Category Archives: Public Safety

Some good news out of the Legislature — UNANIMOUS passage of ‘Emma’s Law’

Emma's

It took an unspeakable tragedy involving a particularly sympathetic victim, and a huge public lobbying effort, but on Wednesday the House acted unanimously to pass “Emma’s Law,” which requires people found to have driven with a blood-alcohol level of .15 or more to blow into an ignition interlock device in order to start a car in the future.

(A small quibble from a crusty old editor: I had to skim down to the 19th paragraph of the news story this morning to be reminded what the law does. I suppose that’s a testament to how compelling the human-interest angle is, but still. That was kind of key. Sorry, John, but I had to say something.)

For those of us who get weary of the Legislature’s fecklessness when it comes to getting commonsense legislation passed, this should be gratifying. The public will was clear, and for once the usual excuses not to act fell away. It would be wonderful to see more such action on other things South Carolina needs.

Wouldn’t it be great to see other no-brainer legislation — such as Medicaid expansion, which would have cost SC nothing for three years, and only 10 percent of the total cost thereafter — pass this way, without all the partisan nonsense stopping it dead? Think of all the Emmas who would have received potentially life-saving healthcare — a measure that would come in time, rather than far too late.

But if you’re against Medicaid expansion, I’m sure you can think of other things that should pass this easily, but don’t. You know I have a list; many of you do, too.

That said, let’s celebrate this victory for good sense and public safety stewardship. Let’s celebrate the victory we have.

Handy, timely info, if you happen to be a fugitive

WLTX is all over this story this morning, through various media:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX) – Newberry deputies say they’re searching for four murder suspects on the run.

Deputies say a state trooper saw the three white males and one white female at the upper rest area of I-26, and a chase ensued into the City of Newberry. The suspects are teenagers.

A deputy spiked the vehicle’s tires and the four suspects then took off on foot at state highway 34 and US 176. Multiple weapons including high powered rifles were found inside the vehicle. Some of the weapons were stolen.

Authorities say the three men were all last seen wearing dark pants; one with an orange shirt, one with a white t-shirt, and one with no shirt. The woman was last seen in dark pants and a white t-shirt.

The four suspects are wanted from Greeneville, Tennessee and have been on the run since 11:00PM Wednesday….

But I had to wonder if this was just one Tweetful of information more than we needed:

fugitives

But hey, these fugitives are teenagers! What do they know about smartphones or social media? Or Google Maps?

Nice enterprise on the part of the reporter. Way to stay on top of the story. But this is one instance in which it might have been good to have an editor involved, saying, Hold on, let’s think about this…

Or not. Thoughts? Your opinion would turn on whether you think it’s a journalist’s duty to report everything of interest, or whether you think he or she has a duty to public safety as a citizen. Within the news biz, I’ve heard impassioned arguments both ways.

Florida sheriff wants to amend ‘Stand Your Ground’

Don’t know how I got on this sheriff’s mailing list, but I thought some of y’all would be interested in his perspective:

Sheriff Scott Israel is the most outspoken sheriff in Florida when it comes to changing the “Stand Your Ground” law.

Click to view a recent article about his stance in Huffington Post  

Now that Tallahassee legislatures are considering amendments to “Stand Your Ground,” Sheriff Israel is making sure his voice and his view is heard.

Below is an op-ed available for publication that clearly states the necessity for change in this law.

Contact me for interview opportunities or additional information.

Thanks!
Jen

Jen Hobbs
JenMHobbs@gmail.com
845-863-6448

Where I Stand On Stand Your Ground
Sheriff Scott Israel

I stand with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in their fight to amend Stand Your Ground – to grieving mothers who lost their children to senseless gun violence.  Last Monday, these two brave mothers-turned-activists led a peaceful march with hundreds of protesters on the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee.  The women were joined by families of other victims of this law.

A bipartisan proposal by Florida State Senators David Simmons (R) and Chris Smith (D) passed the State Senate Judiciary Committee on October 15 by a 7-2 vote, and now heads to other committees for consideration before coming to the Senate floor for a full vote.  The original 2005 law was written by none other than Sen. Simmons.

