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Video - Open Air Drug Market

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  • Video - Open Air Drug Market

    This is a quick draft of a video I am making. [Be patient -- it takes a while for these to load.]

    There's much work to be done with it, including titles as well as adjusting image quality. Several of the images are out of proper sequence. Also, the music doesn't fit. I'm not into hip hop or rap (which would be more appropriate) so I just picked a few pieces from my music library that were remotely appropriate. Any (serious) suggestions for background music would be appreciated.

    The images in this video were taken Feb.-March 2006. They are of the open air drug market that existed across the street from me in my old neighborhood. I shot the photos from my bedroom windows (they faced the street) using a zoom lens. People on the street knew I was working with police but they did not know about the photos or the fact that I was emailing them to my PD contacts, along with detailed descriptions of what was going on.

    Originally I took the photos to support a demand on the part of the community organization I was involved with to get better police response. In addition to providing them to the police, I put them on CDs and distributed them to City Council, the Mayor's office, and the County Legislature. And I spoke before City Council on the issue. Eventually the worst of it cleared up.

    After it became clear that the problem was getting the proper attention, I continued to take photos primarily for my own protection. I studied the faces and the cars in case I ran into them somewhere else. And it was a good thing I did.

    Although there continue to be drug sales in the area, it is nothing at all like it was. Used to be that sometimes the cars lining up to buy were so thick it would interfere with emergency traffic (the streets are quite narrow).

    One of the ways the dealers could get away with what they were doing was that periodically they would all go inside the store, leaving the sidewalk vacant. And of course they had spotters all over the place. And they would not keep the drugs on them. They had hiding places we were unable to figure out. I would call 911 on them but of course by the time police arrived there would be no one out, or whoever was out wouldn't have the drugs on them, so it was virtually impossible to get an arrest that way. So shutting down the market required different strategies, some involving the police and others my own quirky methods (which I will write about later).

    The rather large young man in the brown puffy down jacket is the grandson of the neighborhood "kingpin." That family (including the women) has been in the drug trade for four generations, and gramps as well as the young man's father have spent some serious time in jail. They live in a house behind the store.

    The street has been known for its drug traffic for more than 40 years.

    That corner in no way represents the city as a whole. Like every other city it has gorgeous middle class neighborhoods and as safe as any of the best suburban towns. In fact, the city is quite beautiful as a whole. My current neighborhood, though still "challenged," is prettier and the building I currently live in is 10x nicer than that dump you will see in the video mentioned below.

    Why did I move from that location? Well, check out this tv news story. I have blanked out mentions of my name and cut out the graphics that identified me.

    Anyone who lives in this city and who pays attention to the news, and happened to see it 2 years ago June, is going to know who I am. I would appreciate it very much if those people do not post my real name. I know I'm taking a big risk, but it's a calculated risk, with a worthwhile purpose (I will explain that purpose later).

    How did a white female college professor with a Ph.D. end up living on that corner? That's a long story. I used to own a lovely 1920s era house on a better street several miles from this location. I bought it when I was a full time assistant professor (first FT college teaching job, so I was far from getting tenure). My last day teaching there I left in an ambulance, never to return. Five years later, having exhausted my savings, I lost my house to foreclosure because I was unable to work.

    Since then I've not been able to work more than part-time. Doing the volunteer stuff helps keep me sane and feeling like I am contributing something back. Because it is volunteer, when I have a bad day (sometimes several bad days in a row), I can work whenever I feel up to it (mornings are especially hard, but sometimes I'm laid up for several days in a row) and rest whenever I need to.

    No pity, please. I don't need it and I don't want it. I may have very little money & I may have to contend with major challenges, but I have a good life. Much of it is made good by the friendships I have developed because of my involvement in public safety issues. I could write a book about that. And I'm actually doing that now, in part using this board as a means to that end.

    I'm sure there will still be many here who won't believe me. Those who don't WANT to believe will continue to disbelieve no matter what I say or do. They will continue to make fun of me. Nothing I can do about that. Fools will always be fools.
    Last edited by rubyrose; 10-16-2008, 06:32 PM.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  • #2
    An interesting little tidbit from tonight...

    Rode the bike patrol with four other civilians and three officers, 6:30-8:30 p.m. tonight. Covered the usual large area then back to my street to catch up with the foot patrol. When we came up to them, one of them, KW, said, "[Ruby] where have you been? I stopped at your house and rang the doorbell. I missed my walking buddy!"

    I was just going to say hi and then head home, but with that kind of reception I decided to walk for a bit, and ended up doing an hour.

    Starting tomorrow the foot patrol is going to be flip-flopped between my street and another that is much worse. I plan to walk that street, too, although not as often, simply because it is easier to do the one on my street. But I want to do the other one, too, because my commitment isn't just to my own street. And also, of course, walking that one is likely to be, shall we say, very interesting.

