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New York Times Story on North St. Louis Crime Hits Close to Home for Mother of Murdered Son

Categories: Crime

copscollegehill.jpg
Courtesy of Maggie Crane
Police patrol the College Hill neighborhood during an anti-crime push in February, a day before Garland Carter was murdered there.
Just a month before her son was shot to death around the corner from her north-city house, Geraldine Carter, 73, thought crime in her neighborhood was finally winding down.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police were focusing resources in College Hill, cleaning up the streets and assigning extra patrols.

"I was just thinking, 'Maybe it was going to get better,'" Carter tells the Daily RFT.

Then Carter's son, Garland, was found dead in the snow, gunshot wounds in his head and neck, murdered to avenge a killing he didn't commit.

Carter's sons -- Prince and Garland -- are both featured in a New York Times front-page story about gun crime in St. Louis. Prince Carter tells a Kansas City-based reporter that he sleeps with a shotgun and avoids going out at night ever since his 52-year-old brother was murdered.

"Oh, yeah, he's right about that," says Geraldine Carter. "It's terrible over here. There are so many that got killed. Nobody seems to know what it is."

See also: Homicide 19: Garland Carter, 52, Another College Hill Victim, Days After Anti-Crime Effort

The New York Times story, headlined "In Places Like North St. Louis, Gunfire Still Rules the Night," spread like wildfire through St. Louis, a place often ignored by the big-time news outlets even when it doesn't deserve to be.

The story perpetuates an unfair and unfounded reputation many have been fighting against: that St. Louis is a gun-crazed, ultra-violent city with crime rates that put it on par with the likes of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and Mogadishu, Somalia. It's a reputation that plagues the city around the world, including in France, where, these days, travelers are warned to avoid north St. Louis.

See also: France Warns Tourists Against Visiting North St. Louis

But north of Delmar Boulevard, Geraldine Carter says, that reputation feels like reality, and she doesn't need the New York Times to tell her about guns in north city. The day the story came out, police investigated two drive-by shootings in north St. Louis, including one where suspects shot at a car with seven children, injuring a teenager and the female adult driver, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police.

WarneAvenue.jpg
Google Maps
The street where Garland Carter was murdered.
Carter blames it on envy -- unsupervised, gun-toting teens breaking into homes and cars to steal the good life.

"They'll lie in wait and come into your house," she says. "If you're in there, they'll shoot you, too. And you know that's the way it is."

Nine months after her son's death, Carter says her family is still devastated over the loss of Garland, a man who served his neighborhood by cleaning, raking leaves and taking out trash for neighbors. The day he died, he had finished shoveling snow off porches and cars for his family and neighbors before heading around the corner to the liquor store, where he was killed trying to buy a beer.

"It hurts to the core," Carter says. "It's devastating. Everybody is still grieving."

Halloween was particularly difficult. For the first time, Garland's seven-year-old daughter didn't have her dad to take her trick-or-treating.

"So I don't try to do anything but stay in my house," Carter says. "It's just been so hard for me. I don't have the energy to do nothing. I still cry about my boy."

See also: St. Louis Hot-Spot Initiative: Will Targeted Attention Help Reduce College Hill Crime?

In the New York Times, Carter's son Prince says he now wants to leave St. Louis, where he's lived his entire life.

"My oldest son was just asking me three days ago, 'Momma, don't you want to leave?'" Carter says. "I thought maybe when the economy got better and everybody got a job, we could leave."

Carter says she'll probably never leave, now. Her daughter and grandchildren have moved into her duplex, and she looks after a 96-year-old neighbor who recently broke her hip.

"This is our house, and we have to do the best we can," Carter says. "We're just stuck here. Nobody can really do nothing right now."

View a PDF of the Times' front page from November 20, 2013 on the next page.


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33 comments
Maria Miller
Maria Miller

I like how you think Maria Rebecchi!! Insults and fighting over who is "right or wrong" is nothing but a waste of time. Bottom line...quit bitchin and do something to change your situation if you don't like it! Life's too short!!

Anthony Flamm
Anthony Flamm

Bout time it's getting some attention. Geez our wonderful state /locals could give two shits. Hopefully things might change. Wait last time I heard change things went twice as bad lol

Maria Rebecchi
Maria Rebecchi

Just notice the anger in these exchanges. It's absolutely disheartening to be part of a community that it's so quick to call names and insult others with different views, instead of using this forum as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness of disparities and issues affecting communities/neighborhoods/etc. different from our own. Dialogue people. Listen and learn.

Kayleigh Vogelgesang
Kayleigh Vogelgesang

Rhonda you're in WATERLOO. Wtf do you know? Yes. Crime is everywhere. But its particularly in North County. These are desperate times people are going to do desperate things anywhere, not just in St. Louis. Fixing North County is going to be the first of many steps.

Jim Curtis
Jim Curtis

As a former resident of both, STL is really just Cleveland with slightly better weather.