I applaud Sen. Simmons for recognizing that the law is not perfect, and for reaching above partisan politics on this tremendously important public safety issue.  The proposed Simmons-Smith amendment makes clear that the statute should prohibit people from later claiming self-defense if they started or unnecessarily escalated a conflict when safe withdrawal outside the home was an option.

Many people have made the case that the George Zimmerman trial, which spurred the interest in revising Stand Your Ground, had nothing to do with the self-defense law.

This opinion is misguided.

In February 2012, when Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, the police who were called to the scene, unable to refute Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.  By law, they were unable to file charges and follow through with normal procedures, thus compromising the investigation from the start.  Sanford city officials stated: “By Florida Statute, law enforcement was PROHIBITED from making an arrest based on the facts and circumstances they had at the time.”

The Stand Your Ground law effectively tied the hands of law enforcement in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, and will continue to do so until this law is fixed.  In the case of Mr. Zimmerman, the threat was not immediate.  He should have been obligated to get in his vehicle, leave the area, and avoid that confrontation.  If the law had read differently, maybe he would have.

When Michael Dunn fired nine bullets into a Dodge Durango at four seemingly unarmed teenagers, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis in Jacksonville, Florida, his actions were facilitated by this broken law.  Deadly force should never be a first choice; it should be a choice used only after all other reasonable options have been exhausted.

The law is not stagnant.  It is open to change, particularly when the change leads to less violent incidents and more accountability.

As one of only a small handful of sheriffs in Florida to support a change in the Stand Your Ground law, I feel the need to be active and vocal in this all-important discussion. Florida was the first of at least 22 other states that have enacted similar Stand Your Ground statutes, so it is also right that we lead in the effort to fix it.  More than 26 young people in Florida have already lost their lives in Stand Your Ground cases.  This law, here and elsewhere, must be fixed before more needlessly die.

For these reasons, I support these important first steps in amending this valuable law.

Too bad. He sounds like the kind of chief the city could have used

Busy day today, but I didn’t want it to pass completely without saying a word about this:

COLUMBIA, SC — A candidate for Columbia police chief on Wednesday leveled tough criticism toward city officials as he withdrew from the search….

In an interview with The State newspaper, Fisher said the city lacked consistency within its leadership and questioned why interim Chief Ruben Santiago remained on the job after being the target of a federal and state investigation.

But Fisher stopped short of calling the city dysfunctional.

“In my close to 40 years in law enforcement, I’ve had the fortune to work in a cohesive, visionary environment where all seem to have the same goals – the politicians and the professionals,” Fisher said. Columbia “could have been a challenge for me.”

The selection process had been “laborious and indeterminate,” Fisher said.

He also indicated that the frequency with which City Council discusses merging the police and sheriff’s departments was a concern. Those conversations affect the entire organization, he said.

“There is no consistency in leadership and expectations,” Fisher said….

This is too bad. A chief who came into office with his eyes this wide open might have had a chance of succeeding. I say “might” because anyone who works — indirectly — for a city manager who in turn works for seven very divided bosses is highly likely to fail.

Columbia is increasingly dysfunctional under this system that the political elite managed to maneuver the voters into keeping. And it’s getting worse day by day. Anybody with clear vision is likely to run the other way rather than take this job…

Pay AGAIN? Sure and ye must be after takin’ me for an eejit

How many of these people do you think would pay TWICE?

How many of these people do you think would pay TWICE?

That’s what I expect a lot of people to say when they leave the St. Pat’s celebration in Five Points this Saturday and try to come back in — assuming, of course, that they’ve learned a cheesy Irish accent from the same dialect coach who trained the “Lucky Charms” guy in “Austin Powers.”

Expect a few donnybrooks over that.

I don’t know what I think. On the one hand, it seems reasonable to me, as it has seemed reasonable to the organizers of this annual festival from time immemorial (this never happened in Jack Van Loan’s day!), to allow people to come back in if they’ve paid once. I mean, when you’ve paid for an all-day event, I can think of all sorts of reasons (say, for instance, you are constitutionally incapable of taking advantage of a port-o-john) why you might need to leave briefly and come back — and you DID pay for the whole day.

On the other hand, the public safety argument has some force on its side, although I’m not entirely devastated by the logic:

But the new policy will allow police and private security to better monitor who is coming and going.

