion, and one vote. You are no more important that the next person.
I got news for ya pal. Your halo doesn't shine as bright as you think. Take a long hard look in a mirror, or better yet, Google your name. You need a solid dose of humility (and compassion).

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something?

Why would anyone want the location of a violent death memorialized? Isn't a memorial supposed to evoke the spiritual embodiment of an individuals character rather than just mark the spot where they breathed their last breath as the result of a criminal event? Why would anyone want loved ones remembered this way? This seems to be a very selfish act that diminishes all the wonderful aspects of a victims life.

Why as a society should we allow these sorts of memorials to dominate our public areas.

If memorials were allowed to remain so long as they were maintained, wouldn't NoMi be a festive looking community!

Anonymous said...

It is all about symbolism and the permanent facade erected by those in the Black community.You see, they do not have real leaders when they let people lke Al Flowers, Ron Edwards, Spike Moss speak for them because these guys are liars, racists and hate-baiters.They like their cute slogans and their clever acronyms and to blame White people for anything. It is amazing that the Black community accepts these washed up lying thugs as their leaders. Until that changes, the community will not move forward. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

North Minneapolis is too an "African American" neighborhood. Check out if you don't believe me. Just because you live there doesn't mean that the cultural norms within the local community are not valid. These memorials must be respected as cultural markers.