Murder at Mission and Bloomfield Ave.

BY ,  |  Wednesday, Feb 08, 2012 10:34am  |  COMMENTS (120)

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that a man was murdered on Mission Street in Montclair last night. Breaking News Network reported gunshots at the intersection of Mission and Bloomfield Ave. shortly after 9 p.m.
Thomas Reynolds, president of The Montclair Branch of the NAACP, identified the victim as Ibn Futrell, a former Montclair High School student who was in his mid-20s.  Reynolds said he knew a good friend of the victim, and the two spent the night “talking about this horrible thing.”

The NAACP, along with Fourth Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville, will hold a community meeting on Thursday night at 8 p.m. at the Fire Headquarters on Pine Street to address safety in the area.  

Mission Street, in Montclair’s Fourth Ward, has long been considered a scene of violent crime  – even showing up on the crowdsourced See-Click-Fix as a problem area. It is also located close to two schools, Glenfield Middle School and the new Charles H. Bullock elementary school.

Police Chief David Sabagh also identified the Mission Street area as one of the highest crime areas in Montclair in 2009 interview with Baristanet, following a series of armed robberies. Due to budget cuts, the nearby police substation in Lackawanna Plaza was closed in 2008.

Reynolds said he was frustrated about what he called the lack of community policing in some of the more crime-ridden parts of Montclair.  “If they know there are drug deals going on, why not put a cop there?  They should prevent incidents instead of just reacting to them.”

He confirmed that the victim had a prior record of arrest, he said he did not know if the homicide was drug- or gang-related, as has been speculated by some news sources.  “But no matter what (his record), losing your life…is not worth it.”

The meeting will allow the community to discuss their ideas for how the police should respond to crime in the area.  “Small changes can make a difference, such as more community policing,” Reynolds said.  While he said he is not “pointing blame” at the police, “this is what Chief Sabagh and the cops all have to be willing to do to protect the community.”

Reynolds said that when he was a college student at NJIT in Newark, there were always police on campus to make students and faculty feel safe.  “Montclair is an extremely safe community, but let’s make sure it stays that way.”

Update: The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office released the following statement at 12:33 p.m.:

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Montclair Police Chief David Sabagh announced today the Montclair Police and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force are investigating a fatal shooting in Montclair.

The victim has been identified as Ibn Futrell, 29, of Bloomfield. At approximately 8:59 pm Montclair Police responded to a report of gun shots fired in the vicinity of 4 Mission Street.

They discovered a 29-year-old male, later identified as Ibn Futrell. Futrell was currently living in Bloomfield. He formerly resided in Montclair.

Futrell was transported to Mountainside Hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 9:57 p.m., according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly of the ECPO Homicide Unit.

The investigation is active and ongoing. No arrests have been made. No suspects have been identified at this time. Additional information will be released when it becomes available.

120 Comments

  1. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    Gee, I wish my kids went to school in an out of control drug infested crime area.

  2. POSTED BY taint  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    Nothing like being RE-active. Great location for a new school. Drugs, shootings, car jackings, armed robbery and now murder.

  3. POSTED BY Jim F.  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    Technically, it’s a homicide. Whether or not the killer is legally charged with murder would depend on the circumstances.

  4. POSTED BY Kristin  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    Perhaps a better RE-action than wishing a school were *not* there is to improve it for the children that live in the area year-round. Sometimes people’s comments make it sound like they think the Mission Street area is an empty lot, not a residential neighborhood.

  5. POSTED BY mike40  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Its not an empty lot, its a crime ridden ghetto.

  6. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:39 am

    Mission Street is an ordinary residential neighborhood just like millions of others in the world. It developed as workers’ housing from the adjacent Crane’s Mill Factory complex that is now the site of the Glenfield School. There are good homeowners, renters, bad absentee landlords…churches, drug dealers, expensive cars, good nearby restaurants, legitimate businesses, crime, public schools….little girls hanging out smoking blunts…girls selling girl scout cookies….i hear that there is a nice lady who mentors youth….who organizes field trips to museums….(Mrs. Wineglass….it would be interesting to interview her) A couple of years ago, Italian friends rented an apartment there and their sons attended public school here. They liked living there. I was stopped by the police for a check-out at least twice while visiting them. The neighborhood environment for school children is like this all over the world and its important that school children learn how to safely cope with their environment,

  7. POSTED BY anne prince  |  February 08, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    FGG – an EXCELLENT response to this horrible situation. Personally, we who live in the WHNA section of Bloomfield fight that very same mentality. Thank you for your thoughtful snapshot of that area.

  8. POSTED BY montclairgop  |  February 08, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    It’s sickening to read about the complete lack of respect for human life and the law. Of course, until there are extremely harsh penalties and a complete intolerance for this kind of violent crime, it will pervade. Makes me feel real good about paying prohibitive property taxes to live amongst animals.

  9. POSTED BY cathar  |  February 08, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Perhaps yesterday’s heavy police presence would have been better applied to Mission Street than to the Montclair State campus.

  10. POSTED BY Martta Rose  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    Frank, I would imagine that the law-abiding citizens who live in the area are as fed up with the drug dealing that goes on there as anyone would be. Would love to see more police surveillance work in that area to root out the offenders.

  11. POSTED BY mysticspirit  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    We were having a class at our store which is a few blocks from there and we saw about 7 police cars and an ambulance racing down Bloomfield Ave. I said someone must have been shot, probably on Mission Street.

  12. POSTED BY marke301  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Hey good thing they had that speed trap on Bellevue Ave last night instead of patrolling the town. Yes I got a ticket, but really a speed trap at 8:00 PM at night. Maybe the town should have used these resources better.

  13. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    alas. If only someone had made a vague threat against the neighborhood on a bathroom stall.

  14. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    Hey deadeye, my kids go to Bullock and I don’t fear for their lives. Your (over)-reaction is rather typical, though, and tiresome. And even a little hysterical. So are some of the other posts on this homicide, which are rare in Montclair. (It reminds me of Dar O’Brien’s funny routine about the fear of zombies, watch it, it’s quite funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHVVKAKWXcg)

    And that reminds me of a recent study I read about in Guardian Science, which makes the claim that you have no control over your political leanings–it’s just a result of genetics and your brain being a product of evolution. Really, there is no hope. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/jan/31/socialists-conservatives-born-not-made

    But Krisin speaks the truth–most residents of this community are law-abiding citizens who are just trying to make their way in this crazy world. Their neighborhood should be safer, yes, but to act like the people that live there are second-class citizens and that the schools in the neighborhoods are crack houses is pretty sad.

  15. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 08, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    I mean Dara O’Briain. Those Irish sure do spell their names funny. This clip is hilarious–I’ve seen it a million times and it always makes me laugh, nice swipe at homeopathy, too.

  16. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    alas. If only someone had made a vague threat against the neighborhood on a bathroom stall.

    These kinds of comments confuse me. Should the police have ignored threats at MSU and instead posted themselves on Mission Street? Should they have known the MSU threats were nothing but that a murder would happen on Mission Street?

    This isn’t just directed at ROC. Marke’s comment on the speed trap is just as stupid: “Why are you pulling me over for breaking the law where there might be a murder somewhere you couldn’t have known about it advance?”

  17. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    Looks like the rooftop sharpshooters and mounted police are going to have a busy week.

    http://montclair.patch.com/articles/bias-incident-on-msu-campus-aimed-at-african-american-women

  18. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Call in the snippers.

  19. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:15 pm

    “These kinds of comments confuse me. Should the police have ignored threats at MSU and instead posted themselves on Mission Street? ”

    No, of course not. But rooftop snipers and mounted police was a complete overreaction. Probably highly enjoyed by the perp. I’ll bet it’s even related to the latest bias incident.

  20. POSTED BY overthinkingmontclair  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    When something bad happens, it’s natural to rationalize some reason that it can’t happen to you. So we try to pretend that Mission and Bloomfield is some distant land.

    It’s not.

    This is a very small town. Even if your K-8 kids go to school dozens of blocks away, your neighbor’s kids go to school there. It happened here, not there on the other side of whatever.

