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Archive for the ‘Living in Downtown Minneapolis’ Category

Everything I did RIGHT and the one thing I did WRONG, when calling #911 to report a #DowntownMinneapolisSafetyHazard, 2 months ago….

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(picture of Thrivent Smith Lot at 7th St and 5th Avenue in DT East, the relevance of picture will be clearer in body of blog, picture taken by me, a few months ago)

Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained or credentialed medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in law enforcement or public safety. I do though deal with less than ideal situations as a private citizen and as an activist, and in this instance, when calling for help from emergency responders, it did fail me. I still will always recommend when someone is or if someone they witness is in crisis, they get help immediately by calling 911 or emergency services in your country of residence.

***
May 26th, 2019, around 7:30 p.m. :
“911, What’s your emergency?”
“My name is Alissa Kasen, I live at 72- 5th Avenue, a man who’s under the influence of illegal drugs, just walked by me, stopped suddenly and started screaming that he wanted wanted to blow up my apartment building, which he’s still sitting in front of”
“Can you please repeat your name and your building address?”
“Alissa Kasen, address is 72- 5th Avenue South, I created a diversion, and am a 1/2 a block away from him, at the Thrivent parking lot at 5th and 7th and I’m telling people not to walk in front of my apartment building, after trying trying to deescalate his anger, by acknowledging the hate he’s been subjected to, being Somali and he was angry that his race has caused him issues getting jobs, a place to live and women to date and I lied and said that I, Mayor Frey, Representative Omar and Police Chief Arrodondo is working against all the the Somali hate that exists. I don’t think he has an IED on him, he’s just enraged and looking for a fight”.
“Okay, we will send a squad, right away”.

Now what I repeated above, is almost verbatim of what I told that man, as well as what I told 911. That he was enraged, I didn’t think though he had an IED on his person, I described what he looked like, 5’6, approximately 120 lbs, Somali, tan pants, blue top and he was carrying a grey  hoodie.

The issue that still haunts me, 2 months later, is that while I described him perfectly, I did NOT describe myself, which I was a a heavyset female, with slightly messy red hair and unfortunately for me,  I didn’t describe what I wore or what I looked like.

And while I knew better to go back into my building, before I cleared my block, as we have handicapped door entrances that open and close slowly and that’s why I didn’t feel safe for me to go into my apartment building because he could’ve followed me in and also presented a safety threat to the residents in my building  and as well as I texted my boyfriend who  I was waiting outside for, as he was going to pick me up for dinner and I told him NOT to go in front of my building, as there was a safety emergency in front of it,  I made that one bad mistake, that really no one could blame me for, as I described the perpetrator, I didn’t think that I’d have to describe what I looked like, at all, especially not knowing at the time I called 911, that he’d confront me again.

From where I was facing, when I was in the parking lot next to my building, there’s no way that a squad could’ve come by to address the situation without me seeing it.

And unfortunately while they never showed in the 8-10 minutes I was waiting before my boyfriend picked me up at the end of my block, that man resurfaced again, after I concluded my 911 call,  angry that I lied to him, as I got away the first time from him, lying about a friend who had a medical emergency that I had to attend to.

Also admitting while he appreciated my kindness initially with having empathy for him and the prejudices he faced, he also admitted that his first thought when he saw me, was that he wanted to kill me, when approaching me that 2nd time. And he went from being maniacally like that, to asking me to have sex, give him drugs and money and asking if he could he hang out with me.

While I eventually as fear stricken as I was, able to kindly explain, I didn’t have anything to give him, that I did feel bad for him though and he let me be, he eventually started bothering a driver waiting at the light at 5th Avenue and 7th Street next to the parking lot next to my apartment building that 2nd time he found me and by the time my boyfriend picked me up, he had moved a block a way, where he was arguing with someone else.

I didn’t call 911 back right away, once my boyfriend picked me up. I did though a few hours later, called the non emergency number for the City of Minneapolis who did say they dispatched a squad .

