These white people are tracking crime in a black neighborhood. Is that racist?

Phillip Murphy isn’t a person of color, but what he lacks in melanin, he makes up for with colorful language.

When discussing how police officers have handled the growing problem of violent crime in North Minneapolis, he described them as “pusillanimous pipsqueaks” and “cowards.” As for the criminals, Murphy said he once referred to them as “thugs,” but after being called racist, the 53-year-old started calling them “urban terrorists.”

“Because that’s what they’re doing to the community,” Murphy, who has lived in the area since 1992, told me over the phone.


Murphy is the founder of True North,a Facebook group that obsessively monitors police activity in North Minneapolis, the center of the region’s minority population (black people make up half of all residents in North Minneapolis, while they comprise under 20% of the city’s overall population). The area is also ground zero for an alarming, sustained uptick in violent crimes. Day and night, Murphy listens to police scanners, and posts information about crimes happening around town.

“People deserve to know when shitbags are running around here with guns,” he said. Police and local media only shed light on a select few crimes, Murphy argued, but his page tries to present the whole picture of crime in North Minneapolis.

“People deserve to know when shitbags are running around here with guns.”


With around 6,000 followers, True North is one of a growing number of like-minded Facebook pages in North Minneapolis. Others, such as North Vent and NE Minneapolis Crime Watch & Information, have become places for residents to share information about crimes, and air their frustrations over lack of police intervention. Several page administrators told me that police routinely check their pages for information that might help them with investigations. In some cases, I found that the pages were days ahead of local news reports.

But critics say the moderators and administrators of these Facebook pages are predominantly white and middle class, while the community on which they’re keeping tabs is mostly black. The problem, then, is a racially tinged, class-divided clash between different segments of a community that share the same goal of stopping violence.

So, can a group of white people track and vent about rampant crime in their black neighborhood without being labeled racists?

“What these groups do is that they pit ‘us’ on quote unquote ‘them,'” Felicia Perry, 36, a black clothing designer and local activist, told me. “It’s a place to be validated for your bigotry, really. Complaining about things or even being a police scanner hoe all day long—I just want to know what that’s changing. How is that making the neighborhood better?”

Perry said she sees the issue as a matter of both classism and race.

Community members who oversee these Facebook pages hope that the more awareness they bring to crime in North Minneapolis, the more police will offer resources, and the more crime will drop. But recently, there’s been an uptick. The week of Aug. 16 saw the most gunshots ever recorded since Minneapolis released its gunfire-tracking system, which posts weekly data online,according to Murphy who tracks the data. And the bulk of the city’s gunfire is almost always in North Minneapolis.

“Things are getting worse,” Murphy said with a sigh.



A page admin for NE Minneapolis Crime Watch & Information, who requested anonymity because they’ve dealt with “too many stalkers and threats” over the years, told me that “people’s perceptions of what is posted are formed by their own agendas.”

They added, “Some people think that posting facts about crime is racist or hating on poor people.”

Diana Fisher, an administrator for the group North Vent who is black, said some community members in North Minneapolis are turned off when they have to face the racial reality of crimes in the area. When page members post mugshots, crime reports, and criminal histories, the offenders tend to be black more often than not, she said.

“My son is black; he was robbed three times for his bike, held at gunpoint for his cell phone. Each time, it was another black male. My daughter was mugged by a black man. My home was robbed, and the police caught him; he was a 17-year-old black man,” Fisher told me in an email. “[Some people] are offended because it’s put out in the spotlight.”


But others feel differently.

In July, a black woman complained about racism on Fisher’s page.

“I have been in this group for less than a week, and I had no idea this group was filled so many racist people living in North Minneapolis.” she said. “The comments and generalizations made of people of color, people on public assistance, basically people that are not white and middle class, are absolutely disgusting!”

In response, a white man wrote, “I can help you spend that EBT [food stamps] of yours.” (Fisher promptly booted him from the group.)