    For my family, I’d just like to say that our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Futrell’s family. We wish them some closure; that they soon learn what happened and that there is justice in finding and protecting us all from whoever is responsible.

  21. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    deadeye, I agree, a tough block is not a great location for a school, but, having gone to high school in a rough neighborhood myself, and having sent two young adults through the Montclair school system, including one or two schools in rough neighborhoods, I can tell you, while it’s not ideal, all three of us did very well. The kids just need tips on how to navigate through tough situations, and this is a valuable lesson that will serve them well in their lives. Not all dangerous predators look like thugs.

  22. POSTED BY redrum  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    Maybe if our brilliant elected officials put as much effort into this side of town as they do over the Wildwood property and parking violation patterns, things would be different.

  23. POSTED BY Kristin  |  February 08, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    FrankGG – Thank you for that perspective.

  24. POSTED BY edwardhotel  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    Things will get better! Once we get more “affordable housing” units in Montclair everything will start improving.

  25. POSTED BY nickcharles  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    But rooftop snipers and mounted police was a complete overreaction. Probably highly enjoyed by the perp.

    It’s only seen as an overreaction because nothing happened. But the threats were pretty specific, so I don’t fault police for being overly protective. It’s not like there haven’t been massive shootouts on college campuses before.

  26. POSTED BY marke301  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    Hey I’m not complaining about getting a ticket. I deserved the ticket. What I’m saying is running a speed-trap a 8:00 PM at night is not the best use of Police resources. With all the crime that goes on in Montclair catching a speeder a 8:00 PM should be the least of the police worries. He wasn’t just cruising Bellevue Ave. He was staying in one spot and running a speed trap. I’m not asking for sympathy I’m just calling into question the use of one patrol car to catch speeders at that time of night. After I got my ticket he turned around and went right back to his spot to catch more speeders. The town gets revenue but loses someone who could be patrolling and be better able to respond to emergencies.

  27. POSTED BY uptowndowntown  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    Speed traps = $$revenue$$
    Patrolling high-crime areas = No revenue

  28. POSTED BY sillypants  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    It’s all too easy to make such generalized statements about the Mission Street area (and Pine St. area too). While the occurrence of crimes are higher in this area than others in Montclair, it’s really not much different than any other small town in America, just like frankgg said.
    As a resident of the area, I can say that for the most part, we’re all just trying to make a living and enjoy life. I’ve never felt unsafe walking home from the bus stop or from the train station and have met kind people in the 2+ years I’ve lived in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the actions of some have given the neighborhood a bad name/impression.

    As for the MSU incidents, if they hadn’t brought in additional police forces, they would have been criticized too. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and I think they made the right decision.

  29. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    Tudlow, my comment was perfunctory and utterly unemotional. On balance, to have built a school at such great expense and smack in the middle of our town’s ghetto was a moronic decision of the first order. And yes, it is a ghetto in it’s current state. By not dealing with the depth and breadth of the problem, the hard working and law abiding citizens that live nearby are being ill served. Im sure the kids are perfectly safe and will get a great education, and I’m just as sure that they will have the best opportunity to score drugs once the temptation arises. I view my tuition payments as an insurance premium of sorts, in that I have removed the proximity to temptation, and am affording them basically the same educational environment that I got in public school before the wheels came off.

    Spiro, I hear you and sound parenting has a huge influence. Let’s just say there is a personal element to my decision. Think about the early 70′s…

  30. POSTED BY debb12  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    We need to push the town for more police presence in the area – on a full time basis – for the safety of the kids attending the schools in the area and the kids who live there full time – as well as the law abiding citizens just trying to make ends meet – lord knows we pay enough in taxes in this town. It is the only part of town I do not feel safe walking through. what a shame.

  31. POSTED BY redrum  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    The Mission street area is a ghetto. Plain and simple. Don’t try and sugar coat it. Denial isn’t going to fix the problem. Everyone wants to skirt around the issue because it is unfortunately a racially-sensitive one, but the town and its residents need to face facts: We have a problem. It is NOT unlike every other town in America. We have a distinct and specific crime issue in that neighborhood that is not being addressed.

  32. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    “It’s only seen as an overreaction because nothing happened.”

    You could say the same thing if they called out the National Guard.

  33. POSTED BY Martta Rose  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    “We have a distinct and specific crime issue in that neighborhood that is not being addressed.”

    I have often wondered about this. It was the same when I lived in town from 1981 until 2004. Not a lot has changed.

  34. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Surely you jest, deadeye, that there is no temptation or opportunity to score some drugs in a private school. That makes me, what do the kids write these days, oh yeah LMFAO.

  35. POSTED BY paolo  |  February 08, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    Multiple shots fired on a city street at 9pm endanger a lot of folks, not just the intended target. Whatever the issues between Mr Futrell and the shooter(s), the whole neighborhood is at risk. I hope that folks who saw something / know something are able to help get the shooter off the street.

    My condolences to Mr Futrell’s family, and to those who mourn him.

  36. POSTED BY MellonBrush  |  February 08, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    Montclair should put a police community outreach ‘sub-station’ in a storefront on Bloomfield Ave. It would always be manned by at least two police officers and one or two clerical personell to answer phones, collect data about the neighborhood, and greet community members.

    If possible the entire staff should be African-American, however it would also be a good idea to have staff from other ethnic backgrounds.

    The problem with neighborhoods like the Mission street one is boredom. The young people in this neighborhood are just looking for things to do and are vulnerable to unhealthy temptations.

    There must be plenty of African-American men and women in Montclair who could volunteer some time to work through a community center to mentor ‘at-risk’ youth. These kids need tutoring services and they need alternatives to the excitement of ‘street life’.

  37. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

    Tudlow, I imagine there is, but certainly not at the middle school level, or you are either delusional or woefully misinformed. Middle school is where kids go off track. Remember? I’d rather have a little more rigorous supervision and peer pressure to perform than a bunch of diversity uber alles crap thrown at me. Besides, there is real diversity in the private schools. You would be amazed. It’s the kind that develops naturally. Sure there is economic stratification, but that isn’t what the kids are attuned to. Also, from what I hear, the politics of navigating the public school program is a lot more Machiavellian and time consuming than most people can even imagine.
    Back to the point, the town geniuses spent heavily from the town’s coffers to build a school dead smack in the worst crime area in Montclair. You can spin that any way till Sunday until your head spins of, but it’s a fact.

  38. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

    As a community, we simply cannot have this level of crime and violence while chalking it up to our uniqueness. Montclair is moving toward becoming a black suburb. Plain and simple.

  39. POSTED BY Austin Millbarge  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    Not sure if all the intellects on this board know, MSU has their own police for and does not utilize Montclair Police, only in extreme circumstances. So what happened at MSU no easy, shape or form altered the MPD’s manpower. But I’m sure all the Monday-morning quarterbacks knew that…

  40. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    We’re doomed.

  41. POSTED BY relax people  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    “Montclair is moving toward becoming a black suburb. Plain and simple.” – Deadeye

    WTF does that mean? Are you f*cking serious?

    Thanks to Frank GG, sillypants and others for their rational, non-racist perspectives.

    Deadeye – time for you to move to West Milford my man. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass.

  42. POSTED BY njeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    patrol the crosswalks, don’t patrol the mission street area. you wasted man power from MPD and Prosecutors office with video cameras so people can cross the street. Mission street is not news, it been a drug and crime area for years and the police don’t fight crime, they only respond to crime.

    Murder is bad, but not stopping for people in a crosswalk is MPD’s priority. Always follow the money!!!!!

  43. POSTED BY willjames  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    Snide quip as an opener.
    *
    Series of non-sequitors masquerading as apposite observations.
    *
    Pessimistic pronouncement tinged with racial fear and / or an aura of moral superiority.
    *
    Short and snappy dismissal of opposing points of view.
    *
    *
    (This is the formula for a provocative, ‘against-the-grain’ Baristanet comment, as pioneered and perfected by ROC, deadeye, and a handful of others. It’s also an incredibly unproductive way to engage in public discourse.)

  44. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    “Not sure if all the intellects on this board know, MSU has their own police for and does not utilize Montclair Police…”

    “The police presence on campus Tuesday included the university’s own 40-member force, and support from about a dozen police departments in Passaic and Essex counties.”