    The officers I've walked with would be absolutely horrified at what's been said on this board about me and my activism. It would be incomprehensible to them.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rubyrose View Post

      One of the people in these photos is actually a UC cop. I can get away with saying that because there are a lot of different people shown here & the cop fits right in with all the others.
      If they are UC, why the hell would you post their picture? Did it ever cross your mind that this person may want to be involved in other UC operations after this one? They aren't all small time, street corner dope cases...

      One of the ways the dealers could get away with what they were doing was that periodically they would all go inside the store, leaving the sidewalk vacant. And of course they had spotters all over the place. And they would not keep the drugs on them. They had hiding places we were unable to figure out. I would call 911 on them but of course by the time police arrived there would be no one out, or whoever was out wouldn't have the drugs on them, so it was virtually impossible to get an arrest that way. So shutting down the market required different strategies...
      Thank you for explaining this to us lowly law enforcement officers! Since we don't get paid to deal with this everyday, we had no idea what they were doing...

      Comment


      • #4
        If they are UC, why the hell would you post their picture? Did it ever cross your mind that this person may want to be involved in other UC operations after this one? They aren't all small time, street corner dope cases...
        This I could not believe myself! Why in the hell would you do that! Do you not realize that these guys are not playing a game, it's something that could get someone killed. So how tough would it be for someone review all your 'valuable' UC work and see the guys that you repeatedly call out as the bad guys and find the guy that isn't in your pictures and figure this out? You shouldn't be doing what you're doing for the cops, you truly are a liability as Juice says! I'm dumb founded!

        Comment


        • #5
          jeopardizing safety, compromising investigations...good work Ruby
          Perseverate In Pugna

          Comment


          • #6
            The Liberal Spin on Your Video

            What an incredible neighborhood! In spite of the obvious cold, everyone has come out to enjoy the fellowship of each other's company, repeatedly shaking hands in warm and friendly greetings. And this community spirit has obviously caught on, as evidenced by photos of all the cars bringing in outsiders to exchange greetings and learn of community news.

            Clearly everyone is enjoying themselves because no one leaves, the street is always active and there are so many happy, smiling faces. You are lucky to live in such a vibrant and exciting community with such a wonderful, unbreakable spirit.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #7
              No one is going to remember your name from a news report from 2 years ago. We have broadcasts like that all the time here, and they aren't a big deal.

              As to posting photos of an UC, I'm absolutely dumbfounded at the stupidity of that.

              Comment


              • #8
                I knew you all would find something negative to say about all that, now that you know that I've been telling the truth all along. Can't just say "sorry, I was wrong" and THEN maybe add some criticism.

                Ok, cops in general have a serious problem admitting when they are wrong. That I know.

                L-1: I am a liberal and that is the last thing I or any other liberal I know would say about my video. That description is your caricature of your own distorted view of reality.

                Narco: I did what I did with the support of the PD. I couldn't have done it without that. Do you think I would have been ALLOWED to do all that if I were actually COMPROMISING an investigation?

                I didn't COMPROMISE investigations. There WAS NO investigation until the PD got pressure from me and the neighborhood organization.

                I made the investigation happen. I helped with useful info and photographs. As for jeopardizing safety: for THREE MONTHS nothing happened. Oh, wait...a couple of my tulips got their heads lopped off. Whoop-te-do.

                Two broken windows in the downstairs apartments. My landlord evicted me over THAT. After the news story broke they smashed the back window of my car, which was parked on the street.

                A little more serious than the tulips, but still: Whoop-te-do.

                If my landlord hadn't been such a wimp, those broken windows would have been the LAST thing they did. After I moved to my new place I got one window each smashed two weekends in a row.

                Guess what? My landlord (an organization that is the largest landlord in the city) stood by me. In fact, they RECRUITED me to live on one of their more difficult corners.

                Guess what? No more vandalism since then. In fact, I leave my rocking chair, a table, and my 12 potted plants on my porch. Nobody, but NOBODY messes with me.

                You see all this from your point of view. So you either 1) can't see it as even possibly true); 2) Minimize it; or 3) decide I'm taking stupidly dangerous risks.

                Now that you know what I've said is true, you can't take THAT gambit. And 2 + 3 don't go together.

                You don't know what I know. You don't have the experience I have. You've never done what I do. Because what I do is more than deal with the criminal aspect of it. What I do involves FIRST letting the community know that I'm not about getting people arrested; I'm about helping everyone stay safe. I'm not about putting criminals in jail (although that could be a result); I'm about helping create a better community for law-abiding citizens. I'm not about CONTROL (although it has to START there); I'm about enabling people to take back the streets themselves so they can enjoy them and not have to hide behind their curtains.

