Could the recent crime wave be related to the Nations Illegal immigration problem. Crimes & Incidents, posted by Giovanni, a resident of Mountain View, on Aug 6, 2006 at 10:25 pm
I'm noticing a trend here, almost every incident for the last two years since Ive been visiting this website, involving theft in this area is by persons of hispanic origin. Now before you call me a racist FYI I am hispanic myself, I think this is proof that not all ILLEGAL immigrants come here to work, a great part of them are criminals and the more that come in the larger their gangs become and the bolder they become. They are taking advantage of our political correctness and tolerence and it must stop. Just one more reason why we need to completely secure our border with Mexico.
Posted by Richard, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2006 at 4:59 pm
When you see 20 or 30 day workers lined up on both sides of El Camino it should give you an idea on just how many idle hands are out there. This cannot help but have an effect on the crime increase in the area.
Posted by James, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2006 at 9:36 pm
I have asked more than a few PAPD (at different times) what is the reason for our "crime wave". Everyone said the meth/drug problems in ours and other cities. Read the newspapers, mags, TV- this is a epidemic across the nation.
Posted by Lester, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2006 at 11:45 pm
I agree with you. I've also noticed that most of the perpetrators are Hispanic (although there are a lot of black criminals, too). As a Caucasian, I truly wish that the white population would step up and commit their fair share of crimes, otherwise it does indeed start to look like a racial issue.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 13, 2006 at 6:49 pm
I am not very interested in the racial angle but, since the police are asking all of us to look out for suspicious activity, there should be some kind of profile.
Based on police statistics, should we be looking for males or females? Have violent incdences and home burlaries been done, disproportionately, by a given race/gender?
Overall arrest records do not mean very much. It seems like most PA citizens are concerned about personal attacks or home invasions. What are the statistics on those categories?
I am not looking for a scapegoat, here, just honest statistics (in order to produce a reasonable profile that we can all be on the lookout for).
Would the police department PLEASE give us a profile of the VIOLENT criminals in this town? I mean the perps that are attacking us on the street, or robbing our homes? I am not so interested in drunk driving or disturbing the peace things (important, but not critical right now).
In today's PADN Mayor Kleinberg said, "An African-American man in a hooded sweatshirt walking down the street doesn't concern me...Now, if he's peering into windows, that's concerning". Fair enough, at a surface level. But if the situation is that Mayor Klenberg is out on her evening walk, and sees a male in hooded sweatshirt coming towards her, on the sidewalk, and in the opposite direction, would she switch to the other side of the street? If so, why? If the male was black vs. white, would it affect her opinion? Suppose the guy was Hispanic? None of these guys would have been doing anything suspicious. A solid profile from the police might help her with her decision.
Until there is transparency, there will be too much paranoia.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2006 at 12:55 am
No - it's not about race! We don't need a profile that includes race. So what if the burglars are 40% this or 70% that, what about the other significant percentages? Besides, you can't always see "race" or know how a person identifies. I know lots of people of one "race" who could pass for another, and people who want to know the race of criminals are just looking to reinforce a prejudice or stereotype in a way that won't make anyone any safer. The deciding factors in identifying suspicious behavior have got to be about BEHAVIOR. I'd be more interested in statistics about the types of crimes, incidence during day/night, weekday/weekend, cul-de-sac or major thoroughfare, working alone or with partner/group, disguises/ruses employed by thieves, and other information that might help point at where, when, and how crimes occur, if thost kind of stats could be given.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2006 at 9:51 am
If race is immaterial, are gender and age also immaterial? Why do cops ask victims for their perceived gender and race of the perp? How about the size and shape and age of the perp? Perhaps the cops are actually trying to CATCH the perp, instead of just recording statistics about time and place and methods.
By purposely avoiding race as a descriptor, you are adding to suspicion. The police profile should contain as much information as possible. Otherwise, there could be unfair assumptions, as well as less effective vigilance.
