Stabbing in Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park Confirmed Plus What’s A Blogger’s Responsibility When Posting About Crime?


Just last week we were celebrating the fences coming down in the park. And of course on Saturday we had an unconfirmed report of a stabbing around 6pm. Let me first say that I have confirmed the incident with Council Member Graham’s office as well as with MPD. I’d also like to thank Muriel Bowser’s office and the MPD liaison office for their help in the matter as well. Part of the difficulty in tracking down the confirmation was that, as someone mentioned in the previous comments, this matter was handled by the Park Police. Here’s what I was able to cobble together:

MPD Commander George Kucik said:

“There was a stabbing inside the park. It is being investigated by US Park police. The victim is expected to survive and it appears that the victim was targeted.”

MPD was looking for a “Hispanic male suspects that fled” the scene, according to Chief Diane Groomes. And Council Member Graham happened to actually be on the scene and believes it may have been gang related.

So there it is. Very sad and very disturbing on so many levels. As I have said many times before, this park is one of my absolute favorite spots in the city. It truly is a gem. However, I am also not naive and realize that crime had been an issue in this park in the past and after nightfall it can still be problematic from time to time. I guess I found this instance particularly disturbing, of course crime at all hours is disturbing, because of the time of day it took place – between 5 and 6pm on a beautiful Saturday. And here’s another problem I have – how on earth could the Washington Post not report about this. It’s not like it is a little pocket park. After Rock Creek Park this is one of the prime park locations in the city. I wonder if they would have reported on it had it occurred in Rock Creek Park? But this leads me to the second part of the title of this post – what is a blogger’s responsibility when posting about crime?

While the Washington Post is generally a great newspaper, clearly it can’t be counted on all the time. As a matter of fact no other publication made mention of this incident (though DCist did link to my original post.) I think this is what puts me in a unique position. Obviously I’m not personally (thankfully) witnessing these crimes. However, PoP, has become a place where people know that matters of crime will be discussed no matter which neighborhoods they occur in. Furthermore people know and trust that the information they send will be posted and posted anonymously. I take this responsibility, and I do see it as a responsibility, very seriously.

In this particular instance I posted the reader’s email because I had received multiple emails of reports about numerous police and ambulance on the scene. So I figured something had to be going on. I also believe that PoP is unique in that it generally has a very quick self correcting community. If this had been bogus or if no others had reported seeing first responders then I either wouldn’t have posted in the first place or I would have corrected the initial post. The fact of the matter is, often the only place folks feel comfortable sharing information and incidents like this is on PoP. But what I have worked very hard towards is gaining your trust. I think I have earned it with many of you. I have no ulterior motives with these posts other than getting the information out there and hopefully readers and/or the authorities will confirm or deny it. Therefore, I have no problem posting information about crime that I believe is likely reliable. It is not a perfect science.

Like I said I’ll gladly amend the report should the facts emerge to contradict an initial post. And believe me, the last thing I want to do is incite fear. I hope it is obvious by now, but I truly love this city and wish I could only post about new restaurants, buildings, gardens etc. Sadly, that is not the sum of our experiences living in the city. So I’ll continue to be an outlet when we are let down by those who have far greater resources than I. However, we should not underestimate the resources that we do have. And that resource is of course the great community of readers, commenters and tipsters.

Am I wrong?

93 Comment

  • POP, it is helpful and informative that you report on crime. As far as this particular incident, it will not incite fear in many people IMHO as it was a targeted assult (one guy is looking for another guy to stab him, and it happens to be in the park, on a nice day, at 5pm). The park will be in full swing this coming weekend I am sure.

    As far as the Post, their reporting on crime is not consistent because of the nature of crime (random, variable, hard to get at the facts immediately — plus there is a good deal of it to keep up with). A murder, though, will at least get a mention in the paper (and sometimes much greater coverage given the circumstances).

    Important to note that this park is waaay safer than it was say 20 years ago…even 10, 5 years ago. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that it was not safe to walk through this park during the day in the 80s and into the early-90’s.

  • Beautifully said, PoP. Thank you for all the great work you’re doing to illustrate *all* sides of this great city. Please keep it up 🙂

  • This is really sad and I feel terrible for the victims and witnesses.

  • This is the problem with citizen journalism. You did incite fear, and your sourcing comes from anonymous emails as opposed to an authority like the police. Didn’t the initial email come from a woman who had talked to a building doorman who heard there was a stabbing? That is about as unreliable as you can get. The WaPo didn’t report the story, but if they did, they would’ve had all the facts before doing so.

  • I think, for me, what was missing from the original post was this:

    “…I had received multiple emails of reports about numerous police and ambulance on the scene. So I figured something had to be going on.”

    There was a long stretch of time where it seemed like one person had sent you an email about something they heard second or third-hand, and it got posted.