    Whoops.

    http://www.northjersey.com/news/essex/essex_county_news/020712_Police_presence_heavy_as_Montclair_State_rallies_against_hate.html

  45. POSTED BY ihateplaydates  |  February 08, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    The only ones “doomed” here are those who can’t see/understand the complexity of the world, and who feel threatened by it. You want to see Mission Street as a “ghetto” or the folks that live there as “problems.” You believe that good schools only happen in “good” (white, rich, bucolic) settings. You will soon be surpassed (perhaps already have been) by folks who know better, but always are open to knowing more.

  46. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    I hear the music and see the butterflies flying by, ooh.
    Relax, nothing I said was remotely “racist,” but that’s been your trump card so feel free to keep using it.

  47. POSTED BY hewman  |  February 08, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    The problem with such neighborhoods isn’t the lack of policing, or community centers, or boredom, or even love for that matter. The problem, pure and simple, is a lack of proper parenting. No amount of policing or $ thrown at this issue will address what the family or community can (and must) essentially do for itself.

    Not every child that recieves an abundance of love, discipline, education and guidance by parents becomes a model citizen, of course. Nor is every child lacking each these elements doomed to fail. But the odds of an event such as what happened in the Mission St area are hugely reduced. The best part is that it costs the taxpayers practically nothing!

  48. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  February 08, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

    perhaps, deadeye, your 4:58 post – “Montclair is moving toward becoming a black suburb” statement would have been innocuous or maybe even hopeful, in terms of a Baristanet thread on upward black mobility,

    but in the context of “murder at Mission and Bloomfield”,
    it has a different effect.

    Similar to a low income housing project in Upper Montclair, context is everything, my friend.

  49. POSTED BY willjames  |  February 08, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    Deadeye, racist or not, your claim that “Montclair is becoming a black suburb” also happens not to be factually correct. So, you know, there’s always that.

    “The 2010 Decennial Census data reflect that the African American population of the Township of Montclair declined markedly– 18%– with the numbers of African Americans in Town dropping from 12, 500 to 10,230. The 18% decline in the African American population in Montclair is in contrast with the 6% increase in the African American population statewide.”

    http://www.baristanet.com/2011/03/op-ed-councilor-baskerville-on-montclairs-redistricting-process/

  50. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 08, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

    You’re funny, witty, a good writer and all that, deadeye but it doesn’t take much to expose you. You can’t really help it, though–it’s in your genes, I s’pose.

    Btw, “we’re doomed” is a little on the histrionic side, doncha think?

  51. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

    Sorry, histrionic and out of context, but not racist! This newly discovered mobile posting capability is to blame. Nothing positive comes from boredom posting.
    @willjames, Those stats are noise. Longer term smoothing and social trends point otherwise. But then, there’s the tax policy.

  52. POSTED BY kit schackner  |  February 08, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    I have an employee who lives in the area on Maple. He was a winner in a Homecorp lottery for affordable housing, and moved to Montclair from Paterson. They put their daughter through college by benefit of the Montclair public school system. When I told him today about the killing on Mission Street, he expressed the need for more police presence. I know his wife has stood on their balcony with binoculars watching drug deals go down in the park across the street, and called the cops again and again. He’s a hard working, moral, decent guy. I am quite sure he’s not the only one in the neighborhood.
    There does have to be more police presence there, but to characterize the entire neighborhood as a ghetto paints everyone with the same brush. It’s wrong.

  53. POSTED BY whowantwhat  |  February 08, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Streets is hood, its best to avoid this area at all costs. Not the first shooting, won’t be the last. Im not entirely opposed to the location of the school since it somewhat serves as step 1 in the gentrification process that we should all hope persists. This should not be hard to achieve with Glen Ridge only blocks away. Deadeye I hope you are wrong.

    Not everyone in the neighborhood is a crack dealer or a criminal, but with such a high level of crime, it needs attention.

  54. POSTED BY zidarich  |  February 08, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    The poverty rate in the 4th ward (as recently posted here on Baristanet) is near 35%. That’s insane, and higher than many parts of Newark and East Orange. It’s basically a small, drug riddled, violent Inner city located in what is an otherwise peaceful, middle to upper middle class area.

    The town is insane not to use eminent domaine and raise the whole section to the ground. The crime and violence is ruining the lives of everyone who lives around the area. I encourage everyone to look at the New Jersey poverty map just put out. You have a small slice of inner city Irvington and Newark smack in the Middle of Glen Ridge and Montclair.

    Its putting the safety of everyone who (pays a lot of money) to live here in jeopardy.

  55. POSTED BY crimson  |  February 08, 2012 @ 8:11 pm

    I just wanted to say that as I have been reading most of these comments I’ve been offended quite a few times. Interesting to think how most or all of you live in Montclair. My family moved to Montclair mid summer this passed year. Brand new to the area and without too much to go on except the fact my husband was offered a job with a decent job commute. We currently reside on Mission Street. I almost feel the need to inform you all that we are not African American nor a minority. My husband and I as well as our one year old daughter do not do drugs or commit crimes for a living. This “Murder on Mission”….sounded like a joke that nobody really cares about. Shameful. My heart goes to families and friends involved. And…if any of you have actually driven or walked Mission Street, it’s one street. How large exactly is Montclair? We have been treated nicely by our neighbors here. A young man was killed outside our apartment building door. We moved to Montclair thinking….something different. What an interesting face I’ve seen come out on here. Gross.

  56. POSTED BY crimson  |  February 08, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    We, fortunately enough do not live on the poverty line. Although our taxes aren’t t doing a thing for our daughters safety. And furthermore we spend over two grand per month for our small apartment on the corner here…on Mission Street. Where a life was taken and frankly I think could have been avoided, it’s pretty sad what I am seeing with the landowners here on this street.

  57. POSTED BY kit schackner  |  February 08, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    Well put, Crimson. But the views of a half-dozen trolls are no more a reflection of the entire community than what their characterization of Mission Street is. Just some emboldened jerks, typing under cover of anonymity.

  58. POSTED BY zidarich  |  February 08, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    Look, I was angry, and not exactly level headed when I made my previous post. Let me start over again by first and foremost offering my sympathies to the family of the victim. We all hope whoever committed the crime is caught and never free to walk the streets again.

    If I may clarify my previous remarks. I think the point I was trying to make is that the issue with the 4th ward is not a race issue – it’s not a black or white thing – it’s not even an issue people of a lessor socio-economic class living in Montclair. It’s a crime and safety issue.

    Plain and simple. And it effects the lives of everyone who lives in the area.

    Please take a look at this New Jersey poverty map: http://project.wnyc.org/census-maps/poverty-nj/

    You can see, very easily, that the 4th ward in Montclair is impoverished. Not just working class, but one of the poorest areas in Northern New Jersey.

    I grew up in Paterson. I know first hand that not everyone who lives in poorer areas is a criminal. I’d like to think of myself and my family as proof of that. But when you have an area with this level of poverty – again we’re talking HIGHER levels than most of East Orange and Irvington – crime, especially violent crime, is going to resonate, and effect the safety and quality of lives of it’s residents. And those of us who follow the Montclair Police blotter regularly know that violent crime, drugs, and break ins are a huge problem in, and in the area around, the 4th ward.

    If given the choice and the means, would most people want to move out of the bad parts of Newark, East Orange, and Irvington? Of course – people want to raise their families in a safe environment where they can live at ease. We work hard, and those of us that are lucky can find ourselves in towns like Montclair and Glen Ridge, where we hope to live in peaceful, family friendly environments.

    But for those of us who live near the 4th ward (I’m officially two houses outside of it), we don’t have that luxury. We’re constantly worried about break ins, violence, muggings (there were quite a few in the fourth quarter of 2011) and a stray bullet hitting our homes or children (There were shots fired on Maple Ave last fall in the middle of a school day). We have to watch our backs when walking the dogs at night, and question ourselves every time we hear a noise outside our home when sleeping. Often, I feel like I’m back in Paterson, except not even Paterson had poverty rates this high (my obvious goal would be to rid poverty all together – I consider myself a very liberal person, and am not wealthy, but I’m happy to pay the property taxes I do to help give everyone in this town a fighting chance at life, but facts are facts – when an area is impoverished crime becomes a problem) .