In the past, people were screened the first time they went through the festival gates but not necessarily when they came back, interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago said. Instead, those returning just showed an arm band and walked in.

Now, everyone inside will have been screened, eliminating the risk of bringing contraband, Santiago said. The policy also keeps people from leaving so they can drink more or use drugs before coming back, he said.

“We know that everybody who is in there has been through security,” he said.

Franks also hopes the no re-entry policy curbs some of the disturbances the festival causes in surrounding neighborhoods. There should be fewer people walking through yards and less trash…

What do y’all think?

Chamber backs plan for Lott to run CPD, even while council gives it a cold shoulder

Most of city council has thoroughly dissed Cameron Runyan’s attempt to revive the idea of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott taking over the Columbia Police Department.

But the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce is applauding. It sent out this statement yesterday:

“The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce fully endorses Columbia City Council member Cameron Runyan’s plan to contract Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott to manage the City of Columbia’s police department. Public safety, economic development and job creation are top priorities of the Chamber and our business community. Our neighbors and our business owners deserve the right to feel safe in their homes, on their streets and in our business districts. Public safety is critical to moving our city from good to great to achieve status as a world-class city.

We firmly believe Sheriff Lott, based on his past performance, has the credibility and proven results to bring about positive changes in the Columbia Police Department, which will benefit our entire community. Sheriff Lott is a well respected leader throughout Columbia, the state and law enforcement. We encourage our city council members to embrace this plan and help make it a reality.”

-  Holt Chetwood | Chair, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce

It’s a bit surprising to me that council so categorically rejects the idea of the popular and competent Lott taking over the department, given that the CPD has in the last few years gone way beyond the point that the word “troubled” adequately described just how fouled up it is at the top. The same proposal lost by only one vote in council in 2010.

But it’s habit now with the council majority, I guess. If it comes from the Benjamin camp, and has business support, and might change the status quo in a way that makes sense, they’re against it.

‘Stand Your Ground’ asserted in high school stabbing

Don’t know whether you’ve seen this yet today:

LEXINGTON, SC — An attorney for the 18-year-old former Lexington High School student accused of stabbing to death a student at a rival school said Thursday his client will seek to invoke South Carolina’s “Stand Your Ground” law and not face murder charges.

At a bond hearing Thursday morning before Circuit Judge William Keesley, attorney Todd Rutherford said Kierin Dennis was in “fear for his life” and a “victim” rather than the aggressor in the death of Dutch Fork High School senior Da’Von Capers on Feb. 17 following a tension-filled high school basketball game between their two schools….

You may have last seen Rep. Rutherford in court action defending Rep. Ted Vick against a DUI charge, saying that the reason his client was walking so unsteadily was that he had a rock in his shoe. That made The Daily Mail. (OK, that’s the second time today the Mail has been invoked on this blog. It’s a steady job, but I want to be a paperback writer…)

Open Thread for Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This promises to be another busy day on my end, so I thought one of these would be in order.

Possible topics, both on the metro front:

  1. New police chiefOur own Kathryn was quoted in the paper as saying, in advocating for Rub.en Santiago, “If you’ve got a horse that’s winning the race, why do you want to change horses?” Meanwhile, some want to scrap the whole process, just as the five finalists prepare to go before the public.
  2. Bull Street/ballpark — There’s a lot going on with regard to that this week as well. Here’s a story from The State today.

Of course, y’all can talk about whatever. Just be civil…

Barry’s thoughts on police chief candidates

A couple of days ago, our own Barry emailed me his thoughts about the finalists for the job of Columbia police chief. I just now noticed that he said “yes” to my request for permission to post his observations here. He based these thoughts on this story from WIS:

Tony Fisher looks like a good choice- but he’s 64 years old and he retired last year after a long career in Spartanburg.   Not sure someone that age needs to be brought in to head up a headache of a job in Columbia.
http://www.wspa.com/story/22530068/spartanburg-public-safety-director-set-to-retire

William Holbrook –   Columbia is almost 3 times bigger than Huntington, West Virginia.   Huntington is 90% white.  Columbia is 51% per 2012 estimated census data.  Doesn’t look like a great fit.

