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Unruly teens disrupt Fourth fireworks

ALBANY, Ga. -- A downtown melee among unsupervised teenagers ruined the traditional fireworks show for spectators Wednesday night, sending families running and resulting in three arrests during the city's abbreviated Fourth of July celebration.

The disruption could have been worse. Albany Police Department officers may have avoided that when they arrested 17-year-old Desmond Sadique Warren. He was charged with carrying a pistol while under the age of 18, officials said.

Also, police and spectators were sprayed with pepper spray by unruly teenagers at Turtle Park.

Two teens were arrested for fighting and each was charged with disorderly conduct. Cantonese Javar Kennedy, 17, and Antwon Johnson, 19, were each released on less than $130 bail, a Dougherty County Jail spokeswoman said. Warren remains in jail in lieu of $1,000 bail, she added.

Nearly 90 officers worked to protect the mothers, fathers and children, many young and in strollers, during the celebration. APD Capt. Reginald Brown said he determined the best way to ensure safety for the thousands who gathered at the park to watch the fireworks when the fights broke out was to clear the area. He ordered his team to send people home.

"I made the determination that the crowd had gotten too large and that officer safety was at risk, as well as the citizens attending the fireworks," he said. "I ordered the fireworks cut off to get the crowd under control."

Shutting down the fireworks also allowed officers to hear if there were any gunshots in addition to the fights, Brown said. There were none, he added.

The fights remain under investigation.

Teenagers and children at events should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults, police officials have repeatedly stated. No one should drop teenagers or children off at a location and leave them unsupervised.

Comments

tocar 2 years, 3 months ago

I commend APD Captain Reginal Brown for handling the situation as he did. It was the only way to get some control of the crowd. It is sad that families who came could not enjoy the fireworks because of these idiots who wanted to fight and cause a disorderly state. I am certain many were afraid for their families. These teens that were fighting should be ashamed and have to spend some time in jail and their parents should be reprimmanded. I can assure you this is the way they live - in the streets and fighting. They are not in school and not under the supervision of their parents.

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VSU 2 years, 3 months ago

Harsher penalties is the only way to slow this down. Arresting them and putting them back out on the street won't solve anything. May as well not arrest them at all. You may have seen the last of fireworks in this city thanks to these idiots.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Taylor cut the fireworks out of the budget for next year so you don't have to worry about thugs ruining it next year because the decision was made a couple of months ago to not have fireworks next year. We cannot afford it and it's for the better.

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agonized 2 years, 3 months ago

I posted in the earlier article that many cities across the country hadn't budgeted for fireworks this year, and it was a shame that the display this year was ruined. Oh well, no worries for next year, and I agree with you that it's better all the way around. Between the fireworks themselves costing so much and the extra security for crowd control, plus the arrests and families in fear of being harmed by delinquents, the costs far outweigh the benefits, sadly.

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VSU 2 years, 3 months ago

Honestly I haven't been to the fireworks in other 10 years, so it really won't affect me none.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

I too haven't been to the fireworks in a number of years. I almost decided to go this year but decided not to at the last minute. Thank goodness I didn't .

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LuLu 2 years, 3 months ago

"Teenagers and children at events should be supervised by parents or other responsible adults, police officials have repeatedly stated."

If you're talking about the repeated statements I've seen in the newspaper and on TV, then you're kinda just preaching to the choir. The ones who need to hear this aren't the kind to pick up a newspaper or watch the news.

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agonized 2 years, 3 months ago

Please, if the parents/"responsible adults" (HA!) came to supervise, the fights would only get worse as they joined in with the teens. The problem is the adult in charge isn't responsible and doesn't care where the teen is, as long as they aren't bothering them.

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waltspecht 2 years, 3 months ago

Folks have been dumping kids at the movies and skating rink for years, what else is new? What can be done about it is the question that needs answering.

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agirl_25 2 years, 3 months ago

How true....sad but true... my daughter's kids were once invited to a party of a child from a very well-to-do family who had a very nice country home with a swimming pool, small stables, where the mother taught riding and bred horses. The family was very nice, not snobbish at all...and was having a birthday party for the their little girl and sent out invitations. They asked that at least one parent stay with their child because of the pool and the pony rides, but of couse the parents saw it a way to dump the kids. How sad to take advantage of the opportunity of the children to enjoy a day in the country having a wonderful time of swimming and riding horses, something many of them would never experience, and the stupid selfish parents just though of themselves.