    And this will sound heartless of me, but maybe the Post or other news organizations didn’t report on it because it just wasn’t that big a deal. It sounds like a gang fight where someone pulled a knife and someone else got cut. How many fights happen in the city? No one died or is close to death. We don’t even have as useful suspect description (but I’m sure someone will come along to say how all Latinos use knives, or whatever.)

    I definitely understand and respect the role of community journalism, and there is a self-correcting mechanism in it. And I appreciate you taking your role seriously. But it also means that this will be a place for rumor-mongering, and for people to talk about how much they hate the city/minorities/hipsters/whatever, and I guess that just goes with the territory.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Christina I do believe it’s a big deal when someone gets stabbed in a crowded park during daylight hours.

  • Very well stated PoP! Keep up the great work!

  • With the amount of traffic on PoP, I think you need to have at the very least a second source. While most of the time, unconfirmed reports have been true, there have been items that have not been true.

    I mean even TMZ uses sources. They’re probably not the best, but they’re sources…

  • +1 on Katherine’s comments, especially because you do make money (even if it isn’t much) off the traffic such posts generate.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Katherine I’m curious, do you think a second source can be an email from a reader or does it have to be from someone in an official capacity?

  • Great reporting, PofP. I hope the police are considering cameras in the park.

  • @ PoP — your blog, your rules. 🙂

  • Camera’s in Meridian Park? Oh no, I hope not. How will I sunbathe in the buff?

  • Hey Pop- did you ever consider possibly disabling comments on individual crime posts but offering more directed posts on ways to combat crime?

    It just seems that the crime posts all devolve into the same discussion over and over again. I would think it would be more productive to actually have posts on ways to reduce crime than just a free for all on each incident…..

  • From a media insider’s point of view: This is exactly the question almost every newspaper in the country is facing — since all news is now immediate, when do you have enough reliable information to post something? Some newspapers are going with a “post what you know and update continuously” strategy, which appears to be similar to yours, PoP. That means in an instance like this, the posts would have been something like:
    1. Something’s going on at Meridian Hill Park. We’re trying to get details and we’ll keep you updated. (You don’t know at this point that it’s a stabbing, so you’re only saying what you do know.)
    2. [When you have more info] We’ve confirmed it was a stabbing.
    3. It’s being investigated by Park Police, who have told us [details].

    And so on.

    It also depends on what your primary objective is with this blog: to be out there with news and information as soon as it happens so people know to check you first, or to stand back and digest/analyze events so people know to check you for the complete story, or both. That will also drive how you post information.

    As far as WaPo not reporting (and this is not to excuse them, but to explain) — it happened on a Saturday evening when they’re on skeleton staff and early deadlines so probably wouldn’t have made Sunday’s paper; by Monday it had lessened in significance to the point where it wasn’t going to get space there either. Many newsrooms are realizing they can’t be driven any more by print deadlines, and they’re reorganizing their staffing and training so that when something like this happens, it doesn’t matter who’s working, they’re trained and there’s standard protocol for how to get the word out responsibly. Not surprisingly, the largest papers are having the most trouble with this, for a variety of reasons.

  • I think there is some value in having a local community based news source that doesn’t have to follow the same standards as WaPo and can get information out there more quickly. A car was torched in my alley on Sunday night. There hasn’t even been anything posted on the MPD listserve about it, much less WaPo. But I bet if I’d sent the photo to PoP that someone would have chimed in with some details.

    But, regarding standards in the “real” news world, does anyone remember the madness of Sept 11? I mean, there were reports that the State Department was in flames, the Washington Monument had been destroyed, etc – all on supposedly legitimate news channels. It’s a bit of human nature to get caught up in the moment, and I think we are all guilty of that.

    I do agree that a number of the criticisms above would have been eliminated if you had mentioned that you had gotten numerous emails.

  • I appreciate the crime (and other) coverage at PoP b/c of the local focus. When I see heavy police/ambulance activity, I know I’m more likely to find out what’s going on here than the WaPo –and sometimes above DCist.

    At the same time, us readers need to keep a certain amount of perspective with the citizen journalist-tipped posts. When I read “this came from an email tip” I know that it’s not the official report –but it still is nice to have a clue as to what’s going on when you see a fleet of emergency vehicles.

  • Step back, ladies and gentlemen, and remember a few key facts:

    1. A starfish is not an actual star, nor is it a fish.
    2. Betty Boop’s spine could never have supported that immense head of hers.
    3. Christiano Ronaldo is a putz.
    and, finally,
    4. Bloggers are not journalists.

    For the love of exploding jesus, stop hanging the expectations of professional journalism on blogs. There are professionals in the world who adhere to a very scientific/ethical set of rituals to deliver a story, whereas blogs are the exclusive domain of the blogger, who has no-one to answer to but himself/herself (and possibly an advertiser or two). The professional journalist is an endangered species already, and it’s not the result of blogs.

    In PoP’s case, he’s developed a trusted neighborhood (and now city-wide) blog that is still mostly the voice of a single dude with a great affection for his neighbors and his city. He’ll report what he can, given the information that’s available. Take it or leave it.