Bryan Norwood – resigned as Richmond Police Chief amid pressure. For some reason, he also personally supervised the probation conditions of R & B Singer Chris Brown. (Very odd that a police chief would do that – and folks were very critical of it).      We really don’t need someone that just had to quit somewhere else because of problems. http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/02/12/2674226/raleigh-police-chief-finalist.html

Charles Rapp-  very impressive credentials (Baltimore police department veteran, hostage negotition team leader, training academy director, led 2 precincts, has a masters from Johns Hopkins) – but same thing as Tony Fisher- looks like someone that would only be able to serve a few years due to his age- which I couldn’t find.

Gregory Reese –  Air Force experience- but hasn’t led a city department.  He led a large group  - 1600 people- but I see not having led a city department as something that would hurt him.

For further info, here’s the story that ran in The State.

Driving while stoned is a worse idea than ever

cheechchong

Bart, in response to Bud recently saying that “Pot is no more dangerous than coffee,” shares this:

TUESDAY, Feb. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) — The legalization of marijuana is an idea that is gaining momentum in the United States, but there may be a dark side to pot becoming more commonplace, a new study suggests.

Fatal crashes involving marijuana use tripled during the previous decade, fueling some of the overall increase in drugged-driving traffic deaths, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health report.

“Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana,” said co-author Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia. “If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”…

cheechchong2

Be on the lookout for this guy (UPDATE: They caught him)

Carter-Jason

The following comes from the Oconee County Sheriff’s department:

By: Jimmy Watt
Public Information Officer

(Walhalla, SC)——————————-Jason Mark Carter, who was committed and found incompetent to stand trial in the 2006 murder of his mother and stepfather, has escaped from a mental health facility in Columbia.

Carter, who is 39 years old, is a white male, 5’10”, 165 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black coat with a black and white sweater underneath and brown cargo pants. He may be traveling in a stolen 1991 White Chevy van with a tag of SG61580 with the number 244 on the bumper. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is unsure of the method of escape.

On March 27th, 2006, deputies responded to 419 Meldau Road in Seneca in response to a welfare check. During their search, officers found the bodies of Kevin and Debra Ann Perkins inside a locked room in the basement with Carter inside with the victims.

If you come in contact with Jason Mark Carter, use extreme caution and report any sightings to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111, Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or your local law enforcement agency.

Choose Your Ride: A blunt public safety announcement

Two

On my way in to work this morning, at the junction of Sunset Boulevard and Meeting Street, just before the Gervais Street bridge, I thought I saw a speed trap.

Then, just before I drove past, I noticed the sign, and the cab.

Y’all have a good, safe time tonight. Maybe I’ll see you at the Famously Hot New Year’s celebration at Gervais and Main.

Three

No hard feelings between Clowney, cops

BcgxqiHIYAAhvG2

Not sure what to make of this, beyond concluding that Jadeveon Clowney is a good-natured young man.

He Tweeted out the above picture today with the words:

We in here me and my boys lol

I’m not sure that being charged with going 110 mph is an LOL matter, but that’s probably because I’m a sour-natured, buzz-killing alter cocker.

Clowney charged with going 84 mph this time

Hey, it’s an improvement over going 110 (allegedly), but still:

Thursday morning, University of South Carolina defensive football star Javedeon Clowney got another traffic ticket for speeding.

This time, an officer from the Columbia police department stopped Clowney and charged him with going 84 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone.

The stop took place around 10:30 a.m. Thursday on the outskirts of Columbia’s downtown, where I-26 meets I-126, according to a traffic citation obtained by The State newspaper. The citation was released through official police channels at the paper’s request….

Clowney charged with going 110 mph. In an unrelated development, Bauer considers running again

First, we hear that Andre Bauer is thinking again about running for governor, this time as a third-party candidate (this is not what the UnParty had in mind!).

Now, we see USC’s football star is making like the ex-lt.gov. (except that, unlike Mr. Bauer, he was charged):

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was cited by the South Carolina Highway Patrol for speeding Saturday for driving 40 miles per hour over the posted speed limit,according to WIS-TV.

Clowney, according to the report, was going 110 miles per hour in a Chrysler 300 when he was pulled over on Interstate 77 Saturday night around 7:30 p.m. The highway’s listed speed limit is 70 miles per hour.

Officials say he was immediately ticketed and that no other citations were issued in the incident….

Nor, apparently, was he arrested at the scene.

Thoughts?

Firefighters join cops in backing strong-mayor reform

A group of neighborhood and community leaders gather to endorse strong-mayor on Monday.

A group of neighborhood and community leaders gather to endorse strong-mayor on Monday.

This just in from Adam Fogle with the strong-mayor campaign:

Columbia Firefighter’s Association backs Yes Vote on Strong Mayor

COLUMBIA, SC — The Columbia Firefighter’s Association announced on Tuesday that they are urging Columbia residents to vote yes for modern strong mayor form of government that will give the Mayor Columbia the authority needed to ensure public safety is a top priority.

Anthony Holloway, President of the Columbia Firefighters Association, explained his organization’s decision to back the strong mayor system:

Our city is at a crossroads and we have a tremendous decision to make today: change or more of the same.  We know first hand that the present system is holding our first responders back.  That’s why we hope Columbia voters will vote yes for a safer city and a more accountable government.

The fire service has been struggling with an attrition problem for years — a problem that is only getting worse.  Despite the genuine efforts of many in the fire department and the city government, most days there are fire trucks that are under-staffed or taken out of service simply because we don’t have enough firefighters on staff.

The attrition issue and many other concerns facing our city’s firefighters could have been resolved by now if the mayor had the authority to act. But under the present system, important decisions often get deferred and no one is held responsible for the consequences. A strong mayor system would fix that.

Mayor Benjamin is standing up and saying “I will be responsible.” That is a bold move that we fully support.

# # #

And so the firefighters join the Columbia Chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolence Association in favoring reform.

 

The NYT on Inez Tenenbaum’s legacy at CPSC

As you may know already, Inez Tenenbaum is returning home after several years running the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The NYT did this piece on her legacy at the agency:

By the end of her four-year term, which came to a close on Friday, she can say that she has presided over a significant increase of the agency’s powers. And Ms. Tenenbaum, 62, has not been shy about using them. The agency recently leveled its highest fine ever — $3.9 million — against Ross, the discount retailer, because it continued to sell what the commission said was defective children’s clothing, even after warnings from the agency.Inez_Tenenbaum

She and the safety commission also waded into one of the most contentious topics in the sports world: protecting football players from head injuries. The result was the Youth Football Brain Safety initiative, which called for the replacement of youth league helmets with safer models paid for by the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the N.F.L. Players Association….

For the Youth Football Brain Safety initiative, the N.C.A.A., the N.F.L. and the players association kicked in a total of $1 million to pay for the helmet replacements. “The support of Chairman Tenenbaum and the C.P.S.C. played an important role in making our helmet replacement initiative a reality,” Roger Goodell, the N.F.L. commissioner, said in a statement. “We really appreciated her personal involvement and the agency’s in the work to make our game better and safer.”

Yet the commission under Ms. Tenenbaum’s leadership has not been exempt from criticism. Some of the biggest complaints followed the decision by agency lawyers to hold Craig Zucker, the chief executive of the company that made Buckyballs, liable for the recall of the magnetic children’s toy, even after the company was dissolved. Manufacturers have argued that holding an individual responsible for a widespread, and expensive, recall sets a disturbing example, and would discourage companies from being open in their dealings with regulatory bodies.

Ms. Tenenbaum said she could not comment on the case because it was continuing…

And here’s a link to John Monk’s story about her tenure in The State today.

Police throw book at car-on-roof suspect

You may have heard about the car found on the roof of a house in Forest Acres.

Here’s more on the subject:

Police have arrested a known gang member whose vehicle landed on the roof of a Forest Acres home following a police chase early Saturday morning.

Antwon Ashley, 31, has been charged with headlights required, reckless driving, hit and run property damage over $10,000, failure to stop for blue lights, trafficking crack cocaine, distribution within the proximity of a school, littering and opposing law enforcement….

Wow. Busy night. Allegedly.

Unfortunately, no one has reported HOW the car got on top of the house. Which is the one thing we want to know, right?

Police say they don’t know.

Nathan Ballentine proposes solution for violent crime in Columbia: Sheriff Leon Lott

At the risk of seeming even more like a guy who thinks of himself as the Editorial Page Editor in Exile, allow me to call your attention to a second good piece on the opinion pages of The State today.

You should read Rep. Nathan Ballentine’s piece promoting Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott as the guy who can lead Columbia to solutions in dealing with its violent crime problem. An excerpt:

The answer to Columbia’s violent crime isn’t what, but who

Recently, the Midlands has seen a dramatic rise in gang violence and senseless shootings. Business leaders, elected officials, USC’s administration and many others have sought answers to the big question: What can we do to stop it? College students, victims’ groups and law enforcement officials all have met and pondered the same question: How can we combat violent crime?

Sheriff Leon Lott

Sheriff Leon Lott

There may not be just one answer, but I know one man who has the experience and sheer determination to find all the answers and get the job done here in Columbia: Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

In the past, Columbia City Council has been reluctant to cede power to Sheriff Lott, apparently because of small turf battles and out of fear that council members might lose some control over the law enforcement they currently manage….

For many of us, the answer is clear: have Sheriff Lott take over control of city law enforcement efforts and allocate resources where he knows they will best be utilized, city or county. To do anything less is simply sanctioning further violence throughout Columbia.

Leon Lott is a unique individual who transcends politics and has a record of achievement…

Some may be surprised to see a conservative Republican lawmaker — one of Gov. Nikki Haley’s oldest and best friends in the House — praising a Democratic sheriff to the skies. Such people don’t know Nathan Ballentine very well. He will work with anyone, D or R, whom he sees as able to get the job done.

Others, unfortunately, will dismiss this as a white legislator (a Republican, no less — and from Chapin!) promoting a white lawman to ride in and show a town with a black mayor, black city manager and a series of minority police chiefs how to make Five Points safe for white college kids. Not that anyone will put it quite that bluntly, but there may be such a reaction, on the part of some, to that effect.

People who react that way will not be reassured by Nathan pointing out that Sheriff Lott was way out ahead of the city in recognizing the community’s gang problem, and doing something about it. That has long been a touchy subject along the demographic fault line in Columbia, with (and yes, I’m deliberately oversimplifying to make a point) white folks saying of course there’s a gang problem, and black folks saying, you white people see a “gang” wherever two or more young, black males congregate.

Setting race aside, some will react at the “great man theory” that underlies the Ballentine piece — the idea that this sheriff, this man, is the one to do the job. What happens, they’ll say, when Lott is no longer sheriff?

In other words, the barrier to communication runs a little deeper than “small turf battles.” Although that’s a part of it, too. There are multiple reasons why this hasn’t happened already.

There’s an opportunity here. Mayor Steve Benjamin has just gotten re-elected by a strong margin, and he has floated the idea of Lott taking over before. With the strong-mayor vote coming up the potential for change is in the air — although it’s tough to say whether the Lott idea has a better or a worse chance in light of that. (Better if it makes people more willing to give the major more power, worse if they say, if a strong mayor doesn’t run the police department, what’s the point?)

If he takes this up again, Benjamin has the political chops and stature to override a lot (if not all) of the gut-level objections out there, as well as the bureaucratic ones.

Is it doable? I don’t know. But letting the sheriff elected to serve the whole county actually run law enforcement for the whole county is an idea that deserves a full and fair hearing.

Hey, that’s Duncan MacRae of YESTERDAY’S, y’all…

duncan yesterdays

Thought it was sort of odd that thestate.com showed my old friend Duncan MacRae in a montage of mugs of people who spoke out about violence in Five Points last night, but didn’t identify him beyond his name — although other speakers were identified by their roles in the district.

For the record, Duncan, who was a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, is one of the founders and co-owners of Yesterday’s, my very favorite Five Points spot.

Duncan has always been deeply involved in seeking solutions to challenges faced by the district. I identify him as much with Five Points as I do Debbie McDaniel (also pictured) and Jack Van Loan.

I’d like to know what Duncan had to say. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quoted in the story. Guess I’ll have to go by and see him to find out.

Anyway, now you know who that is, in case you didn’t already…