Friday, June 23, 2006

Where Are Your Papers?

Wow, I had no idea Jackson, Mississippi, was in such dire straits that a State of Emergency declaration and curfew were necessary.
After a week of warnings, Jackson Mayor Frank Melton on Thursday declared a state of emergency in the capital....

Melton would not comment on his earlier plans to use the Mississippi National Guard, Hinds County Sheriff's Department or the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Last week, Melton spoke of using National Guard helicopters and military intelligence units to fight crime.
What prompted it?
The mayor cited two incidents of violent crime - a shooting Wednesday afternoon of a man who was driving in west Jackson and a police chase during which a man rammed two city police cars and allegedly shot at an officer - as reasons for signing the emergency order. However, police do not believe either incident involved minors.
Not quite clear why he's cracking down on kids when adults seem to be the problem, but there you are.

Didn't Jackson get a big influx of Katrina refugees from New Orleans? How is that playing into this? I've heard that some, or maybe most, of the surge in crime is related to gang and turf wars being played out.

I can't recall seeing a story anywhere -- print or television -- about New Orleans gang members moving to Memphis after Katrina and setting up shop. I'm sure some must have come here. Is our recent crime uptick related to that? It seems worth looking into.

But, again, think about it. Mississippi's largest city is under a state of emergency with a curfew for minors, due to crime. The curfew may be extended to all day. The mayor has wanted, as was done in New Orleans -- still Louisiana's largest city -- to bring in the National Guard for crime control. Memphis, another big destination for Katrina evacuees, has a rising crime problem. What about Houston? Baton Rouge?

Meanwhile, the frogs sit in the pan as the temperature rises.

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