Amendment Fair Comment and Criticism, blog post by John Hoff
Fully a week after the murder of Thomas Sonnenberg by 20-year-old Devon Parker, now known from sea-to-shining-sea as the "Good Samaritan Murder," Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges issued a statement to the local neighborhood association in the area where the murder took place.
While saving MOST of my commentary for a later date, I wish to preserve this statement for the public record because there may be a need to refer to it months and years later...
February 7, 2014
Dear Residents of the McKinley Neighborhood,
I am writing to you to express my own concern, sympathy, and support to all who were affected by the senseless murder that took place last Friday in the McKinley Neighborhood.
This was a shocking, senseless crime and it was wrong. When that happens anywhere in our community it affects everyone. But for those who experience that violent crime so close to home it without a doubt impacts the sense of security and comfort that we undeniably have a right to feel in our homes, on our blocks and in our neighborhoods. I commend your resilience and your hope in a future full of opportunities to come, and I know you will keep them even in the face of this recent tragedy. I am committed to supporting and further developing public and private partnerships to bridge the gaps that impact the root causes of violent crime. When we do that, we will have not only a safer city but a stronger city.
I want to commend the Minneapolis Police Department's officers who were first on-scene responding to the 911 call. The decisive actions they took effectively intervened and had a positive impact on the outcome. As the investigation into what happened leading up to this tragic day unfolds, more facts will come to the light. Please know I fully support the strongest prosecution in this matter. I encourage everyone to let their voices be heard by the justice and legal system.
Please also know that I am working together with Chief of Police Janee Harteau, Council President Barbara Johnson and Public Safety Committee Chair Blong Yang to stay up to date on the Minneapolis Police Department's staffing plans and city public safety trends overall.
In addition, please remember you have an incredible resource in the Fourth Precinct's Crime Prevention Specialists. As I am certain you are aware, Mr. Rick Maas, McKinley Chair is also your new neighborhood Crime Prevention Specialist. For information on becoming a Block Club Leader and for ideas on ways to increase safety within your neighborhood please reach out to Crime Prevention Specialist Rick Maas at 612-673-3725 (office) or 612-236-5251 (cell phone).
I will close where I began: what happened a week ago today was tragic and I, too, am outraged. It has had an impact on our entire community. We will continue to pursue justice. In the meantime, thank you for your commitment to Minneapolis and to your neighborhood. It matters.
Mayor Betsy Hodges
It would be fair to say residents of North Minneapolis have expressed being NOT satisfied with this statement. The grounds upon which residents are not satisfied are legion and the ways their dissatisfaction have been expressed are colorful; including the graphic phrase "sloppy seconds."
As unsatisfied as I am with the response of Mayor Hodges so far, this blogger has been on the "Facebook public record" that it's not fair to criticize Hodges for failing to make a public appearance in North Minneapolis considering how stalker loon Al Flowers ("The Mayor of Crazy Town") heckled and disrupted an appearance by former Mayor Rybak, the actions of Flowers on that day virtually driving Rybak out of North Minneapolis.
To be fair to Rybak, it should be pointed out he made SOME public appearances in North Minneapolis after that, however from what I observed in the EcoVillage an advance party would show up first to make sure no rabid loons were lying in wait to heckle and harass the mayor. So can HODGES be blamed for PHYSICALLY staying out of North Minneapolis given the warped and chaotic politics of our neighborhood? I can't blame Hodges one bit for her reluctance to appear right next to self-interested charlatan ministers, poverty pimps with their greedy hands out, and no-account members of the family of Devon Parker who probably lack self control as much as HIM.
And that is who would inevitably come out of the woodwork for such a public appearance; seizing the roving eye of television cameras with shouting voices and funky pseudo-military costumes.
What matters is not what comes out of this mess in the next five minutes vis-a-vis Honorable Mayor Hodges but in the long term. JNS blog has restrained its criticisms HERE, in this more permanent internet forum, but I am verging on being APPALLED by how this tragedy is being NOT handled. If Don Samuels had been elected mayor this would have been handled a lot better and, furthermore, the city would already be doing something about the half a dozen crime families ruining our neighborhood with their multi-generational crime sprees.
(Brooding silently for a moment over what "might have been" if the interests of North Minneapolis were adequately represented in City Hall)
To make its point JNS blog has elected, in the case of this one murder, to forego using words like "allegedly" to describe the actions of murderer Devon Parker as testified to by Sonnenberg's widow and the police officer, Eric Lukes, who arrived on the scene and most likely saved the life of Mrs. Sonnenberg. Further caveats will not be published about my lack of the word "allegedly."
Devon Parker stands convicted in the eyes of this blog for slaying "The Good Samaritan." That is of little consequence, however, let Devon explain the matter to his Maker.