Under Siege, a St. Paul Neighborhood Needs Answers

Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, August 15, 2013

The firecracker-like gunshots at night have been more constant since the warm weather arrived in late May.

“You can see the flashes here and there,” said Constance, not her real name because, as her mother put it to me, she “does not want to end up dead or the house burned down” if I identify her by name.

Fearing one day an errant bullet might strike her home, Constance’s kids no longer watch the TV or play video games in the main-level living room. They are upstairs, hopefully away from the line of fire. Roving bands of youths congregate near the home her grandparents have owned for more than 80 years, brazenly blocking traffic or daring motorists to hit them.

Constance, who lives near the site where a 26-year-old man was brutally beaten by a gang of thugs Aug. 4 in St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood, feels as if she’s living in Baghdad or Damascus, not in the Saintly City.

She has witnessed neighbors’ doors and windows knocked down or broken by burglars who take off with TVs and other valuables. Other homes have been stripped of copper wiring. A few weeks ago, the single mother’s 9-year-old son, shooting hoops at a nearby park, was roughed up by a group of juveniles for no reason.

The response to her calls to police about the gunfire and break-ins demoralized her to the point she no longer bothers to dial 911.


Perhaps the response to the beating of Ray Widstrand might change things for the better in a neighborhood that, in the past month, had the most reported crimes per 1,000 residents than any other in the city.


Widstrand–assaulted after he walked through a group of 40 to 50 juveniles and young adults that spilled out of a house party near Minnehaha and Payne avenues to watch two girls fight–suffered critical blows to the head and may have suffered permanent brain damage. He opened and closed one eye for the first time Wednesday after he came out of an induced coma, according to his Caringbridge.org page.

St. Paul police have arrested four juveniles and a 19-year-old man, reportedly members of the East Side Boys gang, or its affiliate, Ham Crazy, in the vicious assault. {snip}


Gang violence here may not be on the scale of Chicago or Los Angeles, but, over the years, it has snuffed out lives and left other victims scarred for life.


All the incidents led to long prison terms for the assailants and prompted calls for stepped-up police action and other efforts at community meetings like the one that will take place Thursday night in the wake of the Widstrand assault.


“No question these hoodlums have been getting bigger and bolder and out of control in that area for over a year, blocking traffic, harassing people,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not permitted to speak publicly without advance approval from the department.

The cop also added that colleagues working the East Side feel their hands are tied by police leadership they suspect is more concerned about community backlash if they aggressively enforce curfew and other quality-of-life laws.

“Look, recreation centers are fine and they may help, but these (gang members) don’t go to rec centers,” said the officer. “It’s not all law enforcement, but in this case right now, the hammer needs to come down on these people.”

He also noted a lack of outrage, particularly from the African-American community, over the recent beating, but more so the gang-related slaying of a 17-year-old youth by another last month in the same area. Both were black. The suspects in the Widstrand beating also belong to a predominantly black gang.

“I know its not their sole responsibility, but I’m frustrated, for example, when the (African-American) leaders in the community show up to march and protest and wear hoodies because of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, but I don’t hear a word when things like this happen in this city,” he said. “This is not normal behavior, whether it’s black, white or Asian kids. But right now, it’s not white, Latino or Asian kids doing this.”



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  • Erasmus

    Any comments from Rev’rum $harptons and Jack$on and Obama yet? I thought not.

    These men are the countries three biggest racists. What else would you call a person who supports a criminal, Trayvon Martin, because he looks just like them over a man defending himself from being murdered, George Zimmerman, because he doesn’t?

    Racism is alive and well in the United States, and it now has its HQ at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    • negrolocaust

      the only heroes the blacks have are criminals, psychopathic animal abusers, or deviants and the like: the pedophile serial molester michael jackson, rodney king, oj simpson, m. vick, tavon martin; because blacks are criminals. name one black scientist in math or physics or biology. you cannot. and you never will be able to. the only time blacks achieve are when they are forced into a position by affirmative action, politically pressured into a position or voted in. they cannot compete with others. they know it we know it. they will never have the courage to admit it.