That comment aside, postings on the Facebook pages are mostly innocuous, or explicitly anti-whoever is committing crime in the community. From what I’ve seen, after weeks of monitoring the pages, admins remove and address inflammatory comments quickly.

“People come on the page often and post these rants about what a racist page it is, and I always ask them to point to racist content and explain why it is racist, so the page can learn and admins can deal with it more effectively,” Daniel Field, another administrator for North Vent, told me on Facebook messenger.

Conflict arises when some people see racism and bias in places where he, Fisher, and other don’t see it, Field explained. “I wish there was a medium where people’s intent was clear, and where all of us could read comments without filtering it through our own bias, but that doesn’t seem to exist,” he said.


If nothing else, the pages enable members to share hyperlocal news, most of which doesn’t make the daily papers. And judging by the size of the communities, which range from 6,000 in True North to nearly 15,000 in NE Minneapolis Crime Watch & Prevention, a fair number of people are invested and engaged.

“I’m an advocate for access to information. People who think that spreading information is contributing to the problems we have here don’t wanna deal with the facts of the matter,” Murphy said.

“What we have in North Minneapolis is a people problem—there’s a complete breakdown of family values, here. It’s not a race problem.”

But for local activists like Perry, focusing on the bad things in North Minneapolis means people are overlooking the good. For her part, she participates in local campaigns organized by other community groups like Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. Earlier this month, it held a community forum with Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein in which Perry participated.

“It’s not that we turn our eyes [away from] the things that are happening in the community,” she said. “What we do is we address them in a way that builds and empowers the community to make the changes we need to make things better.”










"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









Last edited by sunnubian
Original Post

Racism is everywhere in America. Whites don't like blacks, blacks don't like whites, but we're here; know nothing else; it is what it is. They stole the country and by hook and crook, their pale, ugly asses are IN CONTROL over you. They have the manpower and lord knows, they have the weaponry and their fingers are a snap away from any trigger. They'll incinerate your behind before the hat drops on your black ass without a moment's hesitation. We might be able to take the heat of the sun, but the heat of a bomb or bullet's a whole different ball game, when it hits your head, back or ass.

If you're going to be walking around here uneducated, hanging with your homeboys, learn nothing in school for a trade; carpentry, electrical things, etc., want to dress improperly, look tough, act tough, use profane language constantly, wear blonde weaves, tight clothes, do criminal things; sell drugs, join gangs, shoot each other; your black asses are going to be Harambe'd. Just like the 4 legged animals from Africa;  it will happen to you.

Look at all the animals from Africa locked in cages. They look miserable as hell, they'd like to be roaming the turf with their 4-legged homies; never to see them again.  People pointing, laughing, teasing them, occasionally falling in their cages.

The same thing is going to happen to you right here. Has been that way ever since we left the ships or if we didn't come here in ships. (Some say we were always here, others say we came here on those humongous nasty ships; we're HERE.) The folks pointing and laughing at you will be the cops, your accusers, prosecutors, wardens, jailers, fellow prisoners. Look forward to alllllllll that same sex jazz and prancing. 

One fact is, if you're ignorant, your ass is grass. Bottom line. You guys had better figure out a way to do better or you'll end up in their prisons, perhaps for your entire life or in your grave.

Same way with cigarettes, you think you're cool? They're going to kill you. Case closed.

Last edited by Norland

  To me?  It's the bitter with the sweet.  Cuz it is a fact that black on black crime is out there but not many black folks will report it.  As they didn't when young black innocent children were gunned down in the 80s and 90s by notorious gang bangers. You can't have it both ways.    Either you're gonna do the right thing....or not!  Too many times doors were shut in my face just get to information about what happened to my son.  As a result of similar occurrences, crime in the black communities sky rocketed cuz back then?  No body wanted to be a snitch....and not too many of em wanna be one today.  So how we gon address the deterioration and devastation in our community if we are NOT willing to make that phone call?  Had we during the inception of this it wouldn't be out of control today. 

