Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bad News From Top Dog

So today just before 4:00 as I strolled home from Boalt, chewing my lip over that Con Law take-home, I bumped into Berkeley Fire Department on Durant Avenue. They looked pretty busy. Which is understandable, because they had CPR in progress on a gunshot victim in the parking lot next to Top Dog

That would be 4:00 in the PM. Not in the AM.

Three* simultaneous thoughts as I played gawker for a moment:
  1. Berkeley Fire Department has its shit together. The scene looked like a page straight out of a training manual;
  2. That poor dude is a goner, though;
  3. My obligations to the Dormant Commerce Clause are a privilege, not a burden. Stress over them probably makes me a smaller person, not a bigger one.
If you are like me, you feel stuck inside today when the weather is great, your exams are not over yet, etc.  Or perhaps (unlike me) the jumpsuit people may be about to rearrange your 90 year old grandmother's plans for your graduation.   Whatever.  At least you weren't lurking around Top Dog today at 3:45. And with a little more fortune, you were not close with any of today's patrons of that fine establishment.

There is no way to say this, but if you are not that fortunate, I'm sorry for your loss. Be the victim a perpetrator, a target or a bystander, this is a horrible thing.  We will learn the rest of the story piece by piece as it comes out.  But the senseless ugliness part?  That's apparent.  


*I also wondered other things, like whether they would have to break someone off from chest compression duty to man an extinguisher if all those unattended hot dogs were to ignite on the grill, how pissed the AC Transit drivers are going to be when they close down the street, and, um . . .  where exactly is that shooter right now, anyway? But those questions seem kind of inappropriate given their context.  Well, maybe not the shooter question.

Little update: Daily Cal article here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for the Berkeley Fire Department. The city should reallocate all of the police department's funding to them. Their good response here actually make a difference in someone's life, unlike Operation Babysit Code Pink.

5/13/2008 5:46 PM  
Blogger tj said...

More bad stories from Berkeley - Prom night victim's brother dies in wreck

5/13/2008 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well that would explain the constant helicopter noise that i noticed starting around 4pm. how horrible.

what is happening to our town? Last week, while walking to my apartment 2 blocks north of campus, an undergrad stopped me to use my phone because he had just been mugged. at 2pm in the afternoon, in broad daylight.

Im getting a bit nervous about living here.

5/13/2008 8:15 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Putting aside the fact that this happened at 4 PM in a one of the most visible places in Berkeley, it's also one block from the UCPD hq (where Boalties threw bottles but that's a different story). This is just sad.

5/13/2008 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on my beloved 51 bus today around 3:30-45... as we pulled up to the stop at Durant and College, I heard the gunshots behind us, looks like we had gotten out of the way just in time. Scary times here in what would otherwise be a great city...

5/13/2008 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what would otherwise be a great city? are you kidding? other than the weather, everything about this town is broke ass. potholes, homeless people, hippies, wannabe hippies, code pink, tree people etc. I mean seriously?

5/13/2008 9:27 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

Thank you, 9:27. Though I will add that I like the trees (when they are not full of smelly hippies that drop excrement on passerby). And the coffee.

5/14/2008 12:30 AM  
Anonymous 8:56 here... said...

As for Berkeley, I've lived in cities that have worse streets, horrible traffic, more homeless people, and plenty of obnoxious wannabes (not just hippies, but all kinds!)

What can I say, I love the location, the fact there is a ton of great food, and that most of the businesses are locally owned (excepting Strada and all its permutations).

Get rid of an obnoxious, overbearing, holier-than-thou city council that doesn't represent the majority of the city and I think we've got it decently good.

5/14/2008 12:56 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

If I'm not mistaken, Strada is owned by the Cafe Roma guy, who is from Berkeley.

5/14/2008 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to the families. I feel terrible for them. Nonetheless, it look like the victim, Maceo Smith might have Been a part of violent gang activity in the past, and his killing may not be random.


5/14/2008 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those of you who don't like Berkeley's free spirit, eclectic residents, numerous coffee shops and sidewalk cafes, farmers' markets, abundant flora, independently owned stores, walkable neighborhoods, and varied architecture - get out! There's plenty of strip-mall lined suburbs and septic corporate cities elsewhere in the country for you.

5/14/2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What goes around comes around, I guess.

5/14/2008 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, 9:58, we will get out, but it's kinda hard to do before you graduate.

love how you painted such a rosey picture of the place, though...."eclectic" indeed.

5/14/2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Maybe those people who don't like Berkeley's "free spirit, eclectic residents, numerous coffee shops and sidewalk cafes, farmers' markets, abundant flora, independently owned stores, walkable neighborhoods, and varied architecture" should get out.

But I'll bet the number of people, if any, who fit that description makes for a short list.

What people don't like is Berkeley's thefts, muggings, assaults, etc. What people don't like is the feeling that it isn't safe to be here. Just ask any woman walking alone near campus after dark. Her concerns have nothing to do with the sidewalk cafes, farmers' markets, or coffee shops (well, sometimes it has to do with the coffee shops).

Point is, it's possible to love all the good things about Berkeley, and still feel extremely uncomfortable to be here. And the fact that there ARE good things about the city doesn't mean that people with legitimate concerns about the bad things need to leave.

5/14/2008 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"septic corporate cities"

did you mean sterile or antiseptic cities?

5/14/2008 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Birgeneau and the Berkeley mayor on it. Soon there will be a committee established to search for a new Vice Chancellor of Campus Security Studies and a parking place downtown will be reserved (complete with police protection) for anti-murder protesters.

5/14/2008 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when it rains, it pours:

Four men are in custody after they allegedly stole $6,000 in a takeover robbery of a Berkeley credit union and led Oakland police on a chase, authorities said today.

The robbers, who wore surgical-type masks, walked into the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union at 2001 Ashby Ave. about noon Tuesday and ordered employees and customers to the ground, police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said.

5/14/2008 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Berkeley: Challenging the concept that a Failed State can't be a municipality.

5/16/2008 2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read that a 17-year-old got shot yesterday at Dwight and MLK. I think he survived, but my word, this is getting pretty bad, right?

5/16/2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Dedra SMITH said...

Most of you (anonymous) are assholes! A person died... he will never see his children again and other family members that were born after he died! This is my brother we are talking about... I knew him... you guys are just listening to the media... who hasn't made bad decisions as kids... we grow we change. Maceo never was a gang member... he was someone who deserved to live... Maceo was shot down in cold blood... would you feel the same if it was your brother? I swear... people can be really f**cking stupid!

3/27/2009 8:50 PM  

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