  • Puggg

    “A St. Paul neighborhood needs answers”

    I have your answer. The answer is black. Get them out of your city, and things will get a lot better.

    “Hands are tied by police leadership…concerned about community backlash”

    It’s called B.R.A., or Black Run St. Paul.

    “Gang members don’t go to rec centers”

    Actually these gangs kind of get their starts in rec centers, because that’s where black yoots gather.

    • baldowl

      “Concerned about blacklash,” it should read.

      Look who’s holding the whip now.

      • Room101

        I didn’t google who said it, but there’s an old quote that ‘you shall know who rules you by who you may not criticise.’
        The gigantic prison formerly known as the USA is under a horrific and punishing blacklash.
        What a great neologism.

        • baldowl

          Thanks. I think the quote originated with Voltaire.

      • cablegirls

        Backlash? Over these people committing some of the worst kinds of crimes, and otherwise making pests of themselves by their mere presence? Deal with the backlash, St. Paul. Don’t most of your citizens want you to?

  • serious123

    Well St Paul, how do like that diversity you have preaching to the country for years? Invite some more minorities and help save my city.

  • JohnEngelman

    “This is not normal behavior, whether it’s black, white or Asian kids. But right now, it’s not white, Latino or Asian kids doing this.”

    – Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, August 15, 2013

    In other words, it is normal behavior for black kids.

    • Spartacus

      Of course it is – and if you say it’s not right, then you’re a cultural imperialist. Shame on you !

  • Easyrhino1

    “Widstrand — assaulted after he walked through a group of 40 to 50 juveniles and young adults that spilled out of a house party near Minnehaha and Payne avenues to watch two girls fight — suffered critical blows to the head and may have suffered permanent brain damage.”

    I think this guy was brain damaged before anyone laid a hand on him. What the hell was he thinking?

    • kjh64

      This guy wasn’t very smart. If I saw 40-50 Blacks fighting, I’d leave pronto. As a matter of fact, I’d quickly leave if it were that many Whites or any other non-Blacks fighting.

      • negrolocaust

        im thinking he might be a liberal. due to his job at a PUBLIC ACCESS tv station i took that to mean public broadcasting. like zimmerman; an obama voter and registered dem, many liberals have never been around ghetto blacks, they come from well off homes where the blacks the few blacks that is they ever met were like the cosby kids so they move into a black area thinking these blacks are the same and the problem is the media and authorities cover up the real way blacks are so they just dont know until they are in the hospital. they expect blacks to behave like everyone else . in zimmermans case he never expected the typical black reaction to his wanting to ask martin a simple question. this guy likely thought he could walk past a group of blacks without getting jumped.

        • cablegirls

          Public access tv is free access by the local public to one or a few dedicated channels. It’s typically required, by the locality, of the contracted tv providers, such as Comcast and Time-Warner, who provide those channels and the production facilities. Programming is typically community oriented; public affairs, specialized news, local clubs and interests, the arts, etc.

    • Puggg

      He didn’t go there to watch them fight. He was passing along and a bunch of yoots decided to gang up and get the white guy.

    • negrolocaust

      he might have been a hipster liberal moving into a black neighborhood thinking it is the hip and cool thing to do . and if you understand the psychology of many leftists they are self haters so to them getting beaten by blacks is just payback for past wrongs by whites. he might not have thought like this but most leftists do. and many leftists would excuse these blacks and forgive them etc and eventually even blame themselves. it is the sickness of being a liberal it is mental illness.

      • cablegirls

        Many or most of the kind of whites you’re talking about have bought into the notion that young blacks aren’t nearly as violent as “those conservatives and racists” make them out to be. Oftentimes, of course, those who come to understand the true nature of these street kids find out the hard way, and convert.