                I have more friends than enemies in my neighborhood. And I've been recruiting more people to do at least a part of what I do.

                I started out terrified, but I believed in the necessity of what I was doing, and I had support. I overcame my fear. In the process I found out that about 90% of the thugs' power lies in our ability to IMAGINE what they MIGHT do.

                A few broken windows. That's all.

                Yes, there have been times when I gave into that fear of what they MIGHT do. Funny thing. Here I am chastised BOTH for exaggerating the risk AND for taking TOO MANY SERIOUS risks.

                Can't be both. May be none of the above.

                May be that someone in the community who is loved for her generosity, warmth, and commitment to her neighbors is a lot safer on these streets than you would believe.

                Yes, it is still possible someone could shoot me. Just as it is possible any of the cops walking the beat with me could get shot. But given that everyone has seen me for hours at a time with these officers, chances are pretty good that they understand: harm [Ruby] and you might as well be harming a cop.

                Yes, I know I am taking risks. But they are calculated risk, taken with overwhelming support from the officers. And I firmly believe what I am doing, what I am accomplishing and WILL accomplish is well worth it.
                Last edited by rubyrose; 10-16-2008, 10:38 AM.
                Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                Comment


                • #9
                  .......................................
                  Last edited by rubyrose; 10-16-2008, 11:35 AM.
                  Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                  Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Madchiken:

                    LEOs are not the only people reading these forums. There are a lot of civilians. Yeah, they need that explained to them.

                    We are constantly getting the complaint: why can't you clean up that drug market! Everybody knows they are selling drugs!!! Why don't YOU????!!! (As if we didn't know.)
                    Last edited by rubyrose; 10-16-2008, 10:31 AM.
                    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
                      As for the photos of the UC: I challenge you to identify which of those folks is the UC. Unless you yourself know that person, you'd not likely guess.

                      I myself didn't know that that person was UC until long after it was all over.

                      And there is nothing in the video (nor will there be when it is finished) or on the site indicating that there is a UC in those 150 or so photos.

                      The only statement about that is HERE. You have to then go view the video...12 minutes long. You can't download the video. You CAN freeze-frame individual photos.

                      I'm leaving that as-is for a few days, and then I am going to lock out public access.
                      So when I forward that URL to the jurisdiction that you work in they won't have a problem with you doing that. Remember you told us where you work. I'll bet that when they see what you're doing and doing it for what reason? to puff up? Just for the sake of an argument you feel that this UC's picture should be posted so that you can prove a point? You proved a point Ruby, you are a liability and that's all. Go ahead and let it up for a bit will you...


                      tic-tock-tick-tock

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, yeah. As for "small time" corner markets...

                        Gramps controls the markets all around the neighborhood.

                        Also...

                        I have edited the public access options on the drug market video so that only my contacts can view. If you want to view it you will have to register as a motionbox member and also request my ok on you as a contact.
                        Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                        Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                        A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Right.

                          I don't get you, Steve. Earlier you posted a supportive comment (which you later deleted) on one of my other threads. Now you are threatening me. What gives?

                          The only reason I posted where I live is because that was the only way to prove I've been telling the truth. Now you would use that to "punish" me.

                          Until then I was carefully and 99.9% anonymous. First people demand proof, and then when I provide it YOU threaten me.

                          Clearly, I was wrong to trust the folks here who've been reading this thread in the last 24 hours.

                          I have deleted the objectionable line. I have limited access to the video. I limited access BEFORE you posted this threat.

                          Now I respectfully request that those who copied the objectionable line to also edit their posts.

                          I am not doing that because of this threat of yours. I was planning to do that before. I just moved it up in time.

                          Yes, I wanted to prove a point. The point I am trying to prove isn't about ME. It's about what civilians can do (and are doing) to take back their streets.

                          It's about proving that the attitudes expressed here are way out of line. Not just about ME. About civilians in general.


                          Originally posted by StainlessSteve View Post
                          So when I forward that URL to the jurisdiction that you work in they won't have a problem with you doing that. Remember you told [deleted] picture should be posted so that you can prove a point? You proved a point Ruby, you are a liability and that's all. Go ahead and let it up for a bit will you...


                          tic-tock-tick-tock
                          Last edited by rubyrose; 10-16-2008, 11:37 AM.
                          Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                          Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                          A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you Rudy, removing the access was my objective with that comment...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would never, ever, ever, even if the UC Officer was mixed in with 1,000 others in Times Square, never, ever post a pic or a vid containing a UC Officer's face. I know you're trying to do well, but next time, please think it through.
                              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Orwell

                              Comment

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