A reader writes:"I just wanted to drop you a line on some positive loitering over the past few days in hopes that you will post this. As some people are aware, the gang presence and drug dealing has markedly increased in the Magnolia/Sunnyside and Racine/Leland/Broadway areas over the past few weeks. Last Wednesday a drug deal was witnessed on Racine between Leland and Sunnyside at 6pm (broad daylight) right in front of a yard, and next door to another, both yards with people in them.
The witness called the police first, and then yelled at the drug dealers (2 of them, one on a bike and one on foot who did the sale) and the purchaser. The purchaser bolted and the bike rider left slowly, but the moron seller on foot came back to argue and even threaten the witness. Nice move, that gave the police enough time to arrive, arrest him and charge him with assault. The witness had the guts to stand up and will go to court to testify.
Second incident occured at Malden and Sunnyside where two witnesses watched as two "spotters" hung out to keep an eye for the cops while several of their business associates gathered and exchanged product at Sunnyside and the alley between Malden and Magnolia around 5:30pm (again, broad daylight). The "spotters" are known dealers, and some of the others are known gangbangers. The witnesses made it abundantly clear and obvious that they were watching, making eye contact and not looking away or leaving. The "spotters" then walked over to their associates, and the entire group moved away just as the police arrived. The police followed and flashing lights were seen a couple blocks to the east shortly thereafter.
These two incidents are evidence that positive loitering works. While it can be intimidating, support in numbers through positive loitering (and the proper follow through such as calling the police) will move the scum away. And keep your eyes open. It is amazing how many people don't even notice obvious drug deals. These people aren't all that smart (obviously or they'd be doing something else), so pay attention, make mental notes of what they look like, and then dial 911. If you're concerned about being seen making the call, then retreat quickly to some place where you can't be seen and dial. This is OUR neighborhood, not THEIRS, and let's make it a safe place."