Your political correctness is self defeating. The point is to deter crime in Palo Alto and to be fair about it. An infored public will be safer than an uninformed populace.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2006 at 7:17 pm
This isn't political correctness, it's your total confusion of different issues. I'm all for victims using every detail they can recall to describe an actual suspect in a crime *already committed*.
But the tone here seems to be that Palo Altans are worried about future crime and saying, "tell us if we should be looking out more for blacks, whites, Asians or Latinos." Now THAT'S self-defeating, much more than what I'm saying. If stats show (as I believe they did recently, according to a PADN article) that we have four times as many whites arrested than we do blacks, will you scrutinize whites that much more than blacks as they walk down your street? Of course not. And if arrests of Pacific Islanders DOUBLE in a year, (from a hypothetical two percent up to four percent!!), would you become twice as suspicious of Tongans and Samoans? It's much more worth noting HOW people act - why is this guy driving up and down my street slowly, multiple times? And then, as a person of dark complexion drives by, can you look through the windshield and spot the difference between Portugese, Philipino, Sioux, Argentinian, Mexican, and Jordanian? And how many different shades of skin qualify as African-American? Would you ignore a stranger peeking through a neighbor's fence if the stranger looks "white" but report him if he looks black? What's the precise skin shade in the middle that provides the borderline for concern or lack of concern? OR, do you just find it curious that some guy is looking through the fence???? BEHAVIOR, Kirk, not skin shade!!!
(of course context is relevant too - like are your neighbors out of town, is the "suspect" dressed like a worker but in an unmarked van, and you believe there's no work to be done in a location, or conversely, a worker in a marked vehicle when your neighbor is remodeling... etc.)
To answer your other question, I do think age and gender are *more* relevant than skin color (irrelevant to me), but again, I'd look at the situation and behavior first. I'm not going to suspect a ten year old or a ninety year old, and yes, I'm more suspicious than men of women, but I would report suspicious BEHAVIOR by a woman too.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2006 at 8:10 pm
Just following your logic, police sketches in the local newpapers should NOT indicate skin color/race/gender/age. These sketches should just be some generic version of: "Human being, seen on the corner of (take your pick) at (take your pick)PM/AM. Armed and dangerous. Do not try to apprehend. Report him/her to police..."
Most of the actual sketches that I have seen DO indicate gender, race, age and facial characteristics. Such descriptors should be part of a standard police profile. And the statistics should reflects these characteristics, segregated by crime. And don't forget about the home city of the perps that are caught.
The statistics DO tell us something, although not the complete picture. For instance, if Palo Alto is 75% white, 20 % Asian and 2.5% black and 2.5% Hispanic, one would expect violent crimes to follow that basic pattern. Is that what you are saying, Anonymous?
Look, you are hiding your head in the sand, but the majority of sane people in Palo Alto are not. Just give us the facts. We will draw our own conclusions.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2006 at 9:55 pm
Kirk - I'm not avoiding ANY facts. Let them all come out - I'm challenging your hope/assumption that such stats will be helpful. And despite your second attempt to put words in my mouth, I have no problem with police bulletins and alerts that attempt to identify individual suspects based on every available detail about the suspect's identity.
The stats in the PADN article (I'm going from memory here, may be off slightly) were that PAPD arrests are roughly 40% white, 40% Latino, 10% black, and presumably 10% mixed among other groups. (I don't know if that's all arrests or a subgroup). Does that help anyone in any way to identify risks or take precautions? True, the arrests are disproportianate to the racial balance of the community, but I honestly don't see how that's helpful in your concerns about personal safety. (It may be relevant in addressing causes and prevention on a departmental/governmental level). Should I be 30% less suspicious of white guys lurking suspiciously near a park or house, and 60% less worried by the same actions if the man is Chinese? Should I be hypervigilant when in I see a Latino simply because of his ethnicity? Hmmmm, Kirk. I don't see the USEFULNESS of what you're asking for - my suspicion of a person is based on behavior and context. And I've been in that situation, nearly mugged on the street years ago (not in PA). I ran and escaped because I sensed danger in the perps' choice of a dark spot to hang out, their sudden interest in my presence, their posturing and gestures to each other, the shift in their gait, and then they came at me. Their race was irrelevant. But if they had been some other race, would I have been smart to hold off on running because that ethnic group commits X% less crime?