Rhonda Whelan
Rhonda Whelan

Crime is everywhere in St. Louis, not just North County! A girl was shot pointe blank in the head during a robbery attempt in the CWE, a friend of mine was mugged walking down the street in Soulard area and had a gun put to her head during a robbery. She would have gotten raped but had a night stick in her purse and was able to pull it out and beat the crap out of the lowlife and get away. What about all the robberies, muggings, stabbings and shootings that took place in U-City over this past year in the Loop? How about the rapist that was hitting Wash U? What about all the drive by shootings on downtown Washington Avenue in the shopping,/restaurant/bar district? So NO, crime is not just in North County and it DOES happen everywhere, Hipster areas or not.

rupert05xlh
rupert05xlh

if you arrest a criminal, and they plead or are found guilty, put them in prison.  Montez Wayne, who is featured in the NYT story was arrested on charges of drug trafficking and possession, and ONLY got 3 YEARS PROBATION!!!!

Then two years later, while on probation, he was arrested again for drug possession as well as resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. This time he got 3 YEARS OF PROBATION!!!!!!

If his punk-ass would of been locked up the first time, he wouldn't of committed the second time. IF he would of gotten prison time the second time, you know, since he was on probation when it happened, folks in North City wouldn't have to worry about him slingin' dope and gang-bangin' now.

Dumb ass judges are to blame.  The cops caught him, the DA tried him, and the punk is still out on the streets.

Adam Usher
Adam Usher

Sorry to tell you Lindesy but St. Louis is a gun-crazed, ultra-violent city.

smallblood
smallblood

I don't get stories like this.  New York has deadly pockets.  Chicago IS a deadly pocket of violence.  Los Angeles, Oakland, Philly, Miami, etc. all have deadly pockets of violence, mostly latino or black in character.

What's your point NYT?  That we should care?  We have been.  We've tried.  News story after news story the understanding is plain.  CERTAIN PLACES IN EVERY CITY ACROSS THE WORLD SHOULD BE AVOIDED.  The people that live there live have my sympathy, but it's their sons and daughters usually who are making it a shitty place to live.

Patrick Rafferty
Patrick Rafferty

The chances of any part of north St. Louis becoming a resemblance of what Cherokee has become is 15-20 years away at least (with exception of the 1/2 block of St. Louis Ave in which Crown Candy stands). In my opinion it stems from a government that rewards unemployment, its much easier for a 17 yr old girl to pop out 6 kids w 5 daddys and collect welfare than get an education and be a productive member of society. And you cannot blame them, most of these kids are given dogshit public education, followed by little to no parental guidance. I love STL and would love to see a change, but for the time being I will be traveling in and out of the city.... South of Delmar

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Heather Guyott Broad - you are exactly right. I get so sick of hysterical natives pretending nothing is wrong in STL and their false outrage when someone says otherwise. STL has a gigantic problem part of which is natives insisting everything is perfect here - all evidence to the contrary. And regarding Cherokee - The Beacon did an EXCELLENT and FAIR & BALANCED look at Cherokee Street - the good & the bad & the hopeful. But something I will point out about Cherokee Street - it is GREAT - until 15 minutes before dark and the feel & energy of the street changes dramatically. Even the shopkeepers know this because they lock their doors and have to "let you in" if u come near dusk & during the last hour of business. And they decide to "let you in" during that time based entirely on what you look like. I don't blame them - nobody wants to be robbed. And I've been told this is a POLICE problem because police do not adequately patrol this area. So sure Cherokee is a partial success story - but only in daylight hours.

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

Its not about the neighborhood!..Its about the PEOPLE in the are!..I fthe people choose to allow it & now have the law enforce it?..I live near many abandoned home and buildings that need to be knocked downs..which have been that way for 20 years!..But people are choosing to make it BETTER!..STL is a very big area!..Missouri is actually bigger than England..its the people who allow it!..Ive been back on the southside for about 3 years..&I choose to make a difference & not sit idly by..you see drug deals call the cops..you see suspicious activity call the cops ..call your neighborhood stabilization officer..every neighborhood has one..look it up! call you alderman..they are listed..and they will listen to you & HELP you if your area needs it..I know because I have done it!!..help others build roots n their communties and make a change for the better!..yea there are ALOT of drugs guns and thugs in this state.. so instead of crying about it..Do something about it..I am a very AVID STL supporter ..In evert avenue ..I do my part to Help..Maybe if others actually did more to help like the people who are rebuilding MY neighborhood..areThis story isnt about any neighborhood ..Its about the People of STL..The good & bad..

