Saturday, February 8, 2014

North Minneapolis Residents Use Phrases Like "Sloppy Seconds" To Describe How They Feel About Weak Response By Honorable Mayor Hodges In Light Of "Good Samaritan Murder" Of Thomas Sonnenberg...

Image from website of Mayor Hodges, a public official, used under First
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. 


Johnny Northside! said...

This has to be my favorite sentence:

"This was a shocking, senseless crime and it was wrong."

Seldom have words in the English language been used to less effect by a public official.

Anonymous said...

I posted this on a different thread, but I really want it to be part of the permanent record regarding this incident and the lack of response or even acknowledgment from Hodges:

February 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM: Count me as one in the 'prisoner in their own home' category. I find it maddening. I can't let my kids go to the park one block away because we have 6000 times the saturation of L3Os as the rest of the state. I hate that I can't let them ride their bikes around the block because of the shootouts and car chases that occur daily. I'm nervous about shoveling my walk when nobody else is home. I hate that my kids have 'hit the floor' as part of their everyday lexicon. I hate that an innocent retiree was killed only a few blocks from my home for answering his door at 12:00 pm! Damn it, I am PISSED! It makes me seethe to see the lack of comment from the Mayor's office.

Anonymous said...

I'll send this to the Mayor. No friends at city hall for you.

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for her. I have a feeling it will be a mayoral term with mostly rhetoric and no substance.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Al Flowers should show up when she appears at the next coffee shop opening in Linden Hills.

Anonymous said...

What? "You have an incredible resource in the Fourth Precinct's Crime Prevention Specialists". She has got to be kidding, right? Looks like we have another worthless mayor, too bad.

Anonymous said...

These crime specialists are just community liaisons. Also, anonymous 1:16, so what? When was the last time North had any friends at city hall anyways?

Anonymous said...

Betsy knows what needs to be done but she's too pussy, along with the rest of the city, to do anything about it.

Johnny Northside! said...

Oh, anonymous commenter, don't leave us hanging! Tell us in more detail about "what needs to be done" and who, specifically, in the halls of power is too much of a "pussy" to do it. Because I write about it a lot, I think about it a lot, and though I might launch a critique of Hodges (which I am free to revise and think about differently on a different day) I certainly don't know what "needs to be done." I don't think even those who will ultimately make the decision can be completely sure.

I know I'm very unhappy about what HAS been done, which appears to be close to NOTHING but make some empty reassurances. Oh, there you got me going again...

Anonymous said...

You know that a surge of law enforcement is needed. You know that the aging community organizers don't represent the community anymore and should not speak for the community.
People are connected today and information is instant. They were useful 15 years ago. So you know you don't need some guy that is like that uncle at Thanksgiving as spokespersons for NoMi.

Anonymous said...

Reform sec. 8 in Minneapolis and our state's welfare system so the unwashed stop coming here.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Don would have made a more eloquent and passionate speech, to be sure. What else would he have done?

Betsy is a much more restrained person than Don. So yeah, this statement is rather milquetoast, but what of it?

In this case, it looks like the real failure was the courts kept on giving the guy second and third and fifteenth chances.

Johnny Northside! said...


You know, when I was a little boy in kindergarten my mommy would sometimes actually serve me milquetoast for breakfast. And so I know for a fact milquetoast has more character, more substance, more taste than this statement. Let me point to one sentence in particular:

"This was a shocking, senseless crime and it was wrong."

Oh, my word, two terrible possibilities come to mind. FIRST, she actually thought that sentence SAID something. Second, she thought it needed to be said because maybe there's a part of her electorate who DO NOT feel this way? And who the hell would THAT be? I leave the question out there for further discussion by others.

But, you know, STIRRING defense of Mayor Hodges, Hawkman. And I mean "stirring" like when I was a little kid, and I'd sit down at breakfast, and I wondered how hungry I was and if I was really ready to CONSUME this milquetoast or just push it around with my spoon.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious that you would make fun of someone else's writing, John!

Anonymous said...

As much as I am a fan of more police, what is needed is a complete reform of our sentencing. Mandatory two thirds incarceration of already lenient sentencing is unforgivable.

It is no wonder why we lead the nation in recidivism with 60% of prisoners returning within 3 years. There needs to be more exposure on these lax sentences. The vast majority of the public would be aghast at what is actually happening.

The public perception of overcrowded prisons is simply not true. Prison populations are at all time lows and yet we routinly let out violent career criminals.

I truly wish someone would compile a list of homicide victims and offenders for the last 5 years and see how many people would still be alive had MN merely followed their own sentencing guidelines and dismantled the horrendous 2/3 policy.

Johnny Northside! said...

I believe the MN DOC is publishing completely different numbers on recidivism than those just articulated by the anonymous commenter. MN DOC says as follows:

"74 percent Of Minnesota inmates will remain free of a new felony conviction and out of prison for at least three years after release."

Anonymous said...

Under this woman's watch crime is going to skyrocket and the poverty pimps will play her and the rest of her ilk like Steinway's.
Twenty years later...with no further introduction... Welcome back the good old days of MURDERAPOLIS!!!!!YEAAAA! AL, DON, get to work, she's waitin' to be played!

Anonymous said...

Betsy Hodges is too busy lobbying for amnesty for illegals than lobbying for stricter sentences for violent criminals and "prohibited persons in possession of a firearm".

Anonymous said...

She's too busy envisioning Street Cars, Light-rail and Rice-A-Roni.

Let her focus on the fun stuff, okay?