  • dd121

    These are the same “kids” they want to section 8 to a neighborhood near you.

    • bigone4u

      That’s why whites need guns and the will to use them when necessary.

      • Non Humans

        Check! Aaaaand Check! What else do we need? Maybe some cameras about the property to catch the future scientists when they cross the line and the line (rightfully) crosses them back top prevent any future Trayboon fever. (Check!)

  • Spartacus

    “Look, recreation centers are fine and they may help…”


    No, they don’t .This mythical rec center that solves the “youth’s” problems is just a moronic idea that’s being laughed at everywhere anyone hears about it. You want those people to live without fearing they may be killed at any time? Your solution is simple – Round up all blacks, and then either sterilize, deport or execute them. Everything else is bull**** .

    • Luca

      “Your solution is simple – Round up all blacks, and then either sterilize, deport or execute them.”

      I’m going with “all of the above”.

      • Spartacus

        Preferably at the same time.

        • CoweringCoward

          Twice, just in case any of the measures were less than perfectly implemented.

          Reminds me of an old joke, went something to the effect of

          Mr. Peterson, I have horrible news sir. Your wife has died here in Cancun. Would you like the body cremated, embalmed, or just buried?
          “All THREE, TAKE NO CHANCES” barks back Mr. Peterson.

        • tickyul

          WRONG….we all need to work harder at cherishing the diversity Urban Americans bring to the USA!!!!!!!!

          Signed: Libstinker

  • din_do_nuffins

    “What happens when a white man walks into the most dangerous neighborhood in St. Paul?”

    Should have said, “What happens when a White man is so blinded by privilege that he can walk into the most dangerous neighborhood in St. Paul?”

  • NeanderthalDNA

    “This is not normal behavior, whether it’s black, white or Asian kids. But right now, it’s not white, Latino or Asian kids doing this.”
    Yeah, give that poor ol scorpion a ride to the other side…then recoil in horror when he stings you to death for a thanks…its in his nature.

    That IS normal black behavior, buddy. How long you been policing, Mr. Minnesota man? Not long enough to appreciate the congenial congenital nature of the negro, obviously…

  • Anglokraut

    Minnesota gets what it asked for: vibrant diversity to offset its hideous whiteness, and all the pathology that comes with that diversity.

    They made their bed, and now they must lie in it.

  • 1proactive2

    Because of the black responses to the Trayvon Martin killing, black “youths” feel even more empowered. Imagine if you hit one of the street blockers with your car, harming him or her. The Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, and the Oprah Winfreys would be on the air and out in force. The street savages know they’re covered, and should the worst happen to one of them, media sainthood awaits.

    • Sick of it

      They’ve already figured out that the police won’t be there to protect people most of the time.

  • bigone4u

    The scary part of this story is not that blacks are violent animals, but that the police have their hands tied by the politicians. When I was growing up in the Deep South, we were told that northern Negroes were different from our southern Negroes. Northern Negroes were just like whites because of integration in the north. What a LIE that was.

    • ncpride

      That’s funny because I had a Northerner tell me after a visit down South that he found Southern blacks to be more polite and well behaved than Northern blacks, and he suspected it was because of our history of dealing with them harshly. I don’t know about all that, seeing as we’ve had our fair share of black racial violence as well.

  • Luca

    Nothing new here, simply stone-age, savage, sociopathic DNA at work again. And so another city starts to enjoy the fruits of diversity.

    This huge liberal experiment called desegregation has not worked. But liberals never let facts, history, or common sense enter into their thought processes. If they were in charge of the city zoo they would be putting the lions and the rabbits in the same cage and trying to convince the rabbits that their is no reason why they can’t all live together in perfect harmony.

  • ViktorNN

    Another absent minded white guy who forgot to take his white privilege with him when he left the house.

