Sign on St. Paul's East Side asks for help finding Mayor Coleman's balls [PHOTO]

Categories: St. Paul
ChrisColemanRect.jpg
Some residents want Mayor Coleman to ball up and take tough action against East Side crime.
In the wake of the brutal gang beating of Ray Widstrand almost two weeks ago, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief Tom Smith attended an East Side community meeting last night where they told residents of that part of town what they're doing about a recent surge in violence.

SEE ALSO: There were some very weird police calls in St. Paul one weekend earlier this month

The cornerstone of their plan is to put 30 additional officers in the area in and around the Payne-Phalen neighborhood -- "a quick-response force whose sole responsibility would be to deal with the group gang activity, rather than regularly dispatched calls," the Pioneer Press reports.

It's unclear where the officers on this new force will come from. Furthermore, St. Paul cops have made headlines in recent months for all the wrong reasons -- brutally beating helpless suspects, using their firearms when less deadly force might've gotten the job done, and disrespecting minority communities.

Put it together and Mayor Chris Coleman is in a difficult spot. Frustrations with his administration and how he's handled crime on the East Side are encapsulated in this photo tweeted out by Fox 9's Tom Lyden yesterday: At last night's community meeting, Coleman said the sorts of things you'd expect a politician to say in such circumstances.

"You need to know that we are together on this... We're all races, we're all ages," Coleman said. "Our strength is in uniting, not dividing... This is about acts that no community should tolerate."

Will it be enough to curtail the street gangs authorities believe were involved both in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old last month and in Widstrand's beating? Time will tell, but last night, East Side residents expressed skepticism.

"I want to know what the police are doing to make me trust you," one woman said, according to a WCCO report, shortly after another asked: "What are you going to do about those parents that let these kids run the streets?" There were no easy answers.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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6 comments
MrGasso
MrGasso

There are TWO Sets of BALLS missing! The other set belongs to "You Know Who" and some debate whether or not there were any there in the first place. Never the less, they're all thought to be hiding out comfortably in Palm Springs!

altavista
altavista

Don't like crime so move out of the city?  Like the law-abiding citizens who moved out of Detroit?   If that happens it won't just be Minneapolis and St Paul that are trashed--It will be the whole state of Minnesota. Legalize marijuana?  What makes you think that will stop criminal activity?   There will just be more little gangstas on the street because their stoner parents won't take care of them and won't be able to maintain a job to support the family.  Why do you think the kids look to the gangs or are recruited by gangs?  It's because they've had lousy parenting by their teen-aged, doped up  Baby Mamas and have absentee, irresponsible fathers.  There are kids being forced into gang activity who really don't want that life-style.  And, see who their heroes and models are---scumbag rappers who preach a message of violence.  As  far as the Mayor's missing balls---what makes you think that he had a pair to go missing in the first place? 

Curtis Berg
Curtis Berg

The left one was given for the new Lowertown Saint's Stadium. The Right may have been lost somewhere along the Light Rail Corridor.

jeanhehn
jeanhehn

There were no answers last night.  Just a bunch of statements and that's the problem.

I asked a direct question along with that "What are you going to do about those parents that let these kids run the street?" and instead of an answer, I was given a 'statement' about how sorry they were I was a victim of crime, ( more than once mind you ) and that 'together we can make things change'.

It sounded like a damn election meeting!  The entire meeting was a joke!

I wish any of these 'higher ups' would come spend a week in our neighborhoods. Live in our houses, work our jobs, LIVE what happens on these streets during the day and at night.  I bet if they were affected like we are, crap would change in a big ass hurry!

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@jeanhehn Crime is down overall.  If you are a human being there is a chance some asshole kid is going to do something illegal to you.  There have been criminal youth gangs since the beginning of time.  Gangs are at their lowest level in the history of history.   The cops can't stop every crime.  Use common sense, report every crime you see, legalize marijuana, and outlaw firearms and crime will drop even further.    If you don't like crime move out of the city.  More people means more crime.  Keep in mind St. Paul is one of the safest cities in the entire world.   The murder rate is absurdly low.  The good thing is your whining does prove that crap flows downhill.  You whine to the mayor who yells at the cops who threaten the gangs to not attack anymore white people or else.   Or else what the gangs say.  Or else its no more Mr. Nice Cop.  You were being nice the gang members will say and everyone will laugh.     

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Everyone but you knows violent crime goes down when people have the right to carry. Look it up instead of assuming it's right just because you said it. You live in a vacuum. A humorous vacuum.

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