    The Washington post is a big bag of whores (at times), but it is a trusted professional news organization. If you expect multiple sourcing with attributed pull-quotes for each story in a “web log”, please consider paying the blogger a decent salary.

    The phrase “citizen journalism” should be stricken from the language and BURNED with all the balloon-animal-making hired clowns that used to work at the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in Langley Park. The whole idea of “citizen journalism” is like wandering into an operating room and claiming to be a surgeon because you ordered some groovy knives and clamps and thin blue sheets from a dirty catalog.

    All this to say, keep up the good work, PoP, a blogger who does elevate the scene significantly.
    End of sermon.

  • First of all, the Post is absolute shit.

    In terms of how a blog, and yours especially, should deal with crime: I rather like the way you’ve been doing it, even as I see some potential improvement since you’re moving into full-time. I like that the focus of the stories is the beautiful life, and that, as a community, we’re all in this together. This includes learning about crimes as they happen, and the inevitable conversations (as banal as they can be sometimes) about them.

  • POP, It’s your blog and you have a right to post what ever you want. I, for one, want to hear what “rumors” are floating around. Keep it up.

  • I’d hold back on posting about incidents of crime until you have confirmation of what actually happened. Emotions run too high on violent crime and its irresponsible to post too quickly. Anyone can email a rumor, a falsehood, or a good faith misunderstanding/false assumption.

  • I think there is value to posting semi-sourced information if it is carefully acknowledged as such, because it may lead readers with better information to respond, correct, or clarify. Blogs, and online media in general, can and should follow different journalistic standards than print media because they are dynamic rather than static. If the Post runs a story based on incomplete information, it is being sloppy. If a blogger does, he is opening the door for the true and correct information to come out.

    As far as I’m concerned, giving conversations on topics of interest to the community is the most important thing you do. And if the information you get is wrong or incomplete from time to time, well, so much the better for providing the correct information an outlet and quashing rumor. Keep up the good work.

  • Posting information is never a bad thing and I’d post everything you hear right away. You just need to hedge it a bit by saying that you have emails coming in that say.”…” and don’t state “…” as if it was a fact, but state it is a rumor.

    Maybe you should tag the header of the post as being unconfirmed, but don’t withhold information. Withholding information is never a service. Your best bet is to always describe how the information was acquired and also detail the level of trust you feel should be weighed upon that information. That should be sufficient for blogging purposes. Just never convey a rumor as a fact and you are in pretty good shape.

  • @PoP
    I mean, the quality of your sources (or whether to do it or not) is entirely up to you and how much risk you are willing to take. Of course it would be great to have an “official” source. I’d say if you can’t get one, and you post, it might be worthwhile to run some kind of standard disclaimer at the top.
    I think disabling comments is a little extreme. Whether something is true or not, I always assume that the conversation will devolve into the usual. Sadly.

  • @Christina, as a Latino, I find your comment, “We don’t even have as useful suspect description (but I’m sure someone will come along to say how all Latinos use knives, or whatever.)” to be pretty offensive. Basically, you’ve already made the claim that all Latinos use knives, before a “racist” poster could make the claim. I hadn’t actually heard the Latinhos/knives connection in a long while, that is, till you brought it up.

  • Solong, i don’t think it will come as a surprise to you how many racists there are around here, even the ones who don’t think they are. Kudos to you for calling people on it.

  • The Post didn’t do anything with this because its not sensational news, they want to sell newspapers to the metro population, not inform the community about a particular crime.

    PoP – big ups for soliciting feedback, it is your blog – do what you want. I don’t understand how anyone could accuse you of recklessness for putting information out there, it’s not like you are giving investment advice and people are ruining their lives with it. A crime occurred, you heard about it, you posted, you followed the story, you updated the facts. As much as I would like you to be Batman in the neighborhood, your identity has already been revealed, eliminating the mysteriousness…

  • I think disabling comments on these sorts of posts defeats the purpose and goes against the idea of the self correction that seems to work pretty well here. While I don’t think that the conversations these posts inevitably devolve into are productive at all, closing down comments is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    In this particular case, was there ever an alert sent from Alert DC? I’m not signed up for that neighborhood, and I the AlertDC page is only listing two from yesterday, but nothing from before that. If not, I think that it’s more than fair to ask MPD why not. PoP may not have been able to get the info in a timely fashion, but just b/c Park Police were handling this doesn’t mean that the MPD shouldn’t have used the AlertDC system. (They seem to manage this inter agency stuff fairly easily when things happen over here and Capitol Police are the responders; I’m not sure why Park Police would be different, and if they are… well, there’s another good “Why?” question.)

  • Well, you can be offended, SoLong, but I’m just repeating something that was said in the first post about this stabbing situation. So sorry, I’m not the first. And if you can’t tell, contextually, that I’m actually quite scornful of people who would use one situtation to tar an entire community or ethnic group, that’s unfortunate.

  • Sorry, I mean the first set of comments — not the first “post.” I’m not claiming that PoP said anything of the sort.