When I was a kid....yes there was crime.  Black people stole, robbed and killed but it was different.  There was social decorum in the community and black people looked out for each other including their children.  It wasn't perfect but as a child you couldn't do what you wanted in the neighborhood without some adult telling on you by the time you got home or scolded you themselves.  Back then, almost every adult was your hologram parent.  Who could tell you to stop[sometimes spank you on the butt] and pull you by the ear and take you home.  I know it's a different mindset today....cuz now you just can't trust folks anymore.  But there was a quiet integrity in the culture that is absolutely absent today.  Kids will not only cuss you out but will harm you if they felt you insulted/disrespected them.  They have no respect for anyone let alone another adult.  So in my view it has come full circle.  Being silent then, set the stage for what we  have now.  And there's no one answer to its resolution....cuz it's a different self-defeating attitude that  has drenched the psyche of our young people.  So to me, it's no surprise that police brutality has raised its ugly head again.  We have to come back to being accountable for what our children do, accountable for the things we see that isn't right and stand in the truth of where we as a culture went wrong.  And we have to be willing to do the WORK to rectify it.  Meaning what is done before and after the protests/demonstrations.  Are you being good to your family, are you being good to your community, are you doing your best to be a good example.  These things matter.  Cuz after protesting hard and then get on a bus and not give  your seat to an elderly person....or to go back to your community and call each other names, or not taking full advantage of being able to go to school and educate yourself or your children[that black people die to make happen]....or not being in the moment of gratitude are disgraces to the black cause.  Cuz  those are the REAL steps necessary to heal a broken culture once again shattered.  Cuz we are indeed BROKEN...and shattered in little bitty pieces.   We need to get back whole to be effective.  It's the only way.

So yes...we need our flashlights and patrol our own communities, we need to let it be known if we see something WRONG we will report it regardless of the outcome.  We need to let our people know we CARE more about our culture collectively than we fear each other individually.  Cuz that is the wound we have:  FEAR.  Once we eradicate that?  We can go on with being prideful from the inside out and maybe then those on the outside who are hell bent on destroying us...will RESPECT us as a race.  We have to show ourselves we are brave enough to handle our own affair with our people.  Otherwise, white people are gonna monitor what we do.  Cuz why?  They want it back to the Jim Crow days and will do ANYTHING to make it happen again.....as they [in guise of police brutality] are doing right now.  But!   



Last edited by Kocolicious

Of course, Black people should look out for each other and their own communities, and should be vigilant in trying to put an end to the 'Black-on-Black' crime that happens in Black and predominately Black communities.

But, racists Whites"monitoring" and "tracking" ONLY Black crime and ONLY crime that occurs in Black and predominately Black communities. while NOT "monitoring" or "tracking" the White-on-White crime that occurs in White or predominately White communities, is just RACIST, PURE AND SIMPLE, JUST RACIST.  It is the equivalent to police keeping ONLY Black people and Black communities under constant surveillance, while NEVER keeping White people and White communities under surveillance.  

It is the equivalent to 'Stopping and Frisking' ONLY Black people, while never 'Stopping and Frisking' White people, and will only yield the same result, which is a gross misrepresentation and false "statistics" on crime demographics, not to mention serving ONLY to even further STEREOTYPE ONLY Black people as being"criminals" or"committing the most crime" in America.  


White people hate black people, so damn near everything they either do or don't do will be "racist" to us. When you HATE someone, you don't show them love, care and empathy. These fuckers HATE the air we breathe. That's why they're ending our breathing left and right. White people HATE black people. Black people don't have much LOVE for them either. THEY'RE IN CONTROL of our BLACK ASSES, so HERE WE ALL ARE until WE NO LONGER ARE.

A.M.E.R.I.G.O.  V.E.S.P.U.C.C.I.'s EUROPEANS' FAKE, STOLEN WONDERLAND of GENOCIDE and SCALPING and ENSLAVEMENT and MURDER, unless you're a fellow EUROPEAN. And so the KILLINGS and DEATH  continue here, there, everywhere, forevermore.

Last edited by Norland

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