    Maybe some of you will call me paranoid, but again, crime statistics show that the vast, vast majority of Montclair’s violent crime stems in and around this area.

    My family and I decided late last year that we’re moving elsewhere in 2012. Maybe Nutley, maybe Bloomfield, but we won’t stay near here anymore. We just don’t feel safe.

    What the residents of Montclair really need to decide if if they’re comfortable having a mini Newark/Irvington in the middle of their town, putting the safety of everyone around it at risk, or if they want to help clean it up, and increase the quality of life for everyone around it.

    What “cleaning up” entails I just don’t know – I’m not that intelligent, but there has to be more that can be done. The people of Montclair are happy to pay some of the highest property taxes in the country to provide good quality education, an amazing policeforce, and many other services to ALL of its residents – wether white, black, rich or poor. Is it really too much to ask that they be rewarded with a town where they can feel safe walking around at night?

    Something needs to be done about this area – before its blight becomes the blight for the next street, and the street after that, and the street after that – and before we know it, southern montclair will be damaged beyond repair.

  59. POSTED BY sohobound  |  February 08, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    My deepest condolences to those who knew this victim and his family and to all that live in this area. We need a better allocation of the police officers on-duty. We have sufficient policemen according to statistics, but there isn’t enough presence on the streets. The statistical web sites show that they earn a very decent and competitive salary and benefits. Unmarked cars, which I see a lot driving around, don’t do anything to deter violence of criminal behavior. With the taxes we pay, more needs to be done to deter criminal behavior rather than simply flash with reports on arrests or speeding tickets like we see in all the blogs and papers. The people in charge, whether the government, town manager, or Chief of Police need to do more to deter crime and allocate the police appropriately based on where the crimes happen. None of this will bring back the victim or undo the feelings of vulnerability in the neighborhood. So sad…

  60. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    No problem Crimson, we all make mistakes. Yours was to listen to your realtor and to have somehow come to the conclusion that Montclair is an homogenous community. You might as well live in East Orange, but with better schools.
    Sorry if you are offended, but you live in the worst part of town by any measure. The reality is that the Mission Street neighborhood is ground zero for crime and poverty in Montclair. A practical solution, not a band-aid, should be sought to address this plague on our community. Bulldozing the whole area and re-building it with a mix of market rate and affordable housing is probably the best solution. As for the criminals, prison. Your council woman adopts a serious mien by looking at pushing her glasses down her nose and extinguishing debate, but is otherwise utterly ineffectual. Good luck.

  61. POSTED BY redrum  |  February 08, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

    We do not have enough police officers in Montclair – not even close. There are only 4 on the beat at night, 2 of which are assigned to parking. That leaves 2 for the whole town overnight. The 4th Ward needs 4 just for itself! Unfortunately, our town has sold us down the river by cutting the police force and spending the money on trees, signs, and two affordable housing units in the first ward.

    For anyone who lives on this side of the tracks, so to speak, the mission street area is the crime and coke stricken ghetto its made out to be. Eminent domain is the answer. Knock it all down. Build condos. Thats how they changed one section of Pine Street in the 80s and its the only effective way to deal with the Mission Street area. If not, keep living with the murders and the break-ins and keep telling yourself everyone is being stereotypical.

  62. POSTED BY crimson  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

    How about you do it? We are renters. As of now there are about twenty mourners outside our building. As for our landlords? Did not not inform us of the area. We moved from St. Thomas,VI. Even there…the ethics were….more. Not one police car is around. Do I sense corruption?

  63. POSTED BY allaboutthenumbers  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    We pay approximately $13mm or $35,000 per day on average for police in this town (before benefits) for approximately 6 square miles. Based on the salary information under NJBYTHENUMBERS, sorted using group number, the town has a lot of senior officials, and probably investigators that may not be cruising the town in a car or on foot that could be the problem. It seams that we need more at the lower to mid level to patrol the streets, especially in the areas that have the highest crime rates.

  64. POSTED BY crimson  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    As for being a renter, we don’t think we will be looking to buy here as and if this is the way the community handles as such… money and time will be lost on all our parts.

  65. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 08, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    I feel badly for you. You and your neighbors deserve to be better protected. There are ethical realtors, and fine and safe neighborhoods for you to consider here in town. Best of luck to you and your family.

  66. POSTED BY nana  |  February 09, 2012 @ 1:45 am

    The problem is that the Township of Montclair has allowed certain streets (aka the “Designated Ghetto” section) to become dominated by ABSENTEE LANDLORDS TO BECOME SLUM LORDS. The problem is that NONE of our Township officials have decided to make Quality of LIFE a serious environmental issue in the Fourth Ward.

    We need a holistic, strategic, policy-oriented approach that forces the Police, Code Enforcement, Fire, Taxation and Planning to meticously MAP the absentee ownership in Town, then correlate it with constant social disruption and crime. Force our Councilpersons to walk these streets, meet with REAL TAXPAYERS (not a social service agency) who have to fight these conditions to go to work each day. Meet with the absentee landlords and realtors and tell them the “jig is up.”

  67. POSTED BY paolo  |  February 09, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    The police reports posted regularly on Baristanet suggest there’s no lack of police presence in the blocks around Elm, Pine, Mission, etc.

    Just a quick perusal of incidents (“consistent with a drug transaction” and “for whom a warrant was outstanding” etc) suggests officers are out and about. Perhaps more aggressive arrests of buyers, esp buyers in cars from elsewhere in town or outside from town, would help keep the streets safe.

    I, too, would be interested in knowing how many officers are active in the area on a regular basis. Maybe the two overnight parking patrol officers should be deployed there a few evenings each week, as well as the speed trap people, etc.

    Shots fired at 9pm are a clear and present danger to people coming home from work, from the movies, from the library, from Smashburger or the Wood Pit, etc. If this was a respiratory disease drawn from the atmosphere that killed a 30 year old, the place would be crawling with public health technicians.

    And, maybe it’s time to rejoin the conversation about licensing and taxing drugs like marijuana, heroin, etc. As noted in an immediately prior post, enforce the laws on building inspections, code enforcement, occupancy, vehicle registration, parking, outstanding warrants, etc

  68. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:02 am

    Yes. Let’s license drugs. Once that’s done all the drug dealers will cease their illegal business trade and get jobs at starbucks!

  69. POSTED BY whowantwhat  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:20 am

    Only 2 ways this hood improves. (i) The town simply razes it. (ii) The residents collectively check themselves and come together as a community.

    The town is worthless, more cops won’t do a thing. I would rather see money go to support local businesses and jobs anyway.

    This one is on the community, they will either come together and work on these issues or sit back and let the crack deals, crime, and the less frequent however super concerning violent crimes continue.

    The thing that boggles my mind is this. While these streets are gangster they are otherwise surrounded by nice areas with a decent school system. Its not like these kids have to go to school in central LA or Detroit. Fixing this problem should not be hard.

  70. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    “The town is worthless, more cops won’t do a thing.”

    I disagree. Put walking beat cop in that neighborhood and a substation.

  71. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    Paolo: Experiments like this have been tried (see Vancouver) with much controversy and mixed success. It’s not a solution. The solution is for people to complain and take back their neighborhoods.

  72. POSTED BY kay  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    @Nana, that is an interesting point. There are other parts of town that also seem to have a number of deteriorating multi-family homes with slumlord owners (my own nabe included). I wonder…if the slumlords cleaned up their yards, scrubbed the algae off the siding and generally provided a functional apartment that didn’t constantly break down, maybe the tenants would stop stacking their porches with junk and allowing the skunks and raccoons to distribute their garbage all over the street!

    However, I have to believe that a strong police presence where trouble most often brews would be a great start.

  73. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    Perhaps the answer is to do something about the slumlords. Fine them. Heavily. Maybe the council could focus on trying to make neighborhoods safe for tenants, as well as streets safe for pedestrians and bikes.