I’m not accusing them of lying, what I am saying, 2 months later, is maybe because I wasn’t arguing or confrontational with the  erratic illegal unstable drug addict,  the 2nd time that when he approached me again,  the police who I never saw during that time period, at least, if they actually showed, didn’t bother to get involved, with me horrifically thinking my contact with a drug enraged stranger, was consensual, just based upon what I looked like, as I couldn’t have been clearer on what that man looked like.

It still haunts me, that happened, even though I get harassed a lot, even as as unkempt female, as I look like in public frequently, that others may think I have no standards, when I’m out and about, as it’s not my idea of a good time, hanging around dealers, erratic illegal drug abusers, people prone to criminal activity and people asking me for money, sex and cigarettes all the time.

But the difference is, 2 months ago, I did call 911 for help.

So, I guess going forward, should that happen again, not only will I have to explain of what a violent drug and sex seeking perpetrator looks like, I guess I’ll have to describe myself, so a mistake isn’t made, just because I’m NOT attractive that I would want attention like that.

I love our Minneapolis First Responders, whether they be police, fire or HCMC staff.

But, I should’ve never been put in that situation. Had that man been any farther foregone, it’s not a stretch that he could’ve killed me or someone else, given how irrational and enraged he was.

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An open letter to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo , Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Rep. Ilhan Omar: What happened at MOA in April, WILL happen again in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, without some new major safety initiatives in place!!!!

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(above photo credit, me. the relevance of it, will be apparent in blog)

Important Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, or in matters of law enforcement and public safety, if you, someone you know or observe is in medical or mental health distress, please contact 911, immediately.

While I believe in above disclaimers wholeheartedly , it kind of failed on Sunday night.

I’ll explain…

***

So this last Sunday night, I’m waiting outside in front of my apartment building at 5th Avenue and 8th street, for my boyfriend to pick me up, as we had a dinner date planned at Outback in Roseville and he was on his way back after going up north for the holiday weekend.

I live 2 blocks away from HCMC and 4 blocks away from U.S. Bank Stadium.

I’d been waiting awhile, my boyfriend had hit traffic as he was coming back from a trip up north and so I made some conversation with my neighbors until they went back into our apartment building.

About 7:25 pm , I notice across the street at the Centre Village building, a man yelling, he crosses 5th Avenue between the stoplights at 8th and 7th approaches me, screaming as he slams his jacket that he’s holding in his hand on the sidewalk, a foot away and says “I’m going to fucking blow up this building.”

Then he proceeds to continue screaming  at me how he hates white people and ever since 9/11, Somalis like him can’t get a job, can’t get a date and that it’s all my fault.

I’m smoking a cigarette and quietly am listening to him, I told him that I do understand him, that the City of Minneapolis between the Chief of Police, our Mayor and Representative Ilhan Omar and myself even, as I’m a writer are working on preventing anti-Islamic hate and bigotry that negatively effects the Muslim community.

So he calms down and is not yelling at me anymore. He goes from screaming to wanting to find out more about me, and while he’s doing that, I’m worried about people walking by him, that could set him off, especially when I’m looking to get away from him, as he was not only enraged, but clearly on illegal substances.

So I lie to him and say that I have to go, I’m waiting for a ride to visit a friend in ICU at North Memorial, he asks if he can stay with me and come along, I tell him it’s not possible. Then he quizzes me while demanding I sit next to him of the color of my friends, I tell him that my friend in ICU is white, as well as my friend who I’m waiting for is white.

I tell him I must go and head down 5th towards 7th street (pic above is where I was hiding behind a bus station) first I text my boyfriend NOT to come near the front of my building that there’s an emergency and then I called 911, after warning people who were standing there talking at that street corner, as well as as woman with a baby in a stroller headed in the direction of the guy, who was still sitting in front of building that the man sitting front of that building is dangerous and they need to leave the area.

Unfortunately for me, he didn’t remain in front of my building for long, I was about 100 feet away from the Sexton Building and after spotting me, he ran across the parking lot between that  building and my apartment shouting my name (well, the name I gave him, which was Ali) then starts screaming at me for lying to him and he admits, that he originally was going to kill me, but thought I was different that I cared and that I wasn’t a normal white female anti-Islamic male  hater.

