Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Greetings From A (Suspected) Penn Avenue Hooker...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

Once again directing a "citizen patrol" at prostitution activity in North Minneapolis, today me and my girlfriend finished up with an Easter egg hunt and then hit Penn Avenue, looking for hookers. It wasn't hard to find one sitting on the "hooker steps" at 2755 Penn Avenue North, a vacant house. We called the police, and before long squad 462 came along and talked to the suspected hooker.

And I say "suspected" in that I'm-trying-to-be-a-journalist-so-I-really-should-use-that-word kinda way.

Disappointingly, Squad 462 only...

...stopped and talked to the (firmly and strongly) suspected hooker, apparently telling her to "move along." The conversation was quick, so obviously there wasn't even enough time to run her name and see if, oh gee, she's been picked up for hooking before like Deontay Duffy, click here.

At this point, the hookers know my car by sight and we can actually see them reacting when my car comes in sight, apparently knowing a police squad won't be far behind. So after the police talked to the (suspected) hooker she began walking southbound on Penn, and we moved up a couple blocks to intercept her and snap a photo.

Spotting us, the hooker gave us "the bird." In fact, she actually stood still in her tracks, pulling her hood up over her face, and flipped us off for about a full minute.

Like, HOW DARE WE CALL THE POLICE about her turning tricks (we suspect) on Penn Avenue North on Easter Sunday?

As far as I'm concerned, this hooker is giving the finger to the neighborhood, to the police, to the judicial system. I am directing this question at my public officials: WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO for police to actually make some arrests instead of merely stirring the pond scum, which goes away momentarily but returns several minutes later? In fact, we saw this hooker AGAIN several hours later, and called the police on her AGAIN.

In light of the fact we can't seem to get decisive police action, I have decided on a new tactic: I will no longer call 911 when I see a hooker. Instead, I will wait until the hooker gets into a vehicle. THEN I will call the police, but the vehicle's license plate information will appear on this blog.


Anonymous said...

I'm all for getting hookers off the streets BUT I think we need to eliminate their customers first. I detest these white fuckers who come in from the 'burbs to buy their pot and get a bj here! Let's plaster their names and addresses all over our billboards, and social media. Let's send letters to their wives. Let's follow them around with a hooker in their car and snap a photo.

Seriously, what woman WANTS to do this for a living in this way? Many of them are mothers trying to feed their children, or drug addicts. They're often doing the best they can under the circumstances. The johns, on the other hand, have a lot of options and the wherewithall and means to make other choices. Let's punish THEM and find these women the help they need.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem... due to a vile mix of case law and state statutes cops can't make an arrest on prostitution unless they personally witness a transaction - meaning "undercover" stings - which are only done when we're "heavy" on cops - which is almost never...

That leaves us with "loitering with criminal intent/prostitution/narc" (a City Ordinance), which, unless a copper can testify to "hey, I saw X here 40 min ago (pick a resonable time), and X is still here with no legitimate/lawful reason and he/she was told to get out of the area" that one will also not pass the judicial mustard.

Furthermore, even when the stings occur and a pinch is made, we've been "directed" by the Hennepin County DA's to "cite in lieu of arrest, then release". On some sting nights, the "soiled doves" are pinched several times.

Johns are a different matter, but that's another nut to crack, i.e. proving the state's case. Not a cheap shot on the DA's - I'm sure they were getting pressured from someone as well...

On a busy weekend we're jumping from priority one domestic assaults in progress or sounds of shots fired calls (repeating frequently as necessary). Utunately these quality of life issues (which many of us dearly care about) fall a notch on the priority list.

Often, the best we can do is harass them. Sorry, just the way it is. No single rain drop is responsible for the flood.

Generally, we know what's going on & where it's happening. But our hands are tied.

-just a cop

Johnny Northside! said...

Dear "Just A Cop,"

I hear what you're saying, but it was pretty obvious Squad 462 didn't even run her name. How will they even cite her for LOITERING if they don't run her name and make the record?

But, like I said...we will now turn our attention to the johns and their vehicles and make a very smelly public stink with the next john we photograph. And we make a point of hitting Penn at least once a day, but often twice, while driving to other tasks.

Anonymous said...


boathead said...

A Haven for Ho's in the HOOD has officially opened its doors on 21st and Emerson so they all have a place they can regroup while getting some other dumb bitch to feel sorry for them and feed them and give them money that they can't make with their STANK snatch. Fucking pathetic ass Shitcago mentality.