  74. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    Mrs. M is correct. The residents of the area should organize themselves and demand that action be taken. They need to take back the neighborhood from the criminals and lawbreakers, and give the police the support that they need to make some tough calls. The crime doesn’t start with the money changing hands in a drug deal, when the car is stolen, or when the body lies dead in the street. Police need the support of residents to make life difficult for the would-be lawbreakers, and we need the support of the judicial system in Newark which is proving ineffective at keeping these thugs off of the streets.

    As to the “slumlords’” they need an economic incentive to improve properties. They could be fined for lack of maintenence, but at the end of the day, they aren’t babysitters. Renters are responsible for themselves. This is an area where the town’s low income housing resources could better be put to use.

  75. POSTED BY Mrs Martta  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    And it’s more than just removing and locking up a couple of drug dealers. Follow the money. Who stands to benefit from the drug dealing? It’s not just the corner kids. Where does it lead?

  76. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    Sincere condolences to the families touched by this tragedy.
    Perhaps what is needed is the presence of an emergency task force of strong caring adult volunteers to work with these young guys in the Mission Street Area. I think that the local police are already doing just as much as they can do. This is’nt really about dangerous mature experienced criminals shooting at each other…these are ordinary kids…teens and twenty yr olds who just dont understand the severity and fatality of what they are doing with guns. Guns and killing have superficially become icons and fads of street life. These youths need attention and mentoring even in the most basic of consepts like what shooting a person with a gun means and how many lives, as well as their own that they’re ruining by that act…that they dont really understand in the first place. I wish that I knew the right solution, but its not more police or demolishing the neighborhood. There are great minds and good people in the immediate area, like Reverend Elisabeth Campbell. Mrs. Wineglass…good business owners, like Lance and Kim at the Wood Pit. The young guys hanging out, these young minds that are well on their way to messing up need immediate attendion…adult attention..a sort of “moral addoption” and education by good intentioned strong adults who they can listen to and trust….otherwise they will only trust and listen to themselves and keep on living the way they live….as I said, I wish that I had the right solution.

  77. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    There is an interesting analysis of the economics of drug dealing the the book “Freakonomics.” The structure is like a steep sided pyramid with a smart and charismatic leader. Virtually all of the risk is taken by the street level “soldiers,” while all of the cash flows to the boss. The incentive for most street level dealers is access to free drugs rather than economic, since they keep very little of the proceeds, hence most of them live with their parents. If they are caught, they can immediately be replaced while the fellow running the show stays well insulated by the organizational structure. Ratting out the boss is worse than jail, so the beat goes on.

  78. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 09, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    These “ordinary” kids need some special counseling to “understand” the ramifications of drug dealing and shooting someone dead?

  79. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 09, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    I wish that I had a solution…these are kids that need good adult supervision and education…this is what I think ROC…they dont understand.

  80. POSTED BY yourkiddingright  |  February 09, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    I yanked my daughter out of Glenfield so fast your head would spin within her first weeks attending. Of course i had many reasons, the biggest being it is a high crime area.
    The area is a crime ridden ghetto that just gets worse at night. Make no mistake, its all about drugs and territory not much else, think Mexico. It is infiltrated by members from East Orange, Newark, South Orange and has become a target rich environment for a lot of money changing hands. Montclair kids have money, they also like to get high more than most kids because they can afford to. So can their parents. The pot epidemic in Montclair is completely disproportionate to say Nutley or even Clifton…So where you have a lot of drugs,and money, you have a lot of dealers. I really do not know why anyone here is surprised, please try to remember that all the drugs have now transferred to South Mountain, Highland, and Valley……. Mission is a drop point.

  81. POSTED BY nana  |  February 09, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    You got it, kay and jerseygurl – The Mayor needs to lead the Council in researching and developing a HOLISTIC QUALITY OF LIFE policy that Montclair will be assertive in making ALL neighborhoods liveable.

    The Fourth Ward Councilperson needs to ask the Township Manager to have
    (1) Planning and Tax Dept’s put together a map/list/report on the properties owned by absentee landlords;
    (2) ask the Police Dept correlate that map/list with high occurances (two or more) of drug-related crime, any violent crimes, domestic disturbances, or other variables they know that cause crime;
    (3) have Code Enforcement correlate that map/list with occurances of Code violations AND report what, if anything, was the resolution/fine/penalty. (4) have the Environmental official drive through the streets the afternoon/morning BEFORE and immediately AFTER Public Works does refuse and recycling to record (photos and notes) ALL sites that have not followed Township regulations for waste disposal.

    ALL four categories of these FACTS should be compiled into a concise and graphic fianl report by the Township Environmental Officer, approved by the Manager and Planning, with FULL input and cooperation from ALL relevant Departments.

    Then, the Council – ALL of them, but especially Mayor, At-Large and 4th Ward representatives – need to walk through the areas identified by the FACTS in this report AT NIGHT, and invite taxpaying homeowners and concerned tenants to walk with them. Stop assuming that non-profits (whose trustees and directors live elsewhere), and preachers represent all black people; they do not. Stop assuming that all of the offending absentee landlords are white, they are not.

    The Mayor and Fourth Ward Councilperson should discuss this report in a public meeting, with ALL Department Directors and Township Attorney present, then develop a policy and recommendations for legislation, departmental collaboration, or whatever i.e. INCREASE FINES on absentee landlords, get Courts to put slumlords in jail, etc.

    An Executive Summary of the report and the decisions, WITH the list of absentee landlords, should be posted in an easy to find location on Township website, because it is all public information – it is just scattered and used in a smart, visionary way.

  82. POSTED BY oliver  |  February 09, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

    Nana for Mayor!

  83. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 09, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    Some of the council members may be absentee landlords.

  84. POSTED BY button85  |  February 09, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    I have to be honest- Most of the comments following this INNOCENT man’s death have made me cringe. The tone of most of these comments have said it all, and yet nothing about the REAL problem here. And then on to the integrity of this article from the completely inappropriate play on words to “He confirmed that the victim had a prior record of arrest, he said he did not know if the homicide was drug- or gang-related, as has been speculated by some news sources” all I can say is wow! He was previously arrested for all NON- drug related charges but when an African American male is gunned down in what you have all deemed the “ghetto” of Montclair it’s automatically drug related, I guess.

    Rest in peace to Ibn Futrell. I won’t allow him to be a stereotyped of what the “upper crest” of Montclair believes him to be.

  85. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 09, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Button, This man’s death is truly sad and tragic, but in civilized society people typically avoid getting arrested AT ALL. That’s part of the problem that you don’t seem to understand. People in that part of town seem to think that it’s ok to break the law. It’s not. Now, do us all a favor and tell your kids to stay out of gangs, out of trouble with the police, and obey the law. The consequences of doing otherwise are plain to see.

  86. POSTED BY zidarich  |  February 09, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    I second Nana for mayor.

  87. POSTED BY button85  |  February 09, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    Deadeye is it? Like I said- the above comments all allude to him dealing drugs and this shooting being drug related. But unfortunately the truth is- bullets don’t have names on them…this could’ve been anyone… from someone taking the Bus on Bloomfield Avenue or someone coming from the Bay street station parking their car around the vicinity. So my problem is “his previous arrests” are irrelevant to this situation. Not to mention, in a so-called civilized community/society via your “perfect” definition of one something like this would have never happened in the first place.

  88. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 09, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

    Yup.

  89. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 09, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Nana for Mayor, County Executive and Goveror!

  90. POSTED BY nana  |  February 09, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    I humbly express appreciation for the votes of confidence from our illustrious historian, FrankGG (Did you attend MHS between 1960 and 1963/64?), zidarich, or others. The name “nana” says it all – I am tired. Disclosure – my motivation for posts are that I have live in Montclair most of life, raised two children here (thank God they are normal, decent, people, educated, responsible, married BLACK men), like their ancestors. My motivation is that I am trapped by the irresponsible behavior of previous Code Enforcement, absentee landlords (again, of ALL colors, and yes, some of the names- private and non-profit lackeys, will SHOCK you ;)

    I have been begging public officials since the 30 yr railroad struggle peaked into the Midtown Direct, that if they did not pay attention to Code Enforcement in that area, it would be another slum/ghetto by the RR, OR it could be an economic engine. I stood, lonely, in favor of the RR as an economic engine to revitalize the area, but the public officials hired a DUD to do Code Enforcement, and her we are.