  • baldowl

    I’ve just learned that my cousin was last Saturday night assaulted by three blacks in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. Walking to his friend’s apartment when he was accosted by three ni– ni– ni– black fellows who demanded his wallet. He refused, and one of them grabbed him by the neck. My cousin proceeded to–his words, censored–“f*** up one as bad as I got it,” before being bludgeoned in the face with a baseball bat by one of the other ones. He woke up in a pool of his own blood, managed to drag himself to his friend’s apartment; and the friend took him to the ER. 35 stitches around his mouth and nose.
    “I’d have argued your point in the first place,” he tells me, “but this certainly strengthens your case.” My point, of course, is AROUND BLACKS, NEVER RELAX.
    I’m so absolutely furious right now, but equally relieved that my cousin survived, and that it wasn’t one of my female relatives who’d had the encounter. God only knows what might have happened to one of them.

  • thatcher76

    I’ve always thought they should do the following sting operation: Take a white undercover cop, dress him up like John Q. Whitey, then march him through neighborhoods like this while a fake UPS truck full of a SWAT unit waits nearby. Then when one of the “youths” tries to sucker punch him, out comes the SWAT team, tasers sparking and pepper-spray blasting.

    • Puggg

      They used to do that in Detroit, it was called S.T.R.E.S.S. Coleman Young vocally opposed it when he ran for Mayor in 1973, he won, and had the DPD dismantle S.T.R.E.S.S.

    • negrolocaust

      nice idea problem is most police departments aren’t even recruiting or hiring white male cops. the flatly state they want anyone but white males and the other options woman hispanics etc even asians are all on the side of blacks. same with military and fire department. i called the cops a few months ago a black woman and hispanic cop showed up. from now on i take care of things myself.

  • pcmustgo

    Was Widstrand Black or White? Didn’t get that from the wording…

  • Truthseeker

    Wake up, white liberals. You think everyone just wants to get along and have equality with everybody else. Sorry, that isn’t how the human mind works. Everyone is competitive. Everyone wants to be better than the next guy.

    Blacks aren’t just like you with a different outer appearance. Most of them weren’t brought up to value fairness and love their fellow man, especially not the ones who populate the ‘hood. Most of them have grown up being taught that whites are their enemies, and they have antagonistic feelings toward you simply because of your race. Their whole worldview is based on the idea that they’ve been wronged, and people like you deserve to pay for it.

    People who carry this bitterness with them every day don’t have a clue on how to handle power, especially when it’s basically handed to them by grovelling liberal whites. The more unearned power blacks get, the more likely they are to abuse it. They’ll disrupt people’s lives because it’s within their ability to do so, and exercising power makes them feel important. They’ll beat up a random white person because they think he deserves it, and it gives them a thrill. They want whatever pleasure or material goods they’re capable of getting, because that’s how the human mind works at its most basic level, and their poverty is likely a result of low intelligence that isn’t capable of overriding those animalistic urges.

    In short, recognize what’s going on here. These people have all but declared war on whites, while you sit and pretend everything’s fine and “we’re making progress.” There aren’t enough government programs, appeasement goodies, or nice words in the world to stop incidents like this from happening as long as different cultural factions with different value systems are forced to coexist in the same space.

  • IstvanIN

    Let’s face, we’ve lost. Has anyone seen K-mart’s back to school commercials?

    • HJ11

      We’ve not lost. I for one am not part of the “we” weak seed White herd–the 68ers, as they say in Europe. I’m part of the new Whites. The ones who will survive to breed and expand our kind with our racist gene and who will through natural selection replace the weak seed Whites. This I believe. This is how I live.

      • Anglokraut

        What is a “68er”?

        • Irishgirl

          It’s the German version of an American 1960s love child, with an added emphasis on opposition to national socialism.

          • Anglokraut

            Oh, I call those people “old-ass hippies with no kids and the whole hepatitis alphabet.”

            So I really do agree with HJ11–those people are deadwood, and we as a breed are better for their choice to cull themselves. Too bad so many of them became educators/propagandists.

    • Sick of it

      Woah woah, you still watch t.v.?

