Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Live Stop Causing More Problems Asks Poster At

Live Stop Program causing more problems?

I am currently a manager at one of the businesses on Cottman avenue near Roosevelt Mall, and have had three very bad experiences within the last month or so, due directly to the live stop program.

Last night was the worst of the three, and it seems like things are only going to get worse unless someone changes the policies involved in leaving very angry criminals in a neighbohood other than thier own.

Here's what happened last night. A car was LiveStopped on Cottman outside of where I work. The three occupants of the vehicle were two large black men, and a black woman, all of whom were very clearly altered.

As has happened twice before in the past month or so, yet again they come into my place of work, and start asking to use the phone, scaring my employees and customers, and generally causing a serious disruption to business, as well as a rather dangerous situation for myself and my employees.

The three immediately set upon a young black man in my lobby, who happened to be waiting for his girlfriend to finish her shift. Because both she and he are black, the three started attempting the "help your people out" approach, then turned VERY aggressive when it didn't work. They were asking for money, and actually intimidated the young man into letting them use his phone!

I had multiple customers attempt to come into the business who were set upon by these three, aggressively asking for money, posturing in an intimidating way, and scared all of my patrons off. One had already paid for her purchase and was awaiting it's completion and was so afraid that she just left. I had to refund her money an hour later, after she called and sent her husband back, because she didn't even feel safe enough to return after I assured her everything was taken care of.

My employee, who lives in a pretty bad area of West Philly, and is no stranger to bad situation, was so unsettled that she had to sit in the office, taking a good ten or so minutes before she was able to stop crying and pull herself together.

I asked these junkies to leave repeatedly, and was actually ready to defend myself, so aggressive was the response I recieved. It took me having to get VERY aggressive, and have my employee dial 911 before they actually left, throwing things at the windows on thier way, and kicking over a trash can to boot.

This is a bad situaiton, that could have gotten MUCH worse, and it was caused 100% by the live stop policies. Has anyone else had problems in NE Philly with this program? If not, watch out, because it's getting worse, three in a month for my place of work. If so, how do you deal with this?

I think the LiveStop program needs to include those IN the vehicle. If the car is being taken, the driver is CLEARLY breaking the law, LOCK THEM UP TOO! If the passengers are clearly high, take them as well! These three were screaming at the police the whole time, so it's not like it wasn't clear what mindset they were in.

Any suggestions on trying to nip this problem in the bud before it gets out of hand?
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