    Got to run do grandma duty. More later, maybe…:) Be good children!

  91. POSTED BY nana  |  February 09, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    Pay attention to the policies and practices of “favorite” NON-PROFIT AGENCIES posing as development saviors in that area. Pay close attention.

  92. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  February 09, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    Nana, I would go further than increasing fines – I would say the town should be able to use some kind of legal mechanism, undoubtedly already in place, to take the properties from owners that repeatedly don’t comply with basic maintenance. I mean, I can get fined if my grass is too high, or my side walk is cracked in Upper Montclair, so why should this neighborhood be held to a different standard?

  93. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 09, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    Thank you Nana! (MA/MKA ’76 and I was born at St. Vincent’s on Washington St ’59…so I am a South End baby!) I am very very grateful for your legacy, for the tireless hard work and for all the good that you do. (i speak in the present because we still need you!!!!….and somehow, I know, even though you may be tired….you’ll never stop caring and doing positive actions for us!!) Perhaps you can act as Mayor seated comfortably …on line. Everything that you have suggested here should be implemented in order to improve the current grave situations. I would gladly participate in any mentoring outreach that you find time to do. (I would even drive for you! Seriously!) We need you Nana. Much love.

  94. POSTED BY oliver  |  February 09, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Nana, I hope you are telling Renee Baskerville everything you have said here–and that she’s listening. She hosts lots of community meetings; I don’t know if anything comes out of them.

    To those who paint Mission St. and the surrounding area with a broad brush: yes, there are some very unsavory folks around there. There are also decent, hard-working, honest people who can’t afford to live in a safer, prettier area. Be careful about the assumptions you make.

    Also, take a look at the police blotter over the past few months. You might be surprised at the addresses (if they had been printed) of some of those arrested for possession or dealing or other iffy activity–nowhere near the 4th ward. So let’s keep our minds open, OK?

  95. POSTED BY verr  |  February 10, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT A RARE SPECIES OF HUMAN BEINGS FOR PEOPLE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH!!…THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS JUST LIKE YOU AND I…THE TONE THIS HAS TAKEN IS DISGUSTING! MONTCLAIR IS THE FARTHEST THING FROM NEWARK AND YOU ALL KNOW IT…IVE NEVER HEARD OF AN INCIDENT AT BULLOCK SINCE IT OPENED…IF UR SCARED OF BLACK PEOPLE YOU SHOULD BUY A TIME MACHINE AND GO BACK TO THE DECADES WHERE PEOPLE WERE IGNORANT TO LUMP EVERYONE TOGETHER…WE LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER N WE SHOULD FIX SOCIAL PROBLEMS TOGETHER…I MOVED TO MONTCLAIR BECAUSE I HAD A DIFFERENT IMPRESSION BUT THIS CONVERSATION HAS CONFIRMED THAT PURE RACISM LIVES IN THIS TOWN…AND I WONT EVER TOLERATE RACISM…AS IF WHITE IS BETTER AND WANTS MORE OUT OF LIFE THAN BLACK..I WILL NEVER VISIT THIS SUBURBAN RACIST SITE AGAIN…TAKE A NOTE FROM MANHATTAN…DIVERSITY AND COALITIONS OF PEOPLE WHO CARE AND WORK TOGETHER CREATE A WONDERFUL PLACE TO LIVE…RACISM AND FEAR CREATE MENTAL PRIONS…I LOVE HUMANITY AND I PLAN TO MOVE FROM MONTCLAIR NOT BECAUSE OF A HOMICIDE IN A NORMALLY CHARMING TOWN BECAUSE THIS TOWN IS NO DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER SUBURBAN ESSEX TOWNS…CRIME=BLACK…RIDICULOUS

  96. POSTED BY verr  |  February 10, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    ALSO I HAVE SEEN MANY PEOPLE OF ALL RACES LOOKING FOR MARIJUANA AND OTHER DRUGS IN THE AREA…MANY OF THE CUSTOMERS ARE NOT BLACK…THE DRUG PROBLEM IS AN AMERICAN PROBLEM BUT I GUESS THE SELLER GETS THE BLAME AND THE WHITE HEROIN USER GETS IMMUNITY BECAUSE OF HIS WHITE FACE…STOP PRETENDING DRUGS IS A BLACK PROBLEM…SOME OF YOUR CHILDREN PROBABLY SMOKE MARIJUANA OR EVEN WORSE…IVE SEEN MANY TEENS GETTING HIGH AROUND CHURCH STREET OF ALL PLACES…YES CRIME IS HORRIBLE AND SHOULD BE ADDRESSED BUT TO SAY THAT PEOPLES HOMES SHOULD BE TORN DOWN…HOW DARE YOU…WHERE WILL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVENT DONE WRONG GO…A CRIMINAL IS A PERSON WHO LIVES ILLEGALLY AND THEY SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS AN INDIVIDUAL PERSON…NOT AS A BAD BLACK PERSON…A WHITE PEDAPHILE DOES NOT TRANSLATE INTO ALL WHITE MEN ARE PEDAPHILES EVEN THOUGH THE TELEVISION SEEMS TO SHOW MORE WHITE MALES…HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THE INCIDENT @ MKA?? HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF THERE WAS A PEDAPHILE IN UPPER MONTCLAIR AND ALL THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE SAID THE HOMES SHOULD BE TORN DOWN…YES THERE ARE PEDAPHILES AND THERE ARE DRUG DEALERS BUT TO DEMONIZE A RACE IS WRONG…

  97. POSTED BY verr  |  February 10, 2012 @ 10:33 pm

    MY CHILDREN WILL NOT BE RAISED AROUND RACIST FILTH AND I AM MOVING…I HATE CRIME BUT I HATE RACISM EVEN MORE…RACISM IS DANGEROUS…DEMOLISH A NEIGHBOURHOOD…(HITLER LIVES) WHY NOT LINE ALL THE RESIDENTS UP AND MAKE THEM WALK TO A GAS CHAMBER…AND IF THIS COMMENT OFFENDS YOU…THEN YOU NOW KNOW HOW I FELT WHEN I READ THE PREVIOUS RACIST COMMENTS…GOODBYE

  98. POSTED BY Tudlow  |  February 10, 2012 @ 11:42 pm

    verr, Bnet attracts nutters (it gives them a voice, a platform to spew their often fringe viewpoints, i.e., just read nboney’s stuff today) and the racist viewpoints on display on this thread do not in any way represent the majority in this town. Granted, there is a lot more “let’s raze the whole neighborhood” thoughts than there should be (even one person is too many but we’re talking humans here, a flawed species).

    I was just telling my husband that it upsets me that people who live in the neighborhood have to read the garbage on this thread–it’s offensive and disgusting.

    But it’s not the majority, please know that.

  99. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 11, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Montclair was founded, along with the mills (now the site of Glenfield School) like a big safe house. This was early to mid 1800s. Mission Street was workers housing for the mills. The Crane, Howe, Love and Davis families that came from England in the 1600s , were staunch abolitionists and mixed with both white and black branches of the family. The original local Dutch farmowners were against slavery and promoted education equality. The Loves founded the Methodist Episcopal Church, where the Washington Street YMCA was built in 1926. The Loves also founded an African American Bible Summer Camp in Caldwell as well as the American Univercity of Beirut. Israel Crane’s house became the first black YWCA and the site of St Mark’s Church. His daughter Mary’s house (now the Caggiano Funeral Home) was a destination point for families migrating from the south. The Howe family were farm real estate developers with the Cranes and were amongst the founding shareholders of Llewellyn Park. A large Howe farm property, at the South End of Montclair, was sold off and became a large workers housing development for the Thomas Edison factory in West Orange. The road to the Howe farm is now Howe St. in Montclair. Julia Howe, often staying in Montclair, guest of Harriet Beacher Stowe on North Mountain Avenue, wrote the Battle Hymm of the Republic.(an abolishionist anthem) The properties next door to the Stowe House was the Crane Homestead as well as the James Howe Property (The Freed Slave House) The Wildes, The Loves and the Howes all lived on the same block and their properties became the site of the public library and the United Way Building. No local accademic institution or organization has ever fully documented our history. It just remains in pieces of facts.