    So go jump on whoever that person was, or the dozens of other people who say FAR, FAR more offensive stuff here.

  • I agree with the earlier post: your blog, your rules. Trust your instincts. I, for one, like to hear what “may” be going on even if it is later amended.

  • PoP,
    I like the quick reporting with updates from the community and yourself. It’s a community forum for people to talk and discuss things that are going on around us. If it ends up being a rumor or hearsay at least we will all be caught up to speed soon enough as opposed to flailing around in the dark.
    I don’t think that your post about the stabbing really incited fear. I was there all day and only left an hour before the stabbing occured. The incident doesn’t really surprise me nor does it make me less inclined to go back. It was my first time there and it will definitely not be my last. If I let everytime something bad happened near or around me effect me, I would never leave my house. Does it make me stop and think and does it make me become more aware of my surroundings, yes! I think the one thing we have going for us in DC is that most of us do not walk around with our heads up our asses like people do in areas with less crime. They get so complacent and put themselves in more risk situations that I believe most of us in DC do or will. I think its important to hear these things, not so we live in fear, but so we live smart.

  • PoP: agree with identifying sources (even anonymously) as a way to help us determine credibility ourselves. It certainly would have helped to have known that you had more than just one email about this. I definitely took this stabbing story with a grain of salt based on what you described as your source. That was good enough for me not to lose my head over it.

    Comments are helpful to the extent that more people are able to add information they may know about whatever happened. Paints the picture from many perspectives and often clarifies the situation. A good example is the number of times someone actually involved in an incident decides to add a comment to your post. A while back when that guy tackled some attacker near the CH metro, the victim posted to say that she was by no means some “old lady” as was first reported, but rather in her late 30s/early 40s.

    Ditto those that say they come here to find out about police activity, etc when it happens. You’ve never been so far off on a story to make me distrust the information here and you are often the only place I know to look for the low down. I much prefer the beautiful life stories, but it is what it is.

    As for posting information about crimes and police activity I am of two minds. On the one hand, I appreciate being informed and knowing what’s going on in my neighborhood. On the other hand, if I don’t read about it here, I probably would never/rarely hear about it at all. It might change my perspective on the level of crime going on – for better or for worse. As it is now, I hear about everything that happens, no matter how relevant it is to my everyday life. Would I rather not know anything? Eh. I keep coming back, so I guess I’d rather know.

    I know that I personally stack those things up in my mind and they begin to weigh on me. When that happens, I’m likely to stop checking this site for a while or I try to skip over the posts about police activity.

  • @Christina, what makes the other comments far more offensive? That it is about your ethnicity? I think you have gotten yourself on a very slipperly slope here, and I’m sure you don’t actually mean to say that it is ok to repeat racist/offensive things so long as you were not the first to say it… You don’t usually come off that way, but your post above sure does.

  • When people talk abput Latinos and “navajas” I cant help but remember this great tune!!!!

    Saludos hermanos latinoamericanos

    Nestor El Puma

  • If people did knife fights to cuban/panamanian salsa music, I’d approve of them much more.

  • I don’t think disabling comments stops the truth from getting out. If someone has information debunking/backing up they can always email POP and he can update the post like he does on many of the crime posts. However, maybe heavy handed moderation on those posts so that only relevant information is posted such as witnesses. POP can set whatever rules he would like and one of those could most definitely be keeping the conversations relevant.

    I personally just sort of get tired of the same old comments on crime posts. They are not productive in the least. Yesterday’s post turned into a dissection of Neener’s life. How is that productive in any way? The other crime posts just turn into someone calling somebody else racist…. blah blah blah. I can choose not to read those if they bother me but that doesn’t stop them from being useless when it comes to actually improving the community.

    Having lengthy conversations on specific ways to deter crime seems significantly more valuable than just rehashing the same old comments on every single crime post.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I think there are two very different purposes for these posts. First, is simply knowing what is going on. It can be very disconcerting to pass multiple cop cars and/or ambulances and have no idea why. Second, is coming together as a community to discuss ways to deter crime. But frankly, in my opinion the primary purpose is just to let people know what’s happening.

  • I think you’re doing a great job. Just keep posting info as you hear about it.

    I think a lot of people view this blog as a form of community where they can come to hear the news, rumors, etc about what’s going on in the city.

    To appease some of the people talking about standards for journalism, I would just have a little status system for your posts:

    Unconfirmed – Based on emails from one or many readers
    Confirmed – Based on an official source

    So people who don’t care can skip the “unconfirmed” news/rumors/tips and those who do care can read them.

  • I find it interesting that the original comment that I was quoting went unremarked upon. Just another day in the neighborhood, I guess! But if I repeat it as an example of the the offensive commentary that can be spawned by sketchy, unsourced crime posts, *this* is the big problem.

    I am sorry, but I have quoted other posters before, and I will probably quote them again. And I repeat, there are far, far more offensive comments made in these threads, about every ethnicity (calling white people “outside people” in the street party thread wasn’t so great, either) So stop attacking allies.

