Xy came home from visiting with a friend yesterday evening to discover that our block was a crime scene. Police had the street blocked off and they were taking photos on the sidewalk, practically right in front of our house. Fearing that I might have been the victim, she parked on a side street and rushed over.
But I was fine. In fact, I didn’t have a clue as to what had been unfolding outside. I was inside listening to avant-garde music, snacking on some gourmet cheeses, drinking some cognac, checking my e-mail and generally puttering about.
When I asked the police officer what had happened, she told me there had been a robbery. In retrospect, it seems a little odd that the police didn’t knock on our door to ask if I’d seen anything.
More details emerged when we talked to our neighbors. They said four guys jumped one guy and beat him up pretty badly. One of my neighbors witnessed it, but she’s scared to talk to the police. She says she didn’t really see much anyway.
Xy found a dollar’s worth of change on the sidewalk, and several bloodstains.
Shortly thereafter, we heard a lot of angry hollering around the corner on Bienville. I’m not sure what it was all about. I didn’t think it wise to go down and gawk, but I’m sure it was related to the incident on our street.
Later, Debra came over and said she was afraid to work late anymore and leave her kids unattended. She said it was getting so she was afraid to come outside at night.
A friend recently commented that she thought our part of Mid-City was “scary.” I guess this proves her right. We feel scared, too, and somewhat helpless. Other parts of Mid-City are coming back strong, but our little corner is coming back scary. There’s only one person from the old neighborhood who’s back (Gwen), and most of the houses are still vacant, and most of the residents don’t stay very long, and there’s a FEMA trailer park across the way with sixty or seventy units. Our community is fractured, unstable, and under stress, and that’s a recipe for bad things happening.
Right now I’d just like to know what really happened last night. I suspect it was more of a beef than a robbery.
There is an anti-crime march this Saturday, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Council. (I can’t find any information online and I left the flyer at home, but I think it starts at Tulane and Broad at 11:00 AM.) Xy and I were planning on going even before this thing happened. Of course, marching is not really enough. But what else can we do?