Anonymous said...

The race-card goes both ways Anony. 8:05.

Northsider55 said...

I like the idea of focusing on the johns, too. They are more likely to succumb to public humiliation than the prostitutes. I would even help with postage to send letters and photos to their home addresses, if you need it.

M. Clinton said...

I totally understand that it is difficult to prove, but I believe just taking the time to inconvenience them has benefit. Get out of the squad. Ask for I.D. Talk to them for a while. When I lived in an area of high prostitution on the south side, when I did see the cops doing this, I would write down their squad number and send a thank you to the precinct. Officers so rarely get that kind of recognition that I believe just getting such a card once would motivate them to take that extra time more often. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

The County Attorney's office (we are a county system, not a district one) does not run the police department or remove police discretion on the street. To try a convince the neighbors of that is lowering the standard, which we believe is already too low. Besides, there's trespassing charges, so pick her up for that instead.

Lastly, what in the world does "due to a vile mix of case law and state statutes cops can't make an arrest on prostitution unless they personally witness a transaction" actually mean? Which cases? Which statutes? How are mixed? Is this your interpretation, or one the "DA" told you when you made a bad arrest?

The more I think about this, the more it sounds like a cop-out.

Anonymous said...

If prostitution was legal this business could be regulated and controlled. But the self righteous among us think they can legislate away the world's oldest profession.

Vice and drug laws are part of the reason why slums like "NoMi" exist and will always exist. Since these sorts of crimes will always exist they need to happen somewhere, and the slums are where society pushes these things.

I pay for cops too, and I don't want them screwing around with imagined crimes like pot and prostitution. "Just a cop" and his ilk should be responding to serious incidents in progress and not screwing around with petty vices.

Anonymous said...

For a guy who's just been through the defamation wringer, it's probably not a good idea to publish a zoomed-in image of a "suspected" prostitute's face along with speculation as to whether she is a he.

Anonymous said...

just a cop-

Man I feel for you guys, the police are only one aspect of a judicial system that is not running on all 4 wheels.

What we have right now is reactionary law enforcement that puts the criminal element firmly in control of the community by dictating how enforcement can be administered. This has far reaching effects that effect the quality of life in NoMi.

Prostitution is emblematic of the criminal element feeling that they can get away with blatant anti-social behaviors. But it starts with much less deviant behaviors that are ignored. Parking on the wrong side of the street, littering, loud music, public drunkenness,and other seemingly petty affronts to quality of life issues.

Now, I know that you have indicated that the police just don't have time to address these issues because you have to prioritize responses. But at the same time we hear stories of cops suing because they were limited to a mere $60,000+ of OVERTIME pay! So, what is the reality.

What we are currently faced with is a very unsafe environment for police and dismal quality of life for residents that will only be self perpetuating.

We can't let this be the status quo. What we need is some honest assessment of what kind of political pressure local citizens can assert to induce the needed changes. This anonymous format seems like an ideal platform to break the curtain that separates law enforcement from community activists.

Be frank and let us help you.

Johnny Northside! said...

To anonymous at 9:20 PM.

That's why I'm blogger of the year and you are an anonymous troll.

Anonymous said...

And wasn't John found not guilty of the defamation charge anyway?

Anonymous said...

You act like she WANTS to be hooking. On EASTER Sunday. What the hell is wrong with you to badger and harrass someone whose situation lead them to such dire straights? I can tell you have a lot of passion for your community but do you have any compassion for your fellow man?

How about instead of your "hooker patrol" you donate money to an organization that helps women turn things around? Like PRIDE, Northside Women's Space, or one of the MANY women's shelters that resides in our fair city. Then I might buy that you care about your community more than your readership.

Anonymous said...

The squeaky wheel gets greased. The more people call and complain about issues to the department, the more they will get addressed. FREQUENTLY Send emails. FREQUENTLY Make phone calls. Both get read in roll call - the good and bad.

I tell people on almost every call, "if the little voice in your head wonders if you should call 911, that's the time to call. At the very least, you'll get a squad rolling down your street."

Just like any large organization, there are good and bad - cops that are "in it" or "out of it". From someone who is still "in it"... Keep calling.

Johnny... just because the squad didn't run her (and it wasn't me!) doesn't mean they don't already know him/her (many of the working girls are both boys & girls) by name already. They may run her a dozen times a month "hey, I wonder if X has a warrant yet..." then look for them.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that livability issues get more attention during the week versus the weekends. But keep calling...