  • A starfish is an echinoderm… as well as brittle stars, sea urchins, sand dollars, and sea cucumbers.

  • would it be racist to say that if you are poisoned to death you were probably the victim of a white person?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Christina – you seem to keep saying “sketchy, unsourced crime posts”. Yet, um, it turned out to be true. I find it interesting that, that hasn’t been acknowledged by you. Also, in the whole time I’ve done PoP I’ve only had one major error in a crime post.

    (That was the alleged robberies in the DC USA parking lot which turned out to be false, which I immediately updated as false with a quote from MPD.)

  • I’m sorry, PoP, but what do you mean “I seem to keep saying….?” I said that once. And the *original* post was sketchy (not much information was known) and *unsourced* (no police verification), right?

    You’re absolutely right, it turned out to be true. That shouldn’t be ignored, that is important.

    But isn’t this whole thread about you wanting approval/praise from the community about posting on incidents before you have official confirmation or all the details? And that the community will serve as a self-correcting mechanism? You’re getting that praise and approval from everybody, for the most part, so that’s clearly what the vast majority of your readers are okay with.

  • I agree with Cristina (on the inciting fear/rumor mongering, not on her racism). When dealing with an explosive topic as crime, it pays to get the facts straight before posting and causing community reaction that could cause problems.

  • I appreciate that it matters to you that I acknowledge you were correct, though. 🙂 And, someone had the idea of labeling is cool enough, though I also think that if you read a post and it says “I got an email that….” that should be labeling enough. I’ve never found it unclear where you are getting your information from.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Christina – I’ve always found your commentary extremely enlightening. But no, I’m not looking for praise. Frankly, coming from you, one I highly respect, I find that a little hurtful.

  • Approval, then.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Christina I’m genuinely trying to understand those who are concerned. I always keep an open mind on these things and if I was convinced otherwise I would change how I do it. As a result of this post, I’m happy to clarify where the info is coming from in the posts. However, I’m still confused by your objections since on only one occasion was there an error. Like I said, which was quickly corrected. Your objection seems to imply that this is an ongoing problem. Every single other one of my crime posts have in fact been 100% truth. I did think it was interesting that you didn’t note that the incident happened to be true. This is not an ego thing. To me it seems like people want to know what’s going on as soon as any info becomes available. Like I said I’m curious to hear from those who object. But it does seem that most folks like it the way it is.

  • I just wanted to echo the comments above that say that I find the crime posts informative, and that I think the oportunity to add info. through comments adds rather than detracts from the quality of the post. I think the key is being clear in your post about what the source of the information is, and a clear description of the limitations of that information. So if it’s an anonymous tip from a person who’s repeating what they heard form a doorman, the post should be very clear that you got the information came to you in this way, and that it’s not to be taken as fact.

    re: the charges of racism, and related discussion in the comments. Let’s be honest, we all bring our baggage with us when it comes to attitudes towards people who are different from us, and this is particularly true when it comes to race. The best we can do is try to treat everyone with the respect they deserve, and try to understand where they are coming from. As a pretty smart guy once said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  • This is so strange. I was in the park (near the fountain) from 3pm until 7pm picnicking and I did not hear anything…no sirens, no commotion. Creepy.

  • boy, i am glad i’m not Christina’s employer today. dont think much is getting done at the office.

    oh wait… i’ve just read this whole posting and every comment. what am i doing? get to work!!! AHHHH!!!

  • My two cents is that I’ve always found PoP’s crime postings to be helpful and of interest. I don’t believe that the way he reports incites panic, nor does he jump the gun and post rumors as truth. Generally, it appears he has been careful to clarify whether the reports are confirmed or thus far rumors. When he is lacking information, he says so forthright and usually puts it out there for his readers to assist in providing additional information. PoP was the first resource I went to when the streets were taped off after the shooting and pedestrian hit-and-run at Quincy and 10th a few months back and, frankly, I was glad to be able to have a source to go to that night; the police at the crime scene were not forthcoming and I don’t think I could have slept well waiting for information the following Monday morning. Keep up the good work PoP.

  • POP, check out DCist’s post this hour about the explosion near Union Station, that model is pretty good for reporting incidents.

  • ugh, let’s not turn PrinceofPetworth into DCist anytime soon! I love the way this blog is so much not DCist. Don’t get me wrong, DCist has some good posts, but to me, DCist is a blog without a soul or a heart.

  • PoP, keep up the great work. I find your blog to be an indispensable resource. As some have mentioned, this is your blog so you have no ethical or moral obligation to maintain any particular standard when you discuss crime (or any other topic, for that matter). Despite this, you voluntarily operate under a particular set of self-imposed guidelines. The fact that you already have a standard in place, and that you’re considering further refinement to that standard via this post, is evidence of the quality of your blog and of your hard work. The quality and obvious effort are big reasons why so many people seek out your blog.

