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Crime and the IE

 June 2, 2023 at 12:00 AM PDT

S1: Now playing on the Parker Edison Project.

S2: When it comes to the relationship between community members and the police , we have the largest county jail right next to the high school that graduated from the school to prison. Pipeline is very real for students to this day. When they look out their classroom window and they're told they need to focus on the material at hand.

S1: That's up next on the Parker Edison Project. Who.

S3: Who.

S1: Me , sir.

S4: Peter Parker. How you doing ? Excellent.

S1: Excellent. Abby , You know , my favorite sound is.


S1: Like an origin. Like two. Two. Two black men. Two old black men past each other , and they just. They speak real fast. All right , then. My favorite sound.

S4: I love that.


S4: That crunch is just immaculate.

S1: You only get to do it like three months a year.

S4: Yeah , because the other leaves don't crush like that. You got to wait till autumn. Trudeau.

S1: Trudeau. Trudeau. Trudeau.

S4: Ask me again and I'll tell you the same. Now , my mom used to say that all the time. I don't know what that means. My name is Ramiro.

S5: Oh , no.

S6: You are now tuned to the Parker Edison Project and project.

S1: Good morning and welcome to the Parker Edison Project. You know , we deep in season three , right ? I was at a party earlier this year and the Grammys were playing on the big screen. Just something in the background. That was kind of the theme of the get together while having a drink. Someone announced Nas won a Grammy for his King's Disease album produced by Hit-boy from the Inland Empire. The person I was talking to casually mentioned this was a piece of good news because they just saw an article online about how there's a recent spike in crime in that area. And just like that , this statistic in passing became a fact. Another person chimed in at their scheduled to be in the Inland Empire for work this week and that they would be a little bit more careful. The conversation and evening went on essentially uneventful. But I too am scheduled to work and visit the Inland Empire and started to wonder about that spike in crime or the legitimacy of this newly acquired fact. I'll know a lot about the Inland Empire and thought this is as good a gateway as any to get familiar. So for episode nine , we're talking about crime in the eye , which by extension could be crime in any West Coast city. What happens in one happens in most. Right ? So my first step is to talk to somebody from the Inland Empire to find out if they're dealing with the rising crime. And my second step is to find out what causes it. Easy enough. If you've been with us along the seasons , you already know the host of our Msme segments movies Millennials should movie. King Dice is a real mover and shaker up that.

S4: Way and.

S7: Connoisseur of only the finest cheeseburger.

S1: He put me in contact with somebody who could give me some one on one insight.




S1: I've been to the Inland Empire and think I've even been through banning a couple times , but I'm not super familiar.

S2: It's hard to not feel fortunate , especially when you have a really cool neighbors. We're really diverse community , so being able to spend quality time with people who think completely different from you , but you have shared lived experiences together , it's a beautiful thing. It's a great place to be , to be able to be inspired and lean into your artistry , funnel that into your professional life , your family life , all of it come through , man. Saying nice is up the street too.

S5: So hey , shout out dice , shout out.

S1: A friend of mine was telling me how there's this odd spike in crime in Fresno or Inland Empire. And that sounds very different from what you're describing.

S2: Perception , media , sensationalizing everything. If you're not in the streets , their firsthand account , everything seems scary. We got a lot of beautiful people here , a lot of talent , people that are passionate about the things that they do and are just trying to survive.


S2: We have the largest county jail right next to the high school that I graduated from. The school to prison pipeline is very real for students to this day. When they look out their classroom window and they're told they need to focus on the material at hand. Going into high school , we had about 500 freshmen and we graduated 118. Being able to make it out of that situation , I had community that I leaned on that really looked after me. I'm community made to the bone. Other folks weren't as fortunate. So the work that I do today is inspired by that. Just like yourself.


S2: If you bring in the community , I mean everyone in the community , not just your typical stakeholder meetings , that's the same demographic being hit. So I think that would be a powerful tool getting people to dictate where the money goes. God forbid we give people some power. Okay.

S5: Okay. Okay. Chris , how can.

S1: You mention you mentioned an organization that you're working with.

S2: That's what really builds community , right ? Making sure you have a park down the street , health care down the street , all of that. Um.

S5: But yeah.