  100. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 11, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Sorry…I’m sleepy this morning…it was Lucy Stone’s house on North Mountain Avenue (but I’ll bet that H. Stowe visited there too!)

  101. POSTED BY PAZ  |  February 11, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    verr….sorry to see you go but if you read frankgg’s piece above you’d see the backstory of this area. get your keyboard fixed then delve into the hyperlocal history. there’s no utopia out there for you, it’s just what you do to make it a somewhat tolerable place to spend the rest of your life.
    live long and prosper.

  102. POSTED BY Purple Tribe  |  February 11, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    Definitely a lot of people on this thread are coming across as racist.

    The word “ghetto” still exists in other parts of the world, even on the beautiful island of Venice, but the context on this blog made me cringe from embarrassment that educated (or perhaps not so educated) adults are basing a horrible crime on race and geography within one town.

    What about the man who killed his two children and then hanged himself a couple of years ago on Claremont away from the “ghetto”? How about the Watchung post office massacre in UPPER Montclair? What about the suicides that are rarely reported but are unfolding in the area? What about the frequent heroin busts happening near the high school? There are crimes happening in other areas of this crumbling town but no one is willing to be honest about it.

    The comments on this thread are unreal and it saddens me to read such hurtful comments about other human beings. I’ve traveled around the world and seen poverty. I’ve worked on community planning projects in areas of Brooklyn India, North Africa and Asia that most of you would never step foot in because its beneath you and your snotty “we’re better than them” attitude. To me, Mission Street is a mild version of the reality far beyond the borders of Montclair.

    I’ve said this before and I will say it again, the poorly thought out motto of “Where the Suburb Meets the City” is a bunch of absolute garbage if you are not prepared to face the reality of the CITY. You can’t have a homogenized suburb AND the wash out the dynamics of the city at the same time.

    The victim and his family need support to cope with the lost. This is a tragic crime from every perspective. HAVE SOME COMPASSION. Just because people live in poverty or an area that doesn’t “meet the approval” of pompous elitists, doesn’t mean they should be subjected to violence and social exclusion.

    The rest of the community needs to decide to do something proactive rather than criticize the poor and isolate one part of our “diverse community” whenever they see fit.

    Interested in how long crime has been a part of society? Perhaps a trip to the “National Museum of Crime” in Washington DC will enlighten you or skimming through one of your children’s history textbooks will do the trick.

    Engaging in this lynch mob mentality (based on race and geography of where the crime happened) is disturbing by all accounts.

    Some cliff notes on basic civility, social responsibility, helping those in need and finding some compassion for those less fortunate wouldn’t hurt any of you either.

    “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” ~ Mother Teresa

  103. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 11, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    Could someone call Wayne Whitfield’s house and tell them that Wayne won’t be home for a few years. He had a little mishap. It seems like the bag of money that he was stealing from the bank across from Mission Street exploded. Now he’s all covered with red dye, and had to give the money back to the police. And would you believe it, in an overtly racist act, he was arrested and hauled off to the pokey. Some people never get a break…

  104. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 11, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    Verr, You might want to look into Irvington or Vailsburg. In those places they’ve stopped caring about crime so much. It will give you a nice break from those of us who place a higher value on civil behavior than seems to suit you.

  105. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 11, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

    Purple Tribe: When one knows the perpetrator of a crime and that person’s location(geography), that’s called an ARREST, not racism. :-)

  106. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  February 11, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

    Thank you frankgg, for your (always) informative posts.
    It’s worth knowing that Montclair’s early days of leafy prosperity owed something to the humble folks that lived their lives within that now troubled slice of Baristaville called Mission Street.

  107. POSTED BY verr  |  February 12, 2012 @ 1:41 am

    @ paz my keyboard works fine…thanks for the concern(rolls eyes)…@deadeye you seem to make comments as if your an attention starved very lonely person…lol…if making comments like a moron makes you feel important than more power to you…your a joke…

    @purple tribe i appreciated your comment :)

    i am getting ready to go into the city and enjoy life…i will make sure to beware of the horrific ‘newark-like’ ‘black crime’ in montclair on my way to the train station and make sure to sit next to the always perfect ‘white wholesome goodness’ on the ride in…lol

    please continue to have a great “dialogue” and best!

  108. POSTED BY verr  |  February 12, 2012 @ 1:41 am

    please continue to have a great “dialogue” and best!

  109. POSTED BY nana  |  February 14, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    Spiro – thank you for adding that footnote to FrankGG’s incredible history lesson. I cannot speak for others on this thread.

    My use of the description “designated ghetto” (I use this often) is an HISTORICAL reference to the neighborhood under discussion (I grew up there). That area – Maple, Mission, New, Washington, Fulton, Miller, etc. – was home to a few types of people. In economic terms, we were, still are, the blue and pink collar working and moderate-income-middle class – Mill workers, service workers, retail, healthcare, skilled craftsmen. Also included, further (East?) in the South Ward white collar, licensed professionals and skilled craftsmen, RN’s, business owners, etc. Shops on lower Bloomfield Avenue were owned by people from all the race/ethnic people who also lived in the area; most importantly, who OWNED PROPERTY that they or their relatives LIVED in.

    Sociologically – We were ALL either black Americans (migrants in the Great Migration at turn of Century), or Caribbean, Italians and Jewish. It was technically a ghetto because ALL the residents were deliberately excluded from owning or renting property or small businesses in other parts of town – absolutely excluded from 07043 Zip Code area above Watchung Avenue. In reality, it was a decent place to live, work and play, because it was full of diverse people with the same goals – to “give their families a piece of the American dream.” Im

    Later, as generations died or moved on, properties in the Mission, New, etc. area were passed down or sold, to adult children or investors whose stake became strictly monetary. More recently, as economic opportunities increased in other places, and small business in retail, coal, restaurants, laundry & dry cleaning, records, yielded to malls and now the Internet, two things happened. The working and middle class left, the absentee landlords rented to a different economic strata – mentally or socially disabled people dependent on Entitlements (landlords collect regular checks), and people who could pay high cash – drug dealers developed concentrations of social dysfunction, which means chaos and random violence.

    Even when certain non-profits first began to “rehab” buildings, they did not train the residents, and they rented to the same totally marginal, dysfunctional, drug-dealers -addicted people – until the few working people who remained complained. However, as late as this summer, I received complaints from elderly residents living in buildings purchased by rich, distant investors and “managed” by non-profits, renting to KNOWN drug-dealers, addicts, dysfunctional people who throw garbage and chairs all around, who fight and carouse at all hours, etc.

    For at least the last two decades, the Township has done next to nothing about this socio-economic imbalance. Planning, Code, the Court and the good deed doers, who live in the Quality of Life Zones in Town, have assumed that Maple, Mission, New, et al, were there to absorb the chaos and dysfunction that the folks in their offices and on their Boards do not want to LIVE next door to. On one street, the WORSE building is owned by two black police officers! The second worse is managed by a person representing an agency that the Township thinks is the savior of re-development. THAT IS BECAUSE NONE OF THESE TOWN OFFICIALS TALK TO THE ACTUAL HOME OWNERS AND TENANTS. SEVERAL GOT ELECTED WITHOUT EVEN SETTING FOOT IN THE AREA! NONE of them live in the area. Some even condone violations that diminish safety for children in the area.

    Our public workers do not understand that enforcement of laws for environmental and lifestyle quality must be enforced FIRST. Debris, loitering, noise, graffitti, filth invite people who have criminal, chaotic, ignorant behavior – of ALL races. At one point, I offered to buy copies of The Tipping Point for a former police chief because they are trained to react to criminal behavior – less so to be proactive, and work with other agencies to re-create stable environments.

    I think that vision and cool-headed, clear-headed deliberations based on facts, minus grand-standing and fake opportunism disguised as charity, would help Township officials make a long-term plan to regain quality of life in the neighborhood.