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

Im not a idiot!..& you can say whatever you want about the hipsters as you call them.you seem very bigoted & judgmental..These people are rebuilding a neighborhood..Not just their shops..they are making home values go up & the neighborhood is getting clean & safe again!..Because of he people who took the time to invest & do it..It has given people jobs..& the article says ST LOUIS!..Im sorry but i live here & I take offense..Its about the communities in ST LOUIS taking their neighborhoods back & making them safe cause Im here to tell you the cops really could give a fuck less! most are busy writing traffic tickets & most the cops in my neighborhood will tell you!..Im a cop calling neighborhood snitch.. ..I have now 2 officers cell phone numbers we call if we see suspicious activity..why because when I call 911 Its ridiculous sometimes they do not even show up at all!..Yep thats me..I have 3 children..& I work hard for what I earn & have so bet ass Im going to protect it..Thats the bigger story here..Not just the bad of STL..by the people who CHOOSE to allow it ..& the people who choose to make it better..SO much negativity..what about all the great things STL has to offer in its communities &neighborhoods which are considered STL?!..

Edward Hecker
Edward Hecker

One of these days St. Louis will reclaim North St. Louis. Until then it will continue to be the pit everyone stays away from and ignores.

Tonray Crocker
Tonray Crocker

They're just saying what most folks have known here for years. There's a reason I moved my family out of the city. Now if I could only get them out of the state of Misery, I mean...Missouri.

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

Im not a idiot!..& you can say whatever you want about the hipsters as you call them.you seem very bigoted & judgmental..These people are rebuilding a neighborhood..Not just their shops..they are making home values go up & the neighborhood is getting clean & safe again!..Because of he people who took the time to invest & do it..It has given people jobs..& the article says ST LOUIS!..Im sorry but i live here & I take offense..Its about the communities in ST LOUIS taking their neighborhoods back & making them safe cause Im here to tell you the cops really could give a fuck less! most are busy writing traffic tickets & most the cops in my neighborhood will tell you!..Im a cop calling neighborhood snitch.. ..I have now 2 officers cell phone numbers we call if we see suspicious activity..why because when I call 911 Its ridiculous sometimes they do not even show up at all!..Yep thats me..I have 3 children..& I work hard for what I earn & have so bet ass Im going to protect it..Thats the bigger story here..Not just the bad of STL..by the people who CHOOSE to allow it ..& the people who choose to make it better..SO much negativity..what about all the great things STL has to offer in its communities &neighborhoods which are considered STL?!..

Responsibly Armed
Responsibly Armed

Have you driven through the North side lately? It is totally different from the South side. Literally entire block of homes, abandoned and falling apart, Especially near Cass and Jefferson areas. The people who still live there are too scared to leave their homes. Its going to take a cultural change for that area to overcome. Its riddled with violence and extreme poverty. Again, comparing most of the areas North of Delmar to Cherokee St, is apples to oranges.

Heidi J. Greene
Heidi J. Greene

Sad. People living out their lives based on fear and hate instead of living their lives based in tolerance and love. I pray we all remember we are all on the same spiritual journey and we all need one another to be of service and do the best we can each day to be and do our best.

Pollyanna
Pollyanna

"The story perpetuates an unfair and unfounded reputation many have been fighting against: that St. Louis is a gun-crazed, ultra-violent city with crime rates that put it on par with the likes of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and Mogadishu, Somalia."

Perpetuates? The article specifically mentions a drop in the murder and rate and that violent crime has become concentrated in pockets--how is that perpetuating an unfounded an unfair reputation?  Christ, RFT, when did you start drinking the STL Booster Kool-Aid?

"But north of Delmar Boulevard, Geraldine Carter says, that reputation feels like reality, and she doesn't need the New York Times to tell her about guns in north city."

But apparently the writer of this blog post does....  

Heather Guyott Broad
Heather Guyott Broad

Loving your city and where you were raised doesn't mean you can turn a blind eye to its many faults and problems. It means you must address them. Don't blindly defend and rage against those "outsiders" for defaming your beloved hometown - instead acknowledge the problems, ask for help and be part of the solution. I am.

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

& while it highights the Street it is the ehart of the neighborhood..If we can Bring the suthside back from being as bad as the north side..why can they NOT do it?..

Kayleigh Vogelgesang
Kayleigh Vogelgesang

But its not the north side you idiot. This is about north county not fucking hipster ass Cherokee.

Sade Donovan
Sade Donovan

Cherokee Street is in STL in the heart of the South Side 8 minutes from downtown

Responsibly Armed
Responsibly Armed

Sade, that article is highlighting Cherokee, which is an awesome place to visit. The article posted here is referring to STL, North of Delmar. The part many are scared to go, while others live this daily, but cannot get out due to many factors. You're comparing apples to oranges. But you are right, STL is a great city, and there are MANY places that are very safe to visit.

Jake Naumer
Jake Naumer

is what happens when you have desparate ppl mixed with those that are not...war zone...and expanding...

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

the same people saying "please help us stop the crime in our neighborhoods" are the same ones saying "the cops are racist".

Ame Lia
Ame Lia

I lived North of Delmar for two years. I know I didn't see the worst St. Louis has to offer. On my street were drug dealers, prostitutes and AK-47 guns. UPS drivers would stop me to make sure I knew what neighborhood I was in. It is bad in STL. A lot of people must be blind to it.

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