I've also called police once on a false alarm, without even seeing the people I suspected. I saw an unmarked truck head up a long driveway of a neighbor who was out of town. I observed some suspicious activity without getting a good look at any individuals. But if I had seen them, do you think that race should have been a factor in my decision whether or not to call police?
But in an earlier post, you asked for a profile of what type of person commits crimes in Palo Alto. I still have to say that behavior and context are much more valuable information. If we had some hypothetical situation in which we could control all factors except skin color, and we see one person but not the other as a potential criminal, that's racist. There's no other word for it. Much more useful than a profile of the typical criminal would be a profile of the typical or recurring patterns in crime. What time, what neighborhood(s), what means of entry, what characteristics of a home or a pedestrian make them targets, etc.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2006 at 12:54 pm
You keep avoiding the best model of precaution, which is ALL the available evedence. You keep wanting to focus on suspicious behavior, prior to a crime being committed. Many victims never report anything suspicious. They just get nailed.
The recent uptick in crime in Palo Alto is only news, because it is threatening to individuals, both in public, and while at home. If it were just an uptick in bar disturbances, it probably would not have made the news. In other words, it seems like a new phenomenon in Palo Alto.
Given the above premise, please tell me what the statistics are for the crimes that now are scaring the local folks. Don't try to confuse us with what the police chief is putting out there (those stats are too general). Since you seem to keep dodging the issue, please let me be more specific: What are the stats (age/gender/description/race/time/place/circumstances/city of residence, etc. for the perps that have done recent car jack(s), home invasion(s), burglaries?
Once the actual facts are known, we can begin to have a serious discussion about precautions that individual citizens may want to employ in the day-to-day choices. If, for instance, 90% of these crimes were done by perps that were "20-28 year old Hispanic males, with medium build, 5'8" - 5'11", observed walking through a Midtown parking lot in the late afternoon", that would be something that I would take into consideration when evaluating my chances. However, if race was excluded from this profile, then I would have much less to go on. According to your analysis, I should be concerned about ALL 20-28 year old males, with medium builds, walking through Midtown parking lots in the late afternoon (for instance Asian males).
Anonymous, if you are this foolish, how do you get around town on your own? I am QUITE sure that YOU also incoporate race into your decisions that affect your personal safety. You are just too PC to admit it.
BTW, it is not racist to invoke race as an objective descriptor. In fact, it is subtle racism to avoid doing so.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2006 at 5:01 pm
I've gotten around just fine on my own in plenty of big cities in this country and others. Thank you for your concern.
I never said or implied it's racist to use race as a descriptor. If lack the ability to understand my argument, or if you lack any viable comeback, at least avoid distorting my position.
AGAIN, I'm not against information being available. But you're making up some kind of fantasy with that 90% of perps are in this limited range. What you really want to know, I think, is who robs more houses and who commits more robberies/muggings. I'm not against getting racial statistics included in there, but I'm telling you they'd be pretty worthless. Look at my examples above. Race is not how you figure out if someone is dangerous.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2006 at 5:35 pm
Your argument does not make sense. If a particular race is heavily involved in a current crime wave, then the citizens of the city should have that information. If this a was a deep South town in 1950, and there were reports of blacks being harrassed by white males, I think it would be the proper thing for blacks to be especially aware of groups of white males. BTW, I understand that this is an argument to the edge, but you don't seem to get the point when I, and others, just want to know what is going on.
You say I want FULL descriptions of the perps that are commiting the type of crimes that are, currently, causing such a fear. YES, that's right! So, let's have the stats, broken down by specific crime category. You say that I have pulled the 90% Hispanic figure out of thin air. Prove it, Anonymous (this can be done by having the police chief break down the current crime stats by specific categories).
Anonymous, I sense that you are intelligent, but you simply refuse to face facts. You ARE a PC nut!