  • Nick, that’s crazy to say a blogger has no ethical or moral obligations. Every human being, no matter what they do, has ethical and moral obligations. By your logic, POP could post as true crimes he thinks will happen in the future down to the last detail in his imagination and that would be okay because he has no ethical or moral obligations. I agree to you that this blog demonstrates quality and hard work, but to say that a blogger, who clearly has an impact on the community, has no obligations to that community is wrong, and dangerous if accepted.

  • @ Jake who says “we all bring our baggage with us when it comes to talking about race”

    Not true necessarily. I only became a racist since moving to DC and I grew up in NYC so save the ‘you gotta expect it in the city’ crap. Latinos and blacks are not cripples where i come from, they are allowed to be called out by me and by their own. Here in DC, on this blog in particular, we have (mostly) a bunch of sheltered life-long nerds who have found a place to thrive. THEY bring with them their fundamentalist Liberalism. The primary tenet of which is Thou Shalt NEVER speak badly about a minority. For example, we all know the dudes yesterday were hispanic – hispanics will stab the shit out of you. No one else stabs like the Latinos – they know it (because its true and most people understand what is true), and non-Latinos now it. Have diffierent races stabbed? Yes. Have Latinos used other weapons? Yes. But it is a very safe generalizations.

    Let’s remember we’re talking about scumbags first, and race second. What this blog community likes to do is reverse that order so that Latinos are now elevated to mindless children that need protection. I’m Mexican, but the border jumped us not the other way around. My family in Taos hates the shit out of the illegals because they make us look bad. You make us look bad by sheilding them from criticism.

    Don’t waste your time saying this isn’t true. Just search the site for the word ‘racism’ and take an honest look at what this community deems as a violation.

  • Amen ballslightning!

  • @PoP:

    I’m really coming across poorly, if you think that I am saying that there is an “ongoing problem” with crime posts. I don’t see where I’ve said that, but aside from that, it’s not my intention at all. I never even considered myself a frequent poster on the issue of your accuracy, and heck, I don’t even remember posting on most crime posts. I posted on the last one because it raised some questions for me about crime that were unrelated to the event itself.

    But I don’t have a perfect memory on everything I’ve said here. If the impression I’ve left you is that I have an “ongoing problem” with the accuracy of your posts, and that I think there is something you need to change, the failure is mine.

    Where I believe I do have an issue is the kind of conversation that can be spawned by crime posts. That’s a completely separate issue apart from their truth or falsehood. That’s why I didn’t say “hey, this stabbing turned out to be true.” My point wasn’t to point a finger at whether they your crime posts are true, mostly true, or false. Only at the kind of discussion that they can, on occasion, provoke before all the facts are known.

  • @ballslightning

    1. You misquoted me.
    2. I can’t understand what you are talking about.

  • @Christina. No offense, but I think the issue is dead. How bout bringing it offline with PoP.

  • Jake,
    it wasn’t aimed at you. your ‘quote’ wasn’t really important. it just sparked a thought.

  • again i want to know if it’s racist to say that 80% of poisonings are carried out by white people. beware of caucasians bearing arsenic.

  • @Anon 1:03,

    I see it differently. Other than staying within the bounds of what is legal, I don’t think a blogger owes anyone anything. The internet provides a wide-open forum and anyone can make their voice heard through a blog. Whether anyone cares to listen to a particular voice depends on many variables (originality, interest, entertainment, etc.). One variable of PoP that ensures many “listeners” is the standards that PoP voluntarily implements on this blog. I happen to think he’s already struck the right balance with his current standards, but he may decide, based on these comments, to tweak them. My decision to keep “listening” could be impacted by such a tweak. Certainly, if he threw all his standards out the door, he’d quickly lose me and much of his audience. That’s his choice. Because PoP is striving to bring something good to this community, and because I’ve formed the opinion that he’s a good person, that won’t happen. But he’s not a public institution. He’s not a journalist. He’s not our trustee. He owes us nothing. Appreciate this blog for what it is — an original, entertaining voice that we choose to listen to.

  • @ballslightning

    I still don’t understand what you’re getting at. If you’re trying to say that it’s OK to talk about race, without being guilty of something. Then you’ve got a point.

    You are very quick to resort to name calling. It undermines your credibility.

  • @ PoP,

    This is sparked by my previous post and is off-topic (and has been said before). I suggest changing the comments so posters have to pick a name. No registration, just a name. It’s hard to keep track of all of the anons and I’d love to know if there was continuity between some of the anon posts. I’m not looking to chip away at anonymity on these threads (is my name really Nick? actually, it is, but I’m not the only Nick in the DC area). I sometimes have to fight the impulse to be less civil when addressing anon posters — I find it harder to imagine them as people. So faceless.

    Before Anon 1:03 gets too worked up and accuses me of contradicting my previous post, this is just a suggestion. It’s your blog, bro — blog away.