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years, 3 months ago

Once again, a handful ruin it for all. This has been on the "world wide web". Again, why would ANY company want to come to Albany and/or Dougherty County when something like this can stop a family oriented celebration like the 4th of July?

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Is there a Youtube video or something?

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

It was a Top story on Google Thursday.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

You have got to be kidding me! I will check it out. Holy Moly!! I didn't know it made national news!!

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missdaisy 2 years, 3 months ago

Desmond, Cantonese and Antwon? Gimme a break; you give kids those names and they just have to start a ruckus. Sorta like a Boy named Sue.

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wesrres 2 years, 3 months ago

Almost everyone is upset because kids were dropped off unsupervised. I know it is a different world, but most all of the kids I grew up with went to the movies, ballgames, park, etc., unsupervised when we were still in grammar school. I guess the difference is, we were taught how to act BEFORE we left home and there was hell to pay if we acted any different.

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agonized 2 years, 3 months ago

Plus, wesres, I seriously doubt you or your friends were armed with a pistol to go to the movies.

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agirl_25 2 years, 3 months ago

Goodness..we knew what "and by god you had better behave, or else" meant.....especially the or else part..... I know I sure did.... Discipline was never a problem in our house...we learned R- E- S- P- E- C- T and Aretha Franklin didn't have to sing it to us either.

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jglass 2 years, 3 months ago

wesrres, we are living in much different times now. I remember when we would be out and about ALL day, we would be dropped off at the movies, we didn't dare cause any trouble because we knew what would be waiting for us when we got home if we did. Today, a lot of parents have kids to get the money. They have kids and the kids have to figure out how to raise themselves because parents are too busy with their lives. This is not ALL parents, but more than enough. The parents of those who caused the fights, etc. at the fireworks should have to sit in jail with their kids.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

I read those names in the Birth announcements a few years back. Thought they were ridiculous.

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Yowsa51 2 years, 3 months ago

Mardi Gras organizers: Are you listening?? You're next, unless you take serious measures...........

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Mardi Gras, you have to pay to get in for a reason. To keep trash out.

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LeesburgLady 2 years, 3 months ago

I wouldnt call them 'unsupervised', I'd call them thugs. And, folks, they are the new normal for Albany. Dont go there if you dont have to.

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waltspecht 2 years, 3 months ago

The times they have definately changed. For the worse unfortunately. I can remember Carl Moyer and myself riding into Bernville with a sulky and Trigger (a Sherland Stallion) to pick up a box of 22 Long Rifle Ammo. We were ten years old. I can remember Uncle Karl calling ahead and sending Butch into town when he was 16 to pick up blasting caps and quarter sticks of dynamite to blow stumps. When we were out and about, it was clear to us we represented the entire Family, and had best behave accordingly. Whether we were at the Fair, Movie Theater or just at the 83 Creamy. Adult supervision wasn't necessary. Now I doubt the adults would have behaved much better than their Kids at this event. They probably would have been goading it on judging from past experience.

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agonized 2 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, the "parents/guardians" go beyond goading and jump right into the melee. There's no reason to think this 4th of July would be any different. This happens A LOT in this town, primarily because the parent is still young and immature herself/himself.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

I think as part of their punishment they should apologize to the whole city and the parents need to be charged as well for neglect, if they can locate the parents at all. Better yet, make them walk in front of the Courthouse with a sign saying " I am sorry for disrupting the fireworks, for fighting and causing terror."

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 3 months ago

How 'bout walk in front of the mall with those signs... then their friends can see them.

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

An even better idea but someone would have to be paid to watch them and make them do it. I remember when Judge Gray implemented this punishment in his Court and he would watch them himself to make sure they did it and didn't take off. I sure do miss him as the Superior Court Judge. He thought outside of the box.

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agirl_25 2 years, 3 months ago

Yes but now Old Jesse or Old Al would be down here in a flash with their marching band of idiot brothers saying it was degrading to make them do that, that it was making them look like they were "less than a man" ...to degrade them that way, blah blah blah blah blah. Plus it may be a hot day and that would also be cruel and unusual punishment, ya think?

