Hampden Hawker: Watch it Frazier's Patrons!

Hampden Hawker

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Watch it Frazier's Patrons!

This story in today's Examiner was also picked up by NPR this morning (though NPR referred to comments made by Benn Ray, president of the Hampden Village Merchants Association, they oddly didn't mention him by name.)

From the article: "Hampden bar owners said they were shocked last week when police began warning patrons to move 150 feet away from the entrance of bars they were patronizing or face loitering charges."

The issue, of course, is that Hampden has a legitimate loitering problem--but folks who are grabbing five minutes to have a cigarette outside a bar or restaurant are not the problem.

What about the drug addicts & dealers and the prostitutes that loiter around the 7-11 or up Falls Road to 38th? What about the folks waiting for the drug taxi to pick them up in front of THE LIBRARY? If you live, work or frequently travel through this area of Hampden, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and most of us familiar with that area can even offer license plate numbers of the drug taxis and describe disturbing violent incidents caused by these folks.

Hawker's not saying loitering laws are bad, but Hawker does question the choice of who is targeted under these laws.

The Mayor, The Baltimore City Police Department and City Council representatives have been invited to the next Hampden Village Merchants Association Meeting on Wednesday, March 12 to discuss this issue. We'll see how that conversation goes.

Feel free to discuss the issue now here.


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