S2: It's on there. We were not a nonprofit yet. We have a moa of memorandum of Agreement with another local nonprofit , so our funding goes through them. So donate to Faith in Action and earmark it with a better banding. With that , I will get those dollars. We'll put it to good use. We're working on a contract with our city hall right now to oversee the city's first ever youth council that hopefully will be launched by fall of this upcoming year. And we'll be hopefully getting that contract to oversee their programming. Dice is going to be overseeing that , too. So we're really excited. We got some good stuff in the works.

S1: Chris has given a picture of a good place. Not perfect , but very appealing. He makes me wonder if anyone from the Department of Justice collecting that data is stopping in to cities to make sure the details line up. Also , Chris makes a great point about talking to the people in those cities. This would help put statistics in a proper context. I got in contact with my next guess because he's a guy with access to the kind of guys with access to information way out of my reach.

S8: This is Southeast Panhandle. Love it.

S1: Love it.

S8: Where ? I mean , I'm originally from New Jersey , but I'm a transplant to Los Angeles. I came out here in 82 , so I've been here a long , long time. You have a podcast that.

S1: Deals with gritty content.

S8: Myself and my co-host , Michael Hall. We talk to gang members about the real consequences of having made the decision to become a gang member in that sometimes you hear some really nice anecdotes and sometimes you hear some horror stories. What do you hope the long.

S1: Lasting effect of your show.

S8: Is ? Well , what we want to be able to do is expand and provide resources and services to the people who already made the decision to become gang members when they were young. They made that decision. That decision is done. It can't undo it. To have them suffer for the rest of their lives is a travesty in my mind. So I want to be able to provide a platform where they can come in , tell their stories , but in addition to that , where people can get resources to move their lives forward. And I want that opportunity for everybody. And I don't want to deny to them simply because they made a decision when they were in their teens to become a gang member.

S1: This episode I'm talking about the I , but this really applies to a lot of small West Coast cities.

S8: And this is based on research that it's an unknowable whether or not crime is rising or declining in any particular place. The way we understand crime is simply the way police report crime and police don't have any obligation. There's no federal standards for how they report crimes. And it's all about reporting as opposed to actual acts. For example , I can punch you in the mouth. Right , Right , right. And I can get charged with simple assault , aggravated assault , assault with GBI or mayhem , depending on how the prosecutor decides he wants to prosecute this. Right. You want to know if the crime is increasing or decreasing. Talk to the people in the neighborhood. You go to them and say , hey , man , what's going on , man ? What's going on ? Is it as bad as it was last year or is it worse ? Well , you know , because that's what I do when I'm out here. I would never go to the police and try to figure out what the neighborhood is like.

S1: This is bonkers. I got to hit the books on this and do a little bit of research , but cars need to be on it and be listening.

S8: Gangster. Gangster 8300 and you'll find the podcast. We're going to tune in. Yes , sir. We got.

S5: Two minutes.

S1: I added a link to a series Gangster Gangster podcast in the episode. Show Description , pop over and show him some support. Both he and Chris mentioned the importance of speaking to grassroots contacts for accurate insights on what's happening in any neighborhood. When we come back from break , we'll hear from a young artist and activist who's cultivating those kind of connections all over East and the West Coast. Stick around.

S6: Stay tuned for more of the pep.

S9: In 2023. Hip hop is turning 50 years old , and there's no better way to celebrate this monumental anniversary than by playing the question's hip hop trivia game. Based on the acclaimed live event turned online show and podcast of the same name to questions , hip hop trivia features 300 cards to challenge and entertain everybody from casual listeners to the most diehard liner note reading rap nerds. The questions , hip hop trivia available wherever you get games and books or order yours at questions. Hip Hey folks , my.

S10: Name is Bob Surratt. I'm a librarian and host of Listeners Advisory , the San Diego Public Library Podcast. Listeners Advisory is the audio access point that connects users with staple services , facilities and staff. Tune in twice monthly for a mixture of narrative driven segments , in-depth interviews and roundtable discussions about everything from professional recommendations to community centric matters. Find us wherever you get your podcasts or at. Org forward slash listeners advisory.

S1: And now back to the pep.

S5: The pep.

UU: 108 for the.

S11: Last on your dial. But first , in your heart. You.

S1: You. You're in the fresh state. I'm Parker Edison.

S7: It's your boy King Dice. And this is movies. Millennials. Your movie ? Yeah. Yeah , I got a movie. This movie is a Spike Lee joint. It's called Do the Right Thing. Oh , it's about the hottest day in a particular summer in Brooklyn. And the racial tensions that rise with the temperature is crazy. We see John Carlo Esposito in one of his original roles , and I know he's a chameleon man. He could be black. He'd be Mexican. He does you. I love it. It's super dope. And all I got to say is Radio Raheem , like Radio Raheem , I love this movie. I'm going to give this movie five radios. You.

