R.T. Rybak defends blaming homicides on dope buyers
Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak thinks we gave him short shrift this morning, after he blamed marijuana buyers for the recent spike in gang violence and homicides around the city. So he did what a lot folks do: He offered a (lengthy) comment below our post.
Buy weed and pull a trigger, the mayor says
"The comments I made about this are a lot more complex than you state here," he said. "My point about marijuana comes in here: The gangs that operate in this area get a lot of money from the sale of drugs and the key money drug is marijuana. If you buy marijuana in this area it's a good bet that they money you paid directly or indirectly gets back to the gangs who are part of this violence."
If you spent a lot of money at a store and every week or so the owner walked onto the street and shot someone, you would (hopefully) stop going to the store. That's what I ask about marijuana: stop giving money to the people who are killing people," Rybak said.
Have your own views about legalization and whether it's a harmful drug, Rybak continued, but there's "an underground economy that leads to violence and many middle class people who think they have nothing to do with this are funding that. It's time people owned that fact."
He identified himself in the comment. But just to make sure someone wasn't impersonating him, we got a confirmation from his chief of staff, Jeremy Hanson Willis, that, yes indeed, the mayor was reading The Blotter, and offering his own thoughts.
The mayor's original comments came of the heels of the city's 20th homicide this year: Derrick Gregory Martin's shooting death Monday night on the Lake Calhoun bike path was part of a gang war that appears to have spilled into a normally peaceful part of the city.
Here are the others:
- May 21: Anton Warren, 31
- May 21: Romaze Stevens, 30
- May 4: DeCarl Antonio Starr, 18
- April 28: Amy Terborg, 28
- April 8: Tony Gale, 37
- April 2: Pauline Nash, 42
- March 30: Kenneth Sims, 21
- March 23: Robert Blake Castonguay, 26
- March 17: James E. King Jr., 20
- February 27: Alisha Neely, 17
- February 13: Drew Heinkle, 25
- February 4: Michael Fonta, 45
- January 17: Marvin Ray Maynard, 16
- January 20: Orlando Keith Nunn, 21
- January 8: Walter Lee Dolley Jr., 19
- January 6: Abdifatah Warfa, 28
- January 6: Mohamed Warfa, 30
- January 6: Anwar Mohammed, 31
- January 2: Dontae D. Johnson, 31