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GeorgiaAl 2 years, 3 months ago

Problems like this take generations to get this bad but can be broken in one with a commitment to equip your child with values, resources, and skills. Some "parents" are just babymakers today and don't know where to begin. It does not take a village. I am a male single parent and I chose to break the cycle of dysfunction for my children and am proud of their passing on the discipline, conduct, and structure to offer their children the same... So sad for Albany...........

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agonized 2 years, 3 months ago

You are to be commended, GeorgiaAl, and your kids will thank you for the discipline when they have grown into responsible adults.

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jglass 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, I am quite sure that the police did not get all of the trouble makers. They only got three, but I am quite sure there were many, many more.

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buddy 2 years, 3 months ago

"unsupervised teenagers"??? I would bet money that 17 and 19 year old thugs with names like this have NO supervision...period! and WOW! 3 thugs ruin an independence day fireworks celebration for a whole city and it cost $130 and then they are back terrorizing the streets! We should sue the city for time, gas and suffering for having to endure this crap!

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FryarTuk 2 years, 3 months ago

Wednesday night should have been filmed for an Allstate Insurance commercial. Mayhem and lawlessness was the order of the day. It's time for Mayor Hubbard and Chmn. Sinyard to ask Nathan Deal for assistance either with the National Guard or GSP. Community leaders just don't understand the depth of the lawlessness in this city and a major reason is because they are a part of it or a contributor. The community interest is abandoned infavor of self-serving policies and procedures and the governmental controllers refuse improvement. Resources are abused by corrupt officials who would rather maintain their petty fiefdoms as opposed to making changes or following laws all citizens should follow. The police enforcement in the city and county should be consolidated and streamlined NOW! The city and county commissions throw money at suspect projects and never deal with the core issues and functions. Does anyone think the examples set by the nest of incestuous rogues at the DCSS is not a prime example for which the untamed and uncivilized elements of society gain license and role-models. The story is as old as time itself, "If your gold rusts, what then will iron do?"

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rock 2 years, 3 months ago

I heard a Black Male, approx 45 - 50, bragging he had 23 children by 9 different Mothers!!! Where can he provide parenting skills and life values to HIS 23 children???

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

The State should go after people like him.

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TheBoss 2 years, 3 months ago

Move the fireworks to Leesburg, I don't think the little SOB's will walk that far to fight. If they did they wouldn't make it back across the Kinchafoonee bridge

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Blaqueknight316 2 years, 3 months ago

Solve the problem where it is....if you move the fireworks to Leesburg the "little SOB's will follow. You have to understand, they don't care.

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daisymae 2 years, 3 months ago

The city of Albany doesn't understand why people do not want to come downtown to events, Here's Your Proof. To the previous post about parents dropping kids off at different places for years, the difference is when we were young the parent's disciplined, they did not participate in the stuff we did. If we had done the things these kids do, we were punished and NOT laughed at or congratulated like the parent's do now.

I do not or will not go to any event downtown without an escort because it never fails that there will be trouble.

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dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

Claims of downtown Albany being "safe" took a big blow Wednesday night from which it will not easily recover, if ever. After dark free outdoor events with large numbers of people attending cannot be safely done because of the potential for exactly what happened in this case. The police certainly did the right thing in shutting it down--a very wise decision.
Instead of the local black preachers ganging up to challenge the ill-fated career academy, because of fear of losing control, it would be nice if they would gang up to do something positive to work with parents and youth, such as these, where we clearly have lost control.

Expect things to get worse, not better. Our gobs of subsidized housing and an extensive welfare support system draw people from other areas like a magnet. We are creating incubators for our own problems with poverty, crime, and ignorance, which we see displayed by children who seem to be only facilitators for an increased welfare payment.
While Albany's population is decreasing, its percentage in "living in poverty" is increasing because we have turned "poverty" into a family "profession". It would be interesting to see how many of the youth jailed by the police these days are products of subsidized housing.

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big2xpapa 2 years, 3 months ago

'Stupid is' is 'Stupid does'.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

Y'all don't forget that these teens are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the court of public opinion, and will probably get off and reinstated with back pay. Right B-r and cj42?