-just a cop

Johnny Northside! said...

To Anonymous At 10:49

I will continue to do exactly what I am doing and you can take a long stroll off a short avenue.

Anonymous said...

Johnny Northside! said...
That's why I'm blogger of the year and you are an anonymous troll.
April 26, 2011 11:36 AM

Yes. City Pages, the same rag that publishes prostitution ads and is on the radar of the police department.
Apparently City Pages promotes all kids of "whores".

Anonymous said...

Years ago the folks on Lake St set up a van and started taking photo's of the John's (sorry) license plates. I can't remember if they sent a notice to their home or posted a list maybe both. I think it was pretty sucessful.
MCullen NE

Anonymous said...

Prostitution is not a "victimless crime". These gals/guys are from abused, addicted whatever back grounds. I had a friend that was in the business and when I asked her wtf are you doing she had been hand cuffed to a radiator and beaten until she did what he wanted. Fortunately as she got older she was able to get out but it wasn't easy. You need to go after the John's and the church that is opening up their doors has more compassion than the anonymous mud slinger. Walk a mile in their shoes jerk.
MCullen NE

Anonymous said...

That should read, "...all kinds of whores".

Johnny Northside! said...

I have removed a two words from one of Boathead's comments, and I am reproducing the rest of the comment below.

Though I may not approve of what Boathead says, nor how he says it, all the same he is expressive and substantive and I want to create a forum for such discussions. If somebody doesn't like what Boathead is saying, the solution is MORE free speech in response, not trying to curtail what Boathead is saying.


Sympathizing anonameass 8:05 a.m. i am all for getting johns off the streets BUT i think we need to eliminate the whores first. I detest xxxx xxxxx who live in this city to sell their pot and give out blowjobs. Let's plaster their names and addresses all over our billboards and anti-social media. Let's send letters to their children and other family members. Let's follow them around with a customer in a car and snap a photo. Seriously, what manWants to have to use a HO? Many of them are good and decent people trying to feed their children and THEIR addiction. They're often doing the best they can under the circumstances. The whores, on the other hand,have ALOT of options and wherewithall and means to make other choices. Let's punish them find the help these men need. Now all of you two-faced double standard shit spewing racists can go suck your own cocks and you bitch whores can go spread some more A.I.D.S. because none of you are innocent or naive. You are just a bunch of derelict, getting over assholes who will all roast in their respective fake hells. Good Day. P.S. This is a satirical post ...silly bastards, read the first post. Silly motherfuckers.

Johnny Northside! said...

And now a comment from me:

We have, oh my word, drug addicted hookers (some of whom are transvestites) walking up and down Penn Avenue, actually FLIPPING OFF the citizens who call police.

This is bound to stimulate heated discussion. I am determined to sponsor that discussion, though it may be messy and uncomfortable at times. I feel the discussion is severely needed and it is a LACK OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE which contributes to the problems.

There has been a lot of discussion online in other forums about the Kwanzaa Church Hooker Drop In Center, which this blog will NEVER refer to as the "Northside Women's Center" because, as Megan Goodmundson put it so well in an e-democracy discussion:

"Not all Northside Women are hookers, and not all Northside hookers are women."

Two things I want to say about the hooker drop in center.

1. In a recent Star Tribune article, misinformation was printed YET AGAIN that the hottest corner for prostitution is West Broadway and Emerson. Numerous North Minneapolis authorities have all been saying the same thing, and they've been saying it for months: this was true a couple years ago. It hasn't been true for a long time, but it's apparently in the best interest of this program to keep trotting out this false information because of their proximity to that corner.

So when the hookers reappear after two years absence on that corner, this blog will be publicly pointing the finger at the Kwanzaa Church Hooker Drop In Center.

2. What would happen if all the hookers on Penn Avenue actually got help and got off the streets? What need would there be, at that point, for the hooker drop in center?

I am quite worried that this program will somehow find a way to sustain itself and never go away. I don't think it REDUCES prostitution to give the prostitutes a place to clean up and change clothes. If anything, this is going to ENCOURAGE prostitution.

Many folks in the neighborhood objected to the hooker drop in center. Just because the center is open doesn't mean the objections have gone away.

Perhaps the drop in center can do some good. But this is going to be like a "good cop, bad cop" situation. There is no way that North Minneapolis residents who drive around making 911 calls on hookers are going to stop. So here's the word to the folks at the drop in center:


Folwell Fox said...

