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Topic: Let's get real on Flint Police Activities League?
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The supporters of ending the Pal program keep repeating almost mantra like the position that the program needs volunteers and not employees.

Until 10 months ago I lived short blocks away from the Haskill Center. I can't begin to remember all of the times I called 911 in the night to report gunshots in the area of Haskill. Brownell and Dayton is part of the park that PAL football players used. Without lighting, parents used cars to provide lights at times. Woodrow Stanley, who lives On Brownell across from the park baseball fields, had a murder directly behind his home. Dayton Avenue is a short distance away and the scene of shootings and drug dealing. Shoes over the wires announce the intentions for the area.

Officer Jesse Carpenter, who incorporated the current PAL, and acted as Director until replaced last April, was innovative and networked with corporations to make necessary repairs to Haskill, such as replacing a roof leak damaged gym floor. I remember him putting the center in lockdown after shots were fired close to the center entrance.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:31 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Gang grafitti announced the presence of the Dayton Avenue gang. Just north of this area is the turf of the once notorious Merrill Hood and numerous other gangs. This is an area of high risk for the young people growing up there.

Carpenter once asked me to photograph the vacant houses within a specific 2 block area around Haskill, He estimated there would be around 20 homes. There turned out to be over 70. The early Civic Park homes directly across from the entrance to Haskill,represented a neighborhood in serious trouble. Carpenter was surprised at the number of gangs who tagged vacant houses in that area that were clearly out of their supposed areas. As I walked the area, I met some seniors who were experiencing problems repairing their homes because of finances, health problems, and historic prohibitions. Definitely a neighborhood in trouble.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:46 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Just blocks to the east of the center on Paterson Avenue was the site of the show down between West Side gangster Disciple leader Marlon Veal and the police. I read one file on Veal and was appalled at his violent actions against a former girl friend. Veal and the female had a confrontation that ended with a chase through slippery streets and veal armed with a shovel. After the girl fell Veal beat her so savagely that she required a colostomy.

While awaiting the trial conclusion , Veal allegedly shot a young woman through the window of her parents home because she refused his advances. Police were searching for him when he and an associate ran into a house on Paterson, 1 block west of Dupont, and barricaded themselves in the basement. After a lengthy and unfruitful dialogue the police rushed the basement. It was later confirmed that Veal shot himself but a near riot occurred near Dupont and Paterson because it was initially believed the police shot veal.

Until recently, there continued to be grafitti memorials remembering Veal While there is no more reference to West Side Ganster Disciples, they once heavily tagged a Chinese grocery store on Corunna Road. They may have been replaced by West Pat, a group linked to the death of a nephew of the former 5th ward councilman.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:11 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

I remember arguing with a Flint journal reporter at a City Hall press conference. Her position was that the minority Flint Police officers were the problem because they were too heavy handed with the minority youth. And while there were some officers with rigid attitudes (and some bad officers) they were dealing with serious gang issues.

In recent years part of this area has been dominated by a Chicago based gang, the Black P Stones. The area east of Haskill, has been hit by a violence from a rival north end gang. The young people defend their gang alliance because they say drug dealing is the only job available to them.

I volunteered years ago with a program initiated by then King School employee and community activist Ray Furlow (Big Cheese). In this first of it's kind "study to play" program, the young people had to study for an hour before the could play basketball. Teams were created and sometimes up to 200 young men came from all over the city. Guns were not allowed and the rule was no fighting.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:30 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

Tutoring was hard work and sometimes the need was so great the number of students that could be helped was severely limited. I remember a young man who gave up basketball to prove he was not too dumb to learn algebra. His sessions were sometimes 3 hours a night 3 times a week. I still remember his thrill at getting a B on an Algebra test.

Other groups took on the program and paid tutors. Many other programs tried volunteer tutors, but eventually these programs faded. Our population is aging and many talented young people leave Flint. The number of Churches that used to do missionary work locally no longer sponsor these programs. There are fewer available tutors and the organizations that used to help organize them are no longer functioning.

There is more abandonment of homes around Haskill for a variety of reasons. Predatory lending practices hit this area hard and as aged people died, no one wanted their houses. Vandalism decimated many homes making them uninhabitable.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:47 am 
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untanglingwebs
El Supremo

The need for the Haskill program is great and the resources are diminished. The demands of the police department are also greatly increased with cuts to the department and 12 hour shifts. I have to wonder if the recent actions of this administration is a "bully pulpit"move. The Police Chief needs to recognize this organization has by-laws and a structure. He cannot, by virtue of his position, just come in and disregard this structure to enforce his control. Is the Golden lawsuit valid. Golden allegedly was the one who told Council that the Chief had not recertified. Was his treatment of her after the media covered the story retaliatory? The court case will tell the story.
Post Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:57 am 
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