  • Nate,
    You are correct on my point. It is also this: that generalizations are not bad in and of themselves. They are bad when they replace objectivity. I wasn’t name calling, it was a point that most folks here fit the description. Including me. Nothing wrong with a Nerd, Jake.

  • sorry…@Jake, not Nate (god, i’m as bad as christina now with the posts…)

  • Yes, if you’re poisoned, you were poisoned by a white person.

    PoP is awesome. As someone who runs/walks regularly in said Park, I really appreciated the news on Saturday. I actually Twittered about it before the PoP posting, wondering what was going on, and PoP posted on Twitter (and here) moments later, relaying the stabbing rumor. The police don’t tell us much of anything, so I rely on PoP for rumors, confirmed news, and local entertainment.

  • @ballslighting


    You might want to consider that your comments read very differently than you probably intend.

  • PoP,
    I wouldn’t change a thing. I appreciate the crime posts very much, and have been a tip-offer on one crime post that had a bad bit of information in it. You called out the bad info when it was brought to your attention, I realized I should have been more discerning when asking questions and getting to the bottom of it…

    All in all, you do a great job, I love the style of reporting, and I value the way news hits this blog. When people email scuttlebutt, first-hand, whatever it requires participation- very cool in my opinion. Don’t go to DCist format, it feels too impersonal at times. Real people make mistakes sometimes, but posting the concerns of others who saw something or heard something is worth it in the end. The impact the community can have on a process like this creates greater awareness of what is going on.

    Go PoP!

  • Ballslightening, I appreciate your attempt at humor, but the stabbing thing is so cliche. I grew up in the southwest, am chicano, with roots in New Mexico. Violence there is like anywhere else, committed with whatever is available, and there are no special knife wielding skills or preference that I’ve seen. In fact, quite the opposite. From what I’ve seen, from Espanola to L.A., no one is bringing a knife to a gunfight. This isn’t West Side Story. BTW, Taos is problably the softest spot in the southwest, maybe second softest next to Sedona.

  • Sorry Slong,
    I’m from Denver. you are wrong – its an accurate generilazation. it didn’t advance from a toas-wing conspiracy. it doesn’t matter if you agree or not…

  • Balls, the last reported stabbing in the ‘hood was black, teenage girls. I’m not a latino, but I hang with a lot of ’em, and I’ve never been stabbed. I also work with a lot of “illegals” and they do absolutely nothing to make anyone look bad, they tend to work hard and keep to themselves as far as I can see. You being Mexican doesn’t exempt you from being as stupidly racist as any guerro out there.

  • @eric in ledroit – yes! I generally agree, if your are poisoned more than likely it was by a white person.

  • sigh……not to start a Denver feud in a Petworth post, but since this posting thread has devolved into drivel (BTW, POP, keep up the great postings please), I must indulge. Balls, if I may, when was the last time you heard of a good old fashioned stabbing in Denver, lets be specific, on Federal, the Westside, or North Denver? Not in a while, why, because it’s too easy to get guns. Now maybe you can find a case of a stabbing at Jumbo’s (if you’re a Denverite you know where I’m talking about), or the parking lot at Chubby’s, but really, not so much. Have you been to LoDo lately? Shootings….all the time….no stabbings.

    As for the rancheros moving north, they too like guns, and use them frequently. Maybe you are confusing the tejano cowboy culture with general latino culture, where wearing tight jeans may affect one’s ability to conceal a larger weapon, and there is no time to grab a gun, a knife may be used. I will be willing to concede this point.

    On a brighter note, maybe we are not looking at the positive side of this story. Perhaps the use of a knife is a sign of a reduction of guns in CH? Probably not……but I felt like ending on a positive note.

  • I lived at 50th and Federal (4900 block of King to be specific) for 4 years. Went to good ol’ Regis University and had many friends mugged at knife-point by the Hispanic gang NSM or North Side Mafia. No stabbings, though. It was a good intimidation tool, but if they really wanted to get something done they resorted to guns in Denver especially in NW.

  • I dunno… there’s really been a sharp decrease in Kung Fu attacks since Chinatown turned into Gallery Place.

  • @anon 2:54 you racist!! i know plenty of white people that have never poisoned anyone.

  • @ eric in ledriot, You call me a racists and not superdude? Now I think you are a sexists.

  • You guys are all lame.

    And Néstor Sánchez Cordero me pone muy caliente.. qué rico….

  • i believe its important to post all activities joyful ect and the notices re criminal incidents are one reason i think its important to be very clear and have reliable sources is that people may panic. if some one had family in the park that day…..why cause them worry and concern until you are very sure exactly what happened. this goes for all posts were someone may have been injured or killed. logically we believe that the odds of someone we know who lives near the area in question having been hurt are small our minds go ther especially if children are involved.

  • @Nita: Hilarious!

    @PoP: I think you have every right to post about an unsubstantiated rumor, especially if you follow-up with a post that you can or cannot confirm your earlier posting.

    I was particularly interested in this stabbing because I left the park that day around 5PM, and if the WaPo isn’t going to cover it, then we should be glad that you will.