  • ncpride

    Yeah, I didn’t buy it either.

  • libertarian1234

    Per Colin Flaherty this guy purposely moved into a black neighborhood, because he felt perfectly safe in being there. As he explains in his column:

    “Ray Widstrand thought he had nothing to fear from moving into a black neighborhood on the East Side of St. Paul. This young white guy and aspiring filmmaker thought he had nothing to fear when he decided to take a Sunday night stroll through his adopted part of town.

    “Nothing to fear from a crowd of 50 black people fighting outside a nearby party. So he stopped to check it out. Soon, however, the mob’s attention turned on him.”

    Well, I’ve read many posts over the last year on these black on white beatings and murders where at least one poster says he’d like to see a far left liberal get set upon by white-hating blacks to understand what the real world is all about.

    Looks like their wish was granted. Here it is. This liberal victim probably was one who chastised posters on forums who voiced their outrage over black on white attacks for being racists, a favorite pejorative of the leftist crazies, denying anything about black pathologies.

    Well, he learned the hard way how wrong he was. That is IF he DID learn.

    We’ll know if he wised up or not if he has enough of a brain left to articulate anything.

    I’m wondering if his family can sue the local liberal rag for failing to report the racial danger in that city.

    • cablegirls

      No, but the broadcasters ard another story — as a condition of their FCC licenses, they’re required to responsibly report local news. This would be an interesting challenge for some young maverick lawyers to take on, if only for the exposure of the issue.

  • Greg Thomas

    The “answer” is diversity. Any more questions?

  • HJ11

    We have to face the fact that there are weak seed Whites who are enabling Black crime.

    A few years ago, a young White woman from a very wealthy coastal Calfironia city went to Africa to help Blacks. She was later murdered just because she was White. When her killers were caught, the woman’s parents forgave them and said they understood and I think they even met with the killers and became friends. This is the type of pathology that weak seed Whites show. They are not my kind even if they are White.

    • Ella

      You wonder if these weirdo parents ever felt anything toward their child. I could not imagine putting 18 plus years toward my own child with such a “low” investment attitude. Very sad……

  • evilsandmich

    Try sitting a room with other white people who want to ‘help’ by moving more of these people into your neighborhood; that’s rage of a whole different shade.

  • evilsandmich

    feels as if she’s living in Baghdad or Damascus

    I believe that she means Mogadishu, or ‘The Mog’; but I suppose that might have ‘racial overtones’. It’s really unfair to those two Arab cities where, right or (more likely) wrong people are killing each over other actual ideological and tribal beliefs as opposed to killing just for sport.

  • JackKrak

    “The suspects in the Widstrand beating also belong to a predominantly black gang.”

    There’s no such thing as a “predominantly” anything gang – there are only black gangs, Mexican’t / Latrino gangs and Asian gangs.

  • Irishgirl

    On an episode of “48 Hours” a black woman whose son had been murdered had a pretty good idea of who had done it, but she didn’t want to tell the police – not because she was afraid, which she wasn’t – but because, as she put it, “I’m not a snitch.” She didn’t want to rat on HER SON’s killer!

    • Probably because she didn’t want yet another black man to be enslaved in white people’s prisons. Yes, I hear that lingo from black radicals often.

      Her son is dead, but she’ll get over it. The dirty little secret is that blacks tend to get over deaths of loved ones pretty quickly. Meanwhile, the concept of white people holding black people accountable for their actions is unconscionable.

      And who’s to say her murdered son was some goody two shoes?

  • Sick of it

    Lutherans tend to be liberal today.

  • Ella

    St. Paul will not tell you about their wonderful refugee relocation programs, from Somalia and Ethiopia, arranged between the UN –US Govt. Churches also get into the action–paid 2 dollars for every dollar they contribute. We won’t win because every organization gets a cut and a slice of the pie.

  • I believe that’s 100% of aggravated rapes, not all rapes.