I calmly admitted to him that I do care, that he was scaring me when he was screaming at me (and his admission that he thought about killing me, didn’t help but didn’t tell him that), and when he started repeatedly and very loudly telling me he loved me, that he wanted to know if I’d share my money, crack and ganja (the last 2 out of 3 I didn’t have) that  if I wasn’t going to have sex with him, as he asked saying that would make him feel better and explained to him I didn’t have any of the other 3 things he wanted, as well as lying to him that I was on probation for drug possession and abuse and that the county repeatedly drug tested me.

Unless this has happened to someone else, I can’t explain how surreal and scary it is, to have someone who admits they wanted to kill you at first, then asks you to marry them and that fights with you about being a liar who won’t share your money, crack and weed with them, but admits that they still love you anyways and that person is a violent unstable stranger, who’s not in his right mind that fueled further by illegal substances .

This is the deal though, if he had to confront any white woman with the intention of killing them, I’m GLAD he picked me. I’ve lived in Downtown Minneapolis long enough, I get harassed for sex, drugs and money all the time.

I know better than to get an attitude.

Which no one should ever do, especially in my case, I didn’t have a weapon, nor would I ever even try to get a permit and a gun.

And I wasn’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time, I was in front of my apartment building where going back in it, I wasn’t going to risk, because he would’ve forced his way into it, making him also a threat to my building and my neighbors.

After his second confrontation when I kindly said there was NOTHING I could do to help him but that I wish him well, he FINALLY decided to leave me in peace because he understood at least that I was  scared by him and I was sincere in acknowledging that I was sorry about his experience with hate.

That 2nd confrontation lasted about 8 minutes, by then my boyfriend pulled up at 5th and 7th, I quickly hopped in his SUV, made him roll up the windows, briefly pointed out as that guy was fighting by then with some guy in front of the construction build for the new Thrivent HQ, a block away from my apartment building further on 5th when we drove by them  and I was absolutely shaking.

I had thought about calling 911, a 2nd time to tell them he moved a block further down 5th but felt I had given such a good description, that they would find him and didn’t want to be nuisance, now in the last 36 hours, I feel horrible that I never called 911 back to tell them he moved a block further down.

So I come home several hours later after going to dinner which I couldn’t eat, I mention my experience on Facebook, I call the non emergency phone number for the police, where the lady who answered said officers responded at the time, but that he wasn’t there.

I love our Minneapolis first responders, whether it be police, fire and HCMC EMS and 911.

But they didn’t respond to my call right away and I had told the 911 operator the location was of my apartment building, outside a man was making a terroristic threat and that I was calling from the corner of  5th Avenue and 7th Street, as I was trying to get away from him and prevent anyone else from walking by him, as well.

And this is what haunts me, personally, as I’m a larger not attractive woman who smokes cigarettes, that while I described him, I never described myself, what if they did see him, the 2nd time he approached me, where I was a half a block away from the address I gave the 911 operator and thought it was a non violent domestic discussion  of sorts.

It also haunts me, what if he ended up hurting if not killing someone else.

But what I realized is, that we as a city and county (actually this needs to be done on a national and global level)  if we want to have a prayer of reducing the chances of another violent incident by someone who feels like they’ve been a target of hate for so long, that feeling of rejection and rage escalates to someone wanting deadly revenge that we have to figure out how to reach out to those individuals to break the cycle.

I’ve been trying to achieve this as an activist and blogger for violent crime prevention for YEARS.

So maybe what I said, but was lying about city and state  initiatives that involve our MPD, Mayor, Minneapolis City Council and with help from Rep. Ilhan Omar regarding anti-Islamic hate , as well as I’m willing to help and help from top psychological and chemical dependency specialists could and actually should be created, to help those who are at risk due to constant  rejection, of helping reducing the escalation of rage that leads to potentially deadly harm as a form of revenge.

AS, I came this close, 2 days ago, to becoming a news story, myself and having an obituary written about my death, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a skill set that’s good when working with people who ARE violent and/or severely mentally ill and in crisis and I don’t discount that  in this case