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

you are drunk sister ruby tuesday

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AnotherMom 2 years, 3 months ago

Oh, that's right, Sister Ruby! Where are B_r & cj42? They always have comments about how negative we are in this town. One group of thugs ruined an entire evening for thousands of law-abiding citizens & wasted a lot of money in the process, but that's okay according to certain people. I'm sure these boys are somebody's "baby" & they are "good kids", right?

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

you are crazy....that is not ok....I'm sorry if you think like that.....

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

These incidents are sad, and embarrassing. Albany is in bad enough shape without these fights to bring us down more. It all started when America stopped corporal punishment in schools......that, along with poor parenting is the reason kids are disrespectful and unruly today. SHAME!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Coach for speaking out! My question is where is the outrage from our Black Leadership? Preachers should be leading the outrage that our youth are allowed to misbehave in public. With enough peer pressure these fights could be stopped and allow everyone to feel safe Downtown. It is a shame our leaders are not speaking out for a safer Downtown while speaking about how much more money they want spent to entice people to come downtown. The dollars will never make up the negative perceptions.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

If color was not on your mind you would ask all preachers of all colors to speak out against this type of behavior. This is not a color issue. This is a problem with our youth of this city. Some white children need discipline too. Anyone who is concerned about the future of this city should do something to help train our youths of all races on how to properly act in public whether its your child or not.

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dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

Exactly. And for the very reasons you have pointed out in this post.

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 3 months ago

Coach, how many white teens were involved? Just saying...

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

Coach I do NOT deny Color is very much on my mind.

Point your finger and call me racist if that helps you hide from the Truth, but historically it is not kids of other colors that are scaring the public away from and killing Downtown. I agree Albany has problem youth of ALL colors. But the problem at hand and staring us in the face is Black youth causing problems Downtown. Don’t try to confuse the issue by dragging other races into the discussion about the MAJOR problem we have Downtown with Unruly Black Youth.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

This city is majority Black so of course the majority of the crimes committed will be by Blacks. (That's just simple math.) But every now and then white teens break the law and do stupid things too. If you cant acknowledge that, then this conversation cant go forward. Yes, I think Black youth here in Albany need better guidance and discipline and it is a major problem, but just focusing on one group is stereotyping and pre-judging one group way too much. If you really cared, you would direct your comments to all parents of all races to make a change in the way they are bringing up their kids.

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VSU 2 years, 3 months ago

I give coach a thumbs up. I know we question his choice of political views, but let's be fair to the coach, he is a good citizen, and people will probably fall down from this, but believe it or not, our communities would be a better place if we had more people like coach. I know some will think I have been drinking for standing up for the corch, but he really is not a bad guy. I know me and coach call each other names, but I don't dislike coach, just like messing with him. It's all in fun, not hate. Love him or hate him, he keeps the blogs interesting. Keep up the good work coach. I totally agree 100% with your above comments.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm just reading this......Thanks VSU!!! You alright with me too....I just messing with you sometimes too!!!

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dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

Have you been reading my playbook, Coach? What schools and parents did years ago to make children more respectful worked. The absence of those same things now has given us a lot of children who are potential candidates for incarceration at an early age and will never live a productive adult life should they live that long.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

When I was in school in DOUGHERTY COUNTY MANY MANY YEARS AGO....we were afraid of three things...1) a principal 2) the police 3) and our moma.....The problem with these kids is that they are not afraid of anything!!! How can they be disciplined if they fear NOTHING??? I say if you are scared to whip your kids, then turn them over to their grandparents or someone who aint scared to whoop....cause this mess is outta control!!!!!THE BELT STILL WORKS!!!! I PROMISE YOU!!!!

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Margie 2 years, 3 months ago

Desmond, Cantonese and Antwon? What's the big deal. The names has nothing to do with the behavior. Do some research and you will find that their are some famous people around with the same names, and they are not our causing havoc. You were born, and your parents named you, and it might not be one that I would name my child. God is not at all concerned with our name, but more with what's in our heart and how we treat each other. Yes, it is truly embrassing and shameful that families can't go out to a fireworks celebration without having to run, dodge, and scramble for safety. But, UNTIL laws are changed, and individuals are made accountable, the saga continues. But, don't attach the name to inappropriate behavior. Desmond Tutu, Antwon Fisher probably would take offense.

