- My name is Tom Sharp.
- I live at 440 Gilbert Avenue in the Willows.
- As I was thinking about what to say to you
- about crime in my neighborhood
- I read the Times Tribune of Thursday February 4th.
- This issue featured stories about homicides in
East Palo Alto.
- The front-page headline:
- “THE CORE OF KILLERS
- 40 to 50 young men do most of the
- If we had 40 to 50 such young men in Menlo Park,
- I would not need to tell you
- how important this problem should be to you.
- Under this article is a summary of the most
- “City’s most savage murder
- I quote:
- In the city that had the highest per-capita
homicide rate in the country in 1992, the most savage murder
suspect may have been Walter Joseph Cook III, a 20-year-old East
Palo Alto resident charged with slaying three people in less than
- The first of these murders occurred one year ago
- The Feb. 9 killing of 45-year-old Menlo Park
resident Earnest Saddler, who was beaten to death with boards on
- This part of Menalto Avenue is in East Palo
- but Earnest Saddler lived three doors from me.
- A 45-year-old neighbor
- could be beaten to death with boards
- and we could still think this is East Palo Alto’s
- Being beaten to death with boards
- doesn’t sound to me like a good way to
- but, for me, the most alarming piece in the paper
- was not these terse retrospectives;
- it was an advertisement
- on page A-9 below the Police and Fire Report:
- The eye catcher: A chalk outline of a dead man,
- a bullet through his heart; the name on the man: East Palo
- The name of the story:
- EAST SIDE STORY
- The copy:
- ast Palo Alto has the highest murder rate in
the U.S. Ride with the 911 emergency teams that must respond to
these brutal crimes. Our KTVU camera crew works the graveyard shift
in Murder Capital U.S.A. Starts tonight on
- The ORIGINAL 10 o’clock News.
- NEWS YOU TRUST, TIME AFTER TIME.
- I have been going door to door in my
- with the petition that has been presented to you to
- and I want you to realize
- that you have the signatures of some of the victims
- of the graveyard shift in Murder Capital U.S.A.
- The victims are not just on the East Side;
- they are on our side.
- The story doesn’t just start tonight;
- it’s been going on for more than a year.
- The victims are not only our murdered neighbors.
- The victims are neighbors who are afraid to answer their
- neighbors traumatized by machine-gun fire in their front
- neighbors violated by burglars having been in their
- neighbors angry at kids who are angry and who throw rocks,
- neighbors withdrawing from the neighborhood they live in,
- a neighborhood that is increasingly
- the domain of dangerous strangers.
- I came here tonight to tell you this,
- hoping that you do not deny the problem,
- or its consequences,
- or its solution.
- When a neighbor is bleeding on the pavement,
- you don’t ask whether he can pay for the treatment,
- you don’t say you’ll have to think about it for
- you don’t reach for excuses,
- and you don’t consider his suffering
- another form of entertainment.