    Considering how Meridian Hill Park is one of the city’s gems and is almost fully restored, it makes me so mad and sad if we’re given reason to be afraid to go out and walk around during the day.

  • Poisonings? I don’t know that I’m going to run from every white person I see, but I’m aways wary of Yanomami with blowguns.

    My real question is what exactly do we want/expect/need from crime postings, or any “breaking” news? Is there something that needs action right away?

    Is there a knife-wielding manianc running through my neighborhood right now? That would be good to know immediately. Is my decision to go to the park on any given day going to be influenced by learning of this attack? No. Should it? Does Banita Jacks make you afraid of all mothers?

    In general I believe PoP provides a fair and balanced report and too many people drastically misconstrue other’s posts.

  • I used to agree that the best way to combat crime was to focus only on the good. I did that for many years. The problem with that is that when criminals grow to powerful positions, it gets to be very hard to have them stop encroaching on your life.

    It was so bad on my block that I never used my front or back yard in most of April, May and June until 3 arrests were made.

    One neighbor told me to my face, and apparently believed it, that I couldn’t say that I saw the drug dealer sell drugs and had to say when talking about calling 911 that he “Allegedly” sold drugs. NO! He DID sell drugs! That’s why I called 911. Just because he ran away from the police doesn’t mean that he didn’t sell the drugs!

    I say cover it all and let us as citizens look for patterns that we can use to help alert the police. for one thing, I want to know what the name of the gang was.

  • Regarding the comment that undocumented workers don’t do anything to make anyone look bad. I will tell a story that I tell all my friends on this issue.

    In my parents neighborhood a woman who owned a very expensive house married a Latin guy who owned a landscaping business. Within about 6 months guys were driving up and lined up in front of this house throwing McDonalds wrappers, soda and beer cans and flopping on the neighbors’ well-manicured lawns at 6am every day. My father took pictures to show the police.

    After work they had beer parties on the front lawn, accordion music blasting, cars parked on the lawn.

    When I saw the pictures I didn’t see “dirty illegals” I saw unchaperoned frat boy a-holes. Those guys were no different than the most obnoxious frat boys you could imagine. There is no way that any of their hard work excused them from this horrible behavior.

    At one point the owner had 4 flatbed trucks parked on the street- 4 trucks.

    Here’s the kicker- this was in McMansion land where houses sold on the street for as much as $3 million. No poverty. No racism. No police hassles. Just horrible behavior on the part of the workers. Eventually Montgomery County institutes a new policy and the police clean the place up, fine the company, and the workers flee without a single immigration arrest.

    That’s my story about undocumented workers and I think it’s a good response to people who suggest that they all behave like the guys who came here with wives and parents who keep them in line- the hell they do!

  • I only became a racist since moving to DC and I grew up in NYC so save the ‘you gotta expect it in the city’ crap. Latinos and blacks are not cripples where i come from, they are allowed to be called out by me and by their own.

    Wow. Tough talk, but I will say this, I worked with several different women from Harlem and they all said the same thing- There is a huge cultural problem in DC that is getting worse and worse. There aren’t enough African-American entrepreneurs to create a culture of hard work to hire kids. Basically, no kid should have their first job working for the government, but in DC that’s just standard.

  • @POP – Please correct me if I am out of line, but you are not trying to be journalist and have no interest in competing with journalist. The purpose of most blogs are trying to bring issues to the table. We have a forum and we are just people talking about whatever happens to be important with each other. There are a number of opinions that are given from the editor and the participants. I don’t use this blog for my main source of news.

    I appreciate the opportunity to learn something new (good or bad) and at least gets me to think about different matters in the City. PoP is serving a purpose. It is up for debate, but this blog is not covering the topics and issues better than the mainstream media. POP is able to offer a low cost option and he is able to cover very small niches at a level of detail that the Washington Post can not cover. Keep up the good work!

  • PoP, I concur with the last several (positive) comments about your blog. You are doing us a real service by posting the happenings, or suspected happenings of the city. You are always very clear about your sources and whether things have been confirmed by authorities. Yes, your blog serves a different purpose than Washington Post online, or even DCist!

    More than that, I really appreciate your positive look at this city. It’s easy to get down here, but you really focus on celebrating the good things (beautiful doors, houses, gardens, new restaurants), while keeping us informed about some bad things. Keep up the good work.

  • neener, the assholes partying on the lawn in mcmansionville (if this is even a true story) are hardly representative of the immigrant community as a whole.

  • And your point is what exactly?

  • I believe that the person is pointing out that your story, as it reads, tries to link immigrant status and/or race with a propensity to litter and disturb the peace. Usually you have some good points, but the story was weak, and makes you sound like you associate immigrants with people that litter and disturb the peace. Your story makes it sound like you only look at things through a limited world view, and fails to acknowledge the many contributions of undocumented workers, and how this particular group reflects poorly on the whole, when viewed by people who can’t make the distinction between individuals and their race.

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