I am quite confident that you, personally, take race into consideration as you walk about the big cities. This means you are a hypocrite.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2006 at 12:28 am
Wow Kirk -
I'm "a PC nut" and "a hypocrite." That really elevates the debate and clarifies your point. I guess that's where you go when you get called out for distorting my position, which you do repeatedly. And what facts have I refused to face? *You haven't presented facts.* You've presented the *opinion* that certain facts would be useful. I have disagreed. Contrary to your assertion, I DO "get the point when [you], and others, just want to know what is going on." We're all concerned about crime and would like to feel safer. I just don't think that the information you want will actually be helpful, and you haven't countered my assertion except to repeat ad nauseum that you want "the facts." And I very much doubt you want to know what percentage of crimes are committed by white people, and I doubt any statistics would make you look at white people as a greater threat than you currently do.
And by the way, if you're the one coming up with a number (90%?), shouldn't the onus be on you to source it? Why are you asking me for statistics at all? I'm just some random guy online, who passed along one piece of information I read. You want stats, go get 'em.
I don't know how many times I can say this - I'm done after tonight. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH PROVIDING THE STATISTICS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE SUSPECTED OR ARRESTED. GET ALL THE INFORMATION OUT.
What will you DO with it? You've never answered that. How exactly will it HELP YOU to know that a certain ethnic group is disproportionately represented in crime stats? The closest you've come is to suggest an example that in the 1950s, Southern blacks should have been wary of groups of whites. What a flawed analogy! If the crime wave in question were hate crimes motivated by race and perpetrated entirely by one race against another for racial reasons, race would obviously be relevant. Do you honestly believe that property crimes and muggings in Palo Alto are racially motivated? (Insert Kirk's reply here - "we want the statistics, blah blah blah"). Do you think burglars are casing houses that look like easy targets, or easy targets owned by white people?
Another stat you haven't suggested examining is what percentage of people who fit a profile are criminals? Let's use random numbers, and say that 75 of the suspects in 100 assaults/robberies/burglaries were Latino males between ages of 15 and 40. Overlooking the possibility of error and repetition, let that number suggest that there are 75 potentially dangerous Latinos in some reasonable proximity to Palo Alto. Now, how many Latino males, aged 15-40, are there in the same proximity? Suddenly, we're dealing with the idea that 75 out of several thousands of people may be dangerous. Now, you could double the number of crimes and suspects, use the same ratio, and still barely affect the percentage of profile matches in the community who are safe, decent, law-abiding people.
You're welcome to your statistics, Kirk. Grab all you can. Let's make you Captain of Statistics! As long as you focus on race, you'll only get the illusion of having useful information, and instead you'll have distorting information, and inflammatory information. Most of the people around you, of every group and profile, are good people. You can't protect yourself from the bad people by looking at a pie chart of ethnic groups, and assigning a "25% risk!" to one guy and a 50% to the next guy because his skin tone is different. Like I said before, *statistics about crimes would be more helpful.* If most home burglaries occur through side and back doors and windows, make sure your side gates are locked. If sliding door are an easy target, install a bar. If most assaults happen on dark side streets after 10 p.m., change your route or go home early if it makes you feel safer.
And most importantly, keep posting! You're a model citizen! Bye!
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2006 at 1:01 am
(I'm trying to stop, but I can't let that post alone...)
Kirk's last post: "all the crime stats, broken down by category. ...
If you read my original post, that's all I wanted in the first place."
-from Kirk's original post - note the word "profile" -
"I am not looking for a scapegoat, here, just honest statistics (in order to produce a reasonable profile that we can all be on the lookout for)."
I was never opposed to putting stats out. Show me the quote.
My problem has always been with the use of race in compiling a profile of typical/hypothetical criminals. I have consistently said I have no problem with getting information out regarding what's already happened, and I have consistently contended that a composite profile telling you "what to look out for" would not be useful. Here's the difference.
USEFUL: A 5'10" white man, heavy set, short brown hair, scarred chin, has been identified as a suspect in several assaults near the Cal Train station. Look out for him.