I'm optimistic. It was the growing economy that got North into this mess. Ironically, it's going to be the shrinking economy that gets North out of this mess. Ebb and flow. The fun begins at $5 a gallon!

NoMi Passenger said...

Word comes today of a pregnant prostitute, working Lowry & Girard right by the new Nice Ride bike rack. Caucasion, brown hair with bangs and short ponytail, pink shirt, dark jacket, short clam-digger type pants, slipper shoes, no socks.

Police were called and responded within 5 minutes. Unclear if she was picked up and taken somewhere, or just told to move along.

And on a different yet similar note: what is up with the open air drug market at Emerson and Lowry? Lotttttts of loitering and head jerking and deal making there. Folks, when you drive by, take descriptions and call 9-1-1 on loitering and suspicion of intent to sell narcotics.

Due your duty. If it's nothing then the police just gave some extra attention to the much needed intersection, that is the worst case scenario, extra police attention.

boathead said...

Hey, how about exxing out white fuckers too, John, your first comment is racist,mine was to point out the irony of how it is okay to spew shit about whites and i made it clear it was SATIRICAL. What the fuck double standard you running? Running scared, it seems.

Johnny Northside! said...

Boathead, no forum can possibly meet your level of raw expressiveness.

I hope you will keep commenting because, no, this blog is not "running scared." But I don't want this blog to turn into something like the comment threads on the Star Tribune, where it's all race, race, race n-word, n-word, n-word.

Anonymous said...

I am and have been a big fan of your website. I live in NoMi as well so I really appreciate what you are doing to help improve the neighborhood. I have a suggestion. It might be much more affective if you had a more direct approach to things like prostitution. Maybe research some places that help prostitutes recover and hand out the info to them. They will know they are being watched and move somewhere else but will also know that someone cares and is willing to help them get out of the mess their lives are. And yes, maybe one in a hundred will actually make a change but isnt that probability much higher than if we wait for the police/judicial system to harass them into changing? I think you agree that it is time to stop waiting for the system to kick in and become affective and to start doing what really works. "Outreach" works more than incarceration. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...



General Disarray said...

To the first commenter.." I detest these white fuckers who come in from the 'burbs to buy their pot and get a bj here! "


Anonymous said...

Re: Loitering Citating

You should follow people who get tickets such as those.

1. It's a lot of work

2. They loiterors claim no income and get their fees reduced out of pity.

3. The prostitues will be at it harder if they hace to pay a ticket.

To OP's comments:

1. Stop stereotyping people based on color, it will harm only you in the end. More often than not black men and women are involved with these prostitues than any other race.

2. Prostitues often times enjoy the thrill of risk. Many believe there are advantages of this illegal trade such as fast/easy money, fast/easy drugs, a lottery affect if they become pregnant (child support for 18 or more years, additional welfare benefits and if the kid comes out bad SSI benefits), an ability to extort money from whom they've been with and many just like a lot of sex.

Sounds harsh, but reality isn't easy to accept anymore.

I hoped Barrack Obama would bring change we all would believe in. Instead I see mostly the same that we wanted to vote out.

The only way to stop prosistitution is to eliminate the benefits they get out of the illegal tradfe one by one.

It starts with the legislature and the courts so the police have the ability to stop these terrible acts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Johnny Northside,

I also have been a fan of your site and of the effort you put into your community. We need more people like you. But I would also ask you to question your stance on "hookers" for a second. Yeah, like any illegal trade, sex work is bad for a community. But, like drug dealers, prostitutes are real people first. They do what they do because they have to. To me, the problem is not prostitutes, it's poverty and patriarchy. As a female-bodied person, there but by the grace of my socioeconomic privilege go I. Check it out, maybe do a little soul searching, try to empathize. Just a friendly suggestion.

-just a lady

Anonymous said...

There will be no empathizing with any men or women who are out on our neighborhood streets trying to sell blow jobs, hand jobs and other forms of sex. There are resources for these people and now-a-days they need only go to Emerson and Broadway to get "help". If they are being abused then when their pimp drops them off they can walk their ass down to Plymouth and Morgan and tell the 4th precinct that they need immediate help with their abuse and drug withdrawal.

But when they are on our neighborhood streets, in front of kids at bus stops, families, businesses, homes for sale, a community trying to pull itself up and they are doing their nasty ass things like crapping in the side yard of a vacant house or pushing the services mentioned above, NO, there will be no empathy. Take your prostitution in the privacy of your own home. Get off our streets.

Anonymous said...

Legalize prostitution.....