Ah, Nitelen, readers were just getting to know you and then off you go to incarceration!
Not for just for a little while, either. This blog previously reported that Nitelen Jackson was looking at 45 days for a theft incident and was planning to turn himself in on July 5. This information was accurate, however, it was incomplete.
Turns out Nitelen has more time hanging over his head...
Even Nitelen Jackson himself was saying, on Facebook, that he was facing more time than Johnny Northside knew about.
Nitelen Jackson, Not A Model Of Successful Probation
Turns out there is a theft of a motor vehicle charge hanging over Nitelen's head from way back in 2009. On Nitelen's list of many charges, it's the first thing that appears. Nitelen pled guilty to the charge in 2010.
Now Nitelen has a parole revocation hearing on July 19.
Yes, that's right. Nitelen has been ON PROBATION this whole time. This blogger finds that information as hard to believe as his readers. (Thanks to one of my behind the scenes contributors for digging into this topic and forwarding info)
With Nitelen more or less openly bragging on Facebook about various criminal activities, and dropping plenty of clues even when he's not openly bragging...photos of merchandise for sale and those handbags and shoes came from, um, WHERE? Fell off a truck?...and Nitelen does this under his own legal name, too, not even a Facebook alias...so the notion he's been ON PROBATION this whole time is hard to fathom.
Nitelen has posted numerous pictures of himself with marijuana. He posts constantly about how much weed he's smoking, bragging that even when there's a drought on weed, he has a ready supply. He brags about the quality and quantity of marijuana he's consuming.
And this whole time he's been ON PROBATION?
The Use Of Social Media By A Young, Criminally-Inclined Milieu
Nitelen is certainly a prolific user of Facebook. Even from jail, he has somehow managed to get a message posted, probably with the help of a third party with access to the account. Here is Nitelen's "Facebook message from jail" dated July 5.
Happy 4th of July , I was gone fuck y'all up with these. FREE ME, dry snitching ass niggas.
In this context, and in other Facebook contexts with Nitelen's social group, the phrase "fuck y'all up" (or "fuck u up," "fuck you up") appears to mean, "Alter your style in a positive way."
Some of Nitelen's other gritty urban phrases include:
Wet. When something is "wet," that's positive. One commenter on the shoe pic named Iceyy Locc Pudda wrote, "Them hoez wet like pussy." To which commenter Tay Moe replied, "on my life dem Wet."
Icey. This phrase appears to mean something along the lines of rich, opulent, eye-catching. A young man who is all dressed up in stolen designer threads looks "icey as hell."
Fuck with me. This phrase means "hang out and socialize with me."
These phrases disguise the meaning of what is being said, which is the very purpose of slang. At some point, slang just becomes a trendy way of expressing yourself, but when slang is forged into being in the gritty underworld of the street, it has a purpose:
Hiding intended meaning from "The Man."
Turning The Use Of Social Media Against North Minneapolis Thugs
This blog took an interest in Nitelen Jackson after coming upon a picture of Nitelen (whose name was unknown to me at that time) brandishing a pistol at a "curbside memorial" to yet another fallen thug.
But there are numerous young men (it's mostly males) in North Minneapolis who engage in criminal activities and openly brag about it in social media. Indeed, the Star Tribune recently reported that social media "fueled" the feud which killed 5-year-old Nizzel George.
This blog makes the following public policy suggestion: parole conditions should include making your Facebook page and all other "social media" profiles known and accessible to your parole officer. Having and/or using a social media forum without your parole officer being aware of it should be a straight up parole violation. Judges need to make this part of parole conditions. Prosecutors need to request it.
Furthermore, decent citizens in the neighborhood should be scrutinizing the social media of, well, not-so-decent people in the neighborhood and reporting information to the proper authorities such as the 4th Precinct Care Task Force and 311.
Some things that turn up in social media which can be reported, easily and without undue drama, as follows:
Small children present at parties where drugs are being used. Pit bulls for sale bred under dubious circumstances and sold for dubious purposes. Weapons being brandished by individuals not legally allowed to possess such weapons. Trophy photo images of drugs possessed by individuals whose identities can be determined. Merchandise for sale, repeatedly, that didn't just "fall off a truck."
This blog will continue to scrutinize the social media of young North Minneapolis thugs like Nitelen Jackson, but the task is overwhelming. More citizens need to jump into the fray behind the scenes.
By advertising goods for sale on social media, Nitelen Jackson has accumulated economic capital. Through self-created images of his thug lifestyle propagated on Facebook, Nitelen has accumulated social capital within his thug milieu. Even from jail, he uses the internet to cry out "Free me," attempting to urge political and social organization for the express purpose of ending his incarceration earlier, so he can keep doing what he does, which is thuggery.
But social media can be turned against the thugs. They are documenting their criminal activities and social networks on Facebook. This information can and should be used to gather evidence for criminal complaints and to discern the structure of social networks in order to, for example, find witnesses to unsolved serious crimes.
To some extent, I believe the authorities are already doing this. However, I believe ordinary citizens need to scrutinize these networks, pick through all the chaff, and make use of the information. Dropping verifiable information to a blogger about who is in a particular photo is a start...
But if we're going to revitalize North Minneapolis and live in a neighborhood where small children aren't killed by hailstorms of bullets, we need to do a lot more.