S1: You. I'm going to pick a more better blues. It's young Black romance. Go check it out. It's Denzel Washington. It's Wesley Snipes. It's just Bill Nunn. It's just stacked with all types of very , very cool layers. It discusses the way the music is received from the artists or the audience. It goes into little bitty details about the world of jazz. And it follows this this young man who's a jazz musician. You can't pick between two women. Just go watch it. I don't want to tell you how it ends. I want to tell you I'm going to give it. I'm going to give it five , six top hats. I'm gonna give it six top hats. Yeah , yeah , yeah. I'm Parker Edison. I'm King. Dice.

S7: Dice. And this is movies. Millennials should move.

S1: All right , here's what's about to happen. I'm gonna get this next cat on the line , and he's going to proceed to pour Jim's on your head like the ice bucket challenge. I started this episode with one theory , but as we're hashing it out , I'm learning these kind of stats might be a symptom of a bigger issue.

S4: Peace , brother.


S5: I'm currently in New Orleans.

S8: But I'm originally.

S5: From Chicago , Illinois , Southside specifically , and the city that I do my work out of is Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania. People know me as a socially conscious hip hop artist , what was called , you know , Movement for Black Lives or Black Lives Matter came about. I was the first hip hop artist to do a song run off the ground , the first hip hop artist to do a song around Trayvon. And so I was an artist that was kind of documenting a lot of these police killings through my music and through my art to raise awareness around them. I'm also the founder of an organization based in Pittsburgh called One Hood Media. We're at the intersection of art activism , media , education and civic engagement in Pittsburgh. A lot of people don't know Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania traditionally has the poorest working class black community in this country when it comes to inner city poverty. In Pittsburgh , also in 2019 , was called the worst city in America for a black woman to live. We're in the community in Pittsburgh like working to transform a lot of these places. Pittsburgh , similarly to San Diego , was called the most livable city in America. But how can it be the most livable city in America if we're dealing with so many systemic issues specifically affecting black people ? These are kind of the issues that we face. Yeah. And that we're pushing back on in Pittsburgh. And we've been able to do it using art culture in hip hop. So we've been able to kind of take that energy from the protest and kind of use it to begin to kind of transform the political landscape of our city so we can get better policies.

S1: This episode started for me , hearing about a spike in crime in central Cali cities , and the first thing I wanted to do was kind of find out what was causing this spike. But then I was like , Let me kind of check into the validity of this statistic. So like I said , I know you're tapped into a lot of different cities.

S5: And so we traditionally have like the highest paid police officers in Pittsburgh in the last five years , our police department's budget increased by $50 million. So if you increase it by $50 million over five years and then you tell me , oh , crime has gone up , who is that a failure on ? Maybe giving more money to the police isn't actually what reduces crime. The highest per capita police to citizens is Chicago , Illinois. Chicago is like the poster child for violence in a city. So if more police meant safer places than Chicago will be the safest city in the country. But it's not. And it's been an uptick in violence in a lot of places. Now , to put that in perspective , if you put it on a line where you looked at the 90s and 2000 overall crime is down percentage wise. And if we think that we're just going to bring more throw more cops at it , it's weird to me that policing like it's like they get more money whether they do a bad job or not , I'm saying. Right. And so the way out isn't. More police. The way out is actually empowering a pillars in San Diego , pillars of the community that are doing this work in the community , that are connected to the community , that are helping up , you know , our returning citizens as they come home. Right. And that's how you that's how you improve the situation. They're using this data to try to scare people into thinking that we need like more police , although the data doesn't suggest that.

S1: Wait , wait , wait , wait. Just Siri know you're not about to give no more of these jewels. So instead , let me do this. You an artist , You a musician ? Hey , do you have anything that I could play for the people right now ? Yes.

S5: So the last song I put out was called Rob Jeff Bezos. It was really a response to what I saw happening in 2020. Oh , you know , I don't want no harm to come to Jeff Bezos. But , you know , I thought it was a clever way to talk about what I saw happening , this transfer of wealth to this super wealthy 1% as the rest of us struggle through inflation and all this other stuff. So produced by Black Caesar. Legendary Pittsburgh producer. Yeah.

S1: Shout out Sam Snead , by the way. Sam. Sam Snead. Don't get his credit for putting Pittsburgh.