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rightasrain 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll grant you that parents did not "drop off" these teen thugs; they either drove themselves or rode with other thugs. Any type of city-wide activity is just an opportunity for violence in this crime ridden city. It is so encouraging to know that APD Officer Brown was concerned first for the safety of his officers who are sworn to protect the citizens first! I won't even venture into Albany during daylight hours without The Judge sitting beside me; forget going into Albany after dark!

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athens 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Capt. Brown, the right thing to do,, a shame,, where are the leaders,and preachers of color taking an ethical and moral stand ,,let the thugs know Albany wont stand for this,,, Where are you leaders?

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 3 months ago

This problem is obviously worsening each and every generation. When I reference the Births Announcements, it's because the problem is getting worse and worse. Single motherhood is the NUMBER ONE causal factor in generational poverty. When more and more young women barely in their teens (many times from adult "donors") are having more and more babies who then go on to have more and more babies etc (Babies Making Babies - Sly Stone) well it gets more out of control each and every generation that follows and eventually there will be NO CONTROLLING the chaos. Are we there yet?

And white folk have no influence in this sitation since they will not be listened to and cries of racism will ensue if the obvious is mentioned.

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tocar 2 years, 3 months ago

I was in a local store one afternoon and two black teen males had walked in ahead of me. One of them remarked to the other, "Man, I'm bored." The 2nd male said, "what do you want to do"? The first male said, "Let's go make babies." The 2nd male said, "man, watch your mouth. There is a white lady behind us." I was appalled at what i had heard. If this is the mentality of many here, then I can see that there would not be any way to communicate with the ones running the streets and living off of the system. If the females would develop some morality and not allow these thugs in their homes, there wouldn't be so many walking around pregnant and disconcerned about their education and their futures. What a mess!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

Coach thank you for your comment above to my last post. It was just as I expected more BS double talk.

  1. You are Wrong I did acknowledge Albany has problem youth of ALL colors.

  2. You are Wrong Focusing of the group that comments the majority of crimes is being realistic and focused, not like you trying to dilute the focus of the Major Problem by dragging others into the discussions.

  3. If you really cared YOU would stop you race baiting and admit the Major problem to be cleaned up in Albany is Black Youth and stop yelling: well a whitey does something bad every once in a blue moon you got to look at them too or you are a racist. Facing the Major problem is being realistic and has nothing to do with race that was not created by the race that causes the Major Problem.

If the BIG problem was cleaned up then by comparison the rest would look bad too and the Police would have more time to look at criminals of other races. But as long as you keep mumbling Racist under your breath and get huffy because someone (non-black) calls for actions against the Major problem you will continue to push the divide in this city. If you had stood for the Black Preachers to take a stand against the Black Problem youth then people would see you as wanting better for Albany. But your attempt to belittle my call by trying to divert the focus from Black youth to others because they too sometimes commit crimes is proof your only motivation is racist.

BTW. Once a upon at time Albany was majority white and the blacks were still the major criminals….so your opening claim is just another excuse for blacks.

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coachjohnson42 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, you are the one who is race-baiting....I could care less what color the criminals are in this city and by whom...As a concerned citizen, I want it all cleaned up. This conversation has detoured into something different from the original article. Its traveling down the race-road now and I am getting out of the car. The only think I care about is a safe city for all to enjoy along with all people. I have no desire to be in fear or be separated from anyone. I am not moving to Lee County to run from anybody. Albany used to be the GOOD LIFE CITY and it can be again with the help of good law enforcement, good parenting, good schools, good entertainment, good churches, and honest politicians. Is that asking too much?

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

You are such a great BS artist…. I could care less about race but when it is as clear as black and white why should we even be talking about gray or poker dots? I did not mix words there was no baiting I flat out said Black youths are the problem and the Black community should stand up and put pressure on their youth to behave. You started your BS and try to drag others into the discussion about the Major Problem Albany is facing is the Black youth. Then you try to sound so innocent by claiming you want Albany to be the Good Life once again. You are not man enough to face the fact the problems we have in Albany are of your own doing and until you and other Blacks can become a Man with a backbone and standup for civility among your youth the problem makers will see your silence as your blessings for what they do. So criticize me for calling on the Black preachers to standup and your youth see you as supporting them and so does the rest of Albany.

So once again Run and Hide Run Run

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