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Saturday, June 29, 2013

An arrest made, speculation begins

A Marysville man was arrested for the shooting of fifteen year old Molly Conley of Seattle who was celebrating her birthday on the first day of June. My first thoughts were culturally biased from the midwest. My instinct was the ask why someone her age was out after eleven o'clock at night regardless of the fact it was her birthday. But then I remember where I came from. In Springfield, Illinois, it's commonly assumed that the night is ruled by drunks and criminals.

The first instinct is to assume its the same everywhere but Springfield is different. It may be the capital city but its in the main corridor of drug trafficking between Saint Louis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit. And there are definitely more bars and taverns than necessary  The consequence is the town shuts down businesses at sunset. The Illinois State Journal-Register has a section formerly known as Police Beat but now called Cops and Courts reporting criminal activity. Usually it's someone getting robbed of very large amounts of cash they just happen to be carrying on them at three o'clock in the morning while walking down a dark street. The stupidity is astounding. Recently two nineteen year-old males tried to rob a kid of his bicycle at knifepoint in broad daylight. They were immediately arrested and charged as adults for armed robbery.

The situation in Springfield has become irreversibly normalized because most of the people who have the money and power to make a difference don't live in Springfield. Most of the landlords are absentee, business owners commute to palatial homes at least forty minutes away, after dark who cares? The rest can barely make ends meet and can't afford to leave. Huge swaths of the town become dangerous after dark, you can tell those areas by the overabundance of drive-through liquor stores, predatory payday/car-title lenders, pawn shops and overpriced rent-to-own businesses.

I would rather live in a city cared for by everyone who lives and works in and around it enough to fight for it day and night. I was amazed that anyone was arrested for Molly Conley's murder. I want to know what possible motivation there is for something so heinous.