S5: That's a different conversation about how Dr. Dre came and mailman butter Sam Snead black seeds like it like set our music scene back because he just took them all and took them in Atlanta. And a lot of Pittsburgh producers and writers were a part of that history that ended up making some of the classic , you know , Dr. Dre music. So that's an untold story. On the 50th anniversary , hip hop , a lot of people don't know better bet.

S1: Let me hit the song right fast.

UU: Looking out the window with the Drake old fully loaded , playing in How to Rob Jeff Bezos.

S5: How much is 1 trillion when converted into pesos Turn. Half in the night , but I got family and Lego.

UU: So many walked to Earth's.

S5: Surface and they don't know their purpose , not sure of their future. So they walk around nervous and the schools don't teach them. And that's such a disservice. And they treat us like garbage because we come from where the dirt is and we wear t shirts of our friends that got murdered. And we live with the killers and nobody trying to heal us. And they wonder why we walk around with guns and concealment the adults askance. So they run from their children and they can try to be positive , but we ain't going to feel them if they speak in clichés and don't come with their illness. This is life and this heart. And so many don't make it with the light. Where's the God in this industry of fiction ? Can you tell me how to make it out ? This maze of depression in this very cold world where they prey on the naked by way of deception and play with aggression , where we always got punished but never gave correction so close to the edge with my toes on the ledge looking over like what happens to your soul when you're dead ? And I close my eyes and jump like I know I regret. But I didn't fall. I started floating and stands so close to the edge with my toes on the ledge looking over like what happens to your soul when you're dead ? And I close my eyes and jump like I know I regret. But I didn't fall. I started floating and stare. Living life in the clouds. The sun is looking so bright to me now. Like a kite from the ground. Come look at all this light that I found. Living life when the clouds , the sun is looking so bright to me now. Like a kite from the ground. Come look at all this light that I found. I had a conversation with God. In the dream. He told me that my child's wearing as hard as they seem. If , like some movie , they were just part of a scene. But by the end credits , I will have the heart of a king. And the lies and the pain and the hurt and the tears should be celebrated like it was the first of the year that people don't know who they are because they searching and fear. Then he pointed at my chest and said the church wasn't here and I woke up in the sweat , but my mind was so clear and I felt so light like I could fly through the air. No burdens , no stress , no anger , no sadness. A bulletproof vest for all the danger and the madness. Revelation came in the form of a message that I am God. Two of I was born of his essence. And what I thought was tragic was more than a blessing than a shadow of death. But the Lord is my shepherd. I'll. Livin life in the clouds. The sun is looking so bright to me now. Like a kite from the ground. Come look at all this light that I found. Living life when the clouds. The sun is looking so bright to me now.

UU: Like a kite from the ground. Come look at all this light that I found.

S1: Quick update. It turns out the person at that Grammy party was sharing a slightly outdated statistic from the year 2020. The FBI issues annual reports of violent crimes in every city in California , which include robbery , assault and worst. The FBI Quarterly report from September 2022. List the most dangerous cities in California as Stockton. Yeah. Anaheim. Yeah. Modesto. That sounds about right. Fresno. Visalia. Yeah. Oceanside. El Cajon. San Diego. And Vista. He's not even on the list.


S1: The Parker Edison Project is produced and hosted by yours truly , Parker Edison , and of course , the good people at platform collection. Be sure to subscribe and catch the next episode on Apple , Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any comments or questions , visit the Park or Edison Project or hit us on Instagram at the project. Kris Reyes is head of audio production. Lisa Jane Morissette is operations manager and John Decker is Associate General Manager for Content. This programming is made possible in part by the Kpbs Explorer Content Fund. I love saying that because it reminds me of Sesame Street. Y'all stay safe out there.

Artwork by Anne McColl
We look into how despite its recent Grammy success there’s an eerie rise in crime in the inland empire.

For this episode, I talk to activist Chris Castorena, podcaster Askari Abdul-Muntaqim, and artist Jasiri X about how despite its recent Grammy success, there might be a strange rise in crime in the Inland Empire. Music by Nah’Shon and GeneFlo Beats

Episode artwork Anne McColl

Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Chris Reyes (Head Editor), Prof Robert A. Saunders (Geo-Political Consultant), Adrian Villalobos (Media Production Specialist), Lisa Jane Morrisette (Director of Audio Programming and Operations), and John Decker (Senior Director of Content Development)