    And, yes, good parenting must be the FIRST PRIORITY for any of us who have children. There is NO excuse for men – Marching to Washington – but not getting married and staying home to raise their children. That is no better than the hypocrisy of the wealthy, white men. Poor men stayed home, everyone ate beans or pasta, and raised their damn children to live with respect for themselves and their neighbors.

  110. POSTED BY nana  |  February 14, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    Sorry for the long tome.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you who care enough to even think about the state of humanity in our towns! :)

  111. POSTED BY whowantwhat  |  February 14, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

    Good post Nana, recommendations on fixing the status quo? It seems like there was a race to the bottom amongst absentee land lords and we have hit bottom.

  112. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 14, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

    Happy Valentine’s day nana!!!!

    Sorry for the long tome? Your are words from the heart and are important fruit of astute intelligent observation of a lifetime living in the Fourth Ward. Whowantwhat asked you for recommendations on fixing the status quo?….. I’m reposting what you stated before because these are valuable GUIDELINES as to the only real way to fix the problem…..(I also LOVE the historical description) i love the Fourth Ward too and can remember visiting friends of my mother who attended Newark Teacher’s College with her….and the real live train station…and Wollenskis ….and the live chicken store…and the beautiful estates….
    I love the Fourth Ward (where I was born) and it reminds me a bit of Naples italy where my ancestors came from….its a place of extremes…..Nobility, richness and misery…all at once.

    POSTED BY nana | FEBRUARY 09, 2012 @ 12:40 PM
    You got it, kay and jerseygurl – The Mayor needs to lead the Council in researching and developing a HOLISTIC QUALITY OF LIFE policy that Montclair will be assertive in making ALL neighborhoods liveable.

    The Fourth Ward Councilperson needs to ask the Township Manager to have
    (1) Planning and Tax Dept’s put together a map/list/report on the properties owned by absentee landlords;
    (2) ask the Police Dept correlate that map/list with high occurances (two or more) of drug-related crime, any violent crimes, domestic disturbances, or other variables they know that cause crime;
    (3) have Code Enforcement correlate that map/list with occurances of Code violations AND report what, if anything, was the resolution/fine/penalty. (4) have the Environmental official drive through the streets the afternoon/morning BEFORE and immediately AFTER Public Works does refuse and recyg to record (photos and notes) ALL sites that have not followed Township regulations for waste disposal.

    ALL four categories of these FACTS should be compiled into a concise and graphic fianl report by the Township Environmental Officer, approved by the Manager and Planning, with FULL input and cooperation from ALL relevant Departments.

    Then, the Council – ALL of them, but especially Mayor, At-Large and 4th Ward representatives – need to walk through the areas identified by the FACTS in this report AT NIGHT, and invite taxpaying homeowners and concerned tenants to walk with them. Stop assuming that non-profits (whose trustees and directors live elsewhere), and preachers represent all black people; they do not. Stop assuming that all of the offending absentee landlords are white, they are not.
    The Mayor and Fourth Ward Councilperson should discuss this report in a public meeting, with ALL Department Directors and Township Attorney present, then develop a policy and recommendations for legislation, departmental collaboration, or whatever i.e. INCREASE FINES on absentee landlords, get Courts to put slumlords in jail, etc.

    An Executive Summary of the report and the decisions, WITH the list of absentee landlords, should be posted in an easy to find location on Township website, because it is all public information – it is just scattered and used in a smart, visionary way.

  113. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  February 15, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    I think we all make a mistake when we count on the town council to solve or do anything about a socio-economic problem such as crime related correlated poverty. They have almost no power except to discuss and focus attention and sometimes obstruct by indecision. Landlords pressured to do something about their tenants have almost no power. Jail them? They will perhaps try to sell before being jailed. What kind of market do you imagine exists for such real estate? If the tenants pay the rent, they have rights to continued habitation. Making people behave according to someone elses ideas can come from peer pressure, or from the police if violations occur, and maybe from economics if rent goes unpaid or income drys up.
    It could be that the victim in the murder was unintended. Loud and noisy does not always end in murder. A truly diverse community must have truly diverse occurances. Otherwise we would live in Disney World or Millburn where nothing untoward happens. Even Verona has its violence, such as a woman found dead at the bottom of her stairs. As Charleton Heston once said, “It’s people!”

  114. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 15, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    ” think we all make a mistake when we count on the town council to solve or do anything about a socio-economic problem such as crime related correlated poverty. ”

    I disagree. The council hires the manager who is in charge of the police force. The council sets the budget which funds the police force.

  115. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  February 15, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

    Like I said, the council has no power to take action, but yes to calling attention to and fostering discussion. They approve the manager who approves the police chief. I don’t believe the council tells the police how to do their job, thankfully. Do you believe the council can call for more arrests on Mission St somehow? Better for citizens to call the police and ask them to do their job.

  116. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 15, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    Town Councils cannot do anything about solving socio economic problems or crime related correlated poverty. I feel that it is “a MUST” to do what nana is saying about enforcing codes and regulations for landlords. The situation is SHAMEFULL and there is no excuse… the landlords and the township are both to blame. (i’ve witnessed this first hand when working on properties on New Street.) New mayors and other elected officials would save a lot of time, embarrassment and perhaps even lives if they were to implement nana’s guidelines.

    The hidden factor in resolving the crime renders the situation almost impossible for the police or local government to resolve….its the fact that Deadeye mentioned previously)

    POSTED BY deadeye | FEBRUARY 09, 2012 @ 10:42 AM
    There is an interesting analysis of the economics of drug dealing the the book “Freakonomics.” The structure is like a steep sided pyramid with a smart and charismatic leader. Virtually all of the risk is taken by the street level “soldiers,” while all of the cash flows to the boss. The incentive for most street level dealers is access to free drugs rather than economic, since they keep very little of the proceeds, hence most of them live with their parents. If they are caught, they can immediately be replaced while the fellow running the show stays well insulated by the organizational structure. Ratting out the boss is worse than jail, so the beat goes on.

  117. POSTED BY Right of Center  |  February 15, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    “Do you believe the council can call for more arrests on Mission St somehow?”

    What precisely is the point of an elected body of representatives if not to address problems like this?

    They could establish this as a high priority for the manager and if he does not rise to the occasion, replace him. This could be made clear to him. They could raise the level of funding of the police if necessary.

  118. POSTED BY wildwoodben  |  February 16, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    You might be right letting the codes in place be the leverage for improving things. But the council can only pass a resolution. Not that discussing it doesn’t have value, it does. Throwing more money at it? Ummmm, let’s try something else first.

  119. POSTED BY nana  |  February 19, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    Wow! Perhaps we can agree that this discourse is “democracy in action.”

    Hope I do not loose my train of thought – It is Sunday, the Day of Rest, and, although I am not a “Bible Thumper” I have read The Good Book more than once, and agree that it is good to have a day of rest. That is my (opportunistic?) disclaimer :)

    As I understand it (based on a double Master’s degree in Human Resources and Public Management), the Council does not “dictate,” it sets policy (which governs Public sector procedures and practices), and passes on municipal legislation (Ordinances), to implement the “will of the electorate.” Therefore, the Council has real power to set policy (direction) and legislation (law) that the Police and other Township Departments are obligated to implement and/or enforce.

    Under our Council-Manager form of government, the Council hires a Manager and assigns him/her authority to manage the town’s business based on the policies and ordinances established, in accordance with state and federal laws.

    That is why I repeatedly said, the Council must request that the Manager direct Township department directors to research a report, etc.

    Does Montclair have the collective political will to act on our rhetoric? We are diverse, blah, blah. Are WE – of all races and classes – willing to face our own truth?

    I dunno –

    I think nana has had one Vodka too many, with too many hours of wondering what the hell Rick Santorum is talking about.

    I’ll pass – See ya’ll.

    Rest in peace poor little girl, Whitney Houston, of the Heavenly Voice with Earthly Weaknesses. Thank you for your song, and your life which could spark an introspective debate on how, why so many black people of good will cannot do better with mental and emotional health issues.

  120. POSTED BY frankgg  |  February 20, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    Perhaps good will cannot do much for you when the burden of very high expectations stemming from a privileged background and success make you stumble and fall….and you’re too tired and afraid to get back on your feet again.

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