USELESS: Assaults in Palo Alto have been committed by X% white people, Y% Latino people, Z% black people... Look out for ...? (Look out for what, Kirk?).
I may have shifted the main thrust of my comments and responses as the argument unfolded, but I have not "moved quite a bit" on any issue. You just seem to have trouble understanding, or trouble focusing. Or maybe, by keeping the focus on your distorted view of my opinion, you're trying to avoid answering some pretty direct questions that I put to you above, regarding what you think you might actually do with the racial information in these statistics.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2006 at 11:20 am
You seem to say that generic profiles, if they include race, are useless. You seem to have a hangup about race, as a descriptor. That is your issue.
Useful: In the past year, 90% of assaults in Palo Alto were committed by Latino males, 18-30 years of age, medium build, 5'8'- 5-10", short hair, usually in the early evening on streets near Downtown.
Much less useful: In the past year, 90% of assaults in Palo Alto occurred in the early evening on streets near Downtown.
Ask most cops on the street and they will tell you the first profile is the one that creates a more aware and realistic focus for their efforts. If there were no assaults done by Asians in the Downtown area, the cops won't give Asians as much eyeball time. Of course, the cops won't be this honest, if they are asked to make official public statements (they would get hammered by the PC nuts). I happen to know a few cops, so I get the realistic view.
In terms of personal precaution, I would be more cautious of Latino males in the Downtown area, compared to Asian and white males. Of course, overt behavior, if obervable, would be much more pertinent - but that is a rare thing. If I see a group of Asian males hanging around in the center of the park, I would not hesitate to cut through the park; if the guys were Latino, I would walk around the edge of the park.
So, the generic profile that includes the most information is useful to the cops and to me. Apparently, it isn't useful to you. And that is your choice.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2006 at 11:35 pm
Kirk, just have to say your example of a useful profile made me laugh. 90%!! I like how you throw height in there, too. Like you'll be checking out their height. You'll be comfortable going through the park if the Latino guys are all, or mostly, 5'6" and 5'7". LOL! And you won't get any 90%. Let's try 60%. So you'll go through the park on a 40% risk, but not a 60% risk I guess. Again, you're looking for a false sense of security in a pie chart.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Aug 21, 2006 at 7:55 am
If 18-30 year old Latino males constitute only 5% of all males hanging out Downtown, and they commit 60% of the assaults, then they are 12 times more likely to assault me, as I walk through the park. If white males of similar age constitute 50% of the males hanging out Downtown, but only do 10% of the assaults, then they are about 5 times less likely to be a perp. In other words, comparing Latino males vs. white males, the Latinos are almost 60 times more likely to commit an assault. I wouldn't ignore those odds. The police don't.
Posted by get to the chopper, a resident of the Esther Clark Park neighborhood, on Nov 24, 2006 at 1:39 pm
heres the obvious answer: whites are rich. rich people don't commit crimes. blacks and hispanics are poor. poor people commit crimes. if this were a hundred years ago you'd be complaining about irish and italians.
Posted by Duh, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Dec 27, 2006 at 10:12 pm
I've lived here my whole life. The reason why Hispanics are now the problem in PA is simple. VERY SIMPLE. The problem used to be black people coming over to PA from EPA to commit crimes but then EPA got VERY expensive and welfare blacks moved to Oakland leaving mostly hardworking Hispanic immigrants in East Palo Alto. Once Home Depot opened up even more came. Another problem was the amnesty we offered trashy salvadoreno and nicaraguan people in the 80's and 90's.
Please NOTE: The Hispanics committing the crimes are these hardworking parents' CHILDREN -- not the adult immigrants!
The reason why hispanics can afford to live in EPA and blacks cannot anymore is also SIMPLE: Hispanics are willing to live with a large number of people in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment (sometimes 8-12). Black people are not because they feel they are entitled to much more and seek out section 8 housing in less expensive areas.
Can you believe I am referring to EPA as "expensive?"