by Max Brantley
Mayor Jim Dailey and Police Chief Stuart Thomas held a news conference today to talk about Operation Quiet Nights, a new police initiative to target neighborhoods where people congregate in the wee hours and deadly events often follow. This is a response to the wave of killings this year, which the chief continues to insist is an "anomaly," and not like the gang wars of the 1990s. Dead is dead, we say.
We couldn't make the news conference. But we presume somebody noted a couple of neighborhoods worth checking out. For example, 5001 W. 65th, where Lonnie Woods, 32, was found shot to death early this morning. Marcus "Slow Motion" Whitaker has been charged with murder in what police are calling a "drug-related homicide." And there's the 3600 block of West Roosevelt, where police Monday afternoon found a badly beaten James Newsome, 48, who had gotten in a fight on a bus that continued after he got off the bus. The police said today that Newsome died of the injuries. The prosecutor will review whether charges will be filed against a man who said he hit Newsome in self-defense after Newsome grabbed him.
UPDATE: We now see that the chief had to hustle from his crime-fighting news conference to the scene of another homicide at a downtown apartment complex.
On the solutions end of the law enforcement beat: FBI announced the arrest in Seattle of Freno Daniels, a suspect in the March 9 Little Rock slaying of Bobby Thomas.
And while we're talking about successful enforcement, we might as well mention that the city shut down a convenience store at 2500 Arch Street. Alleged food poisoning, code violations, spoiled food and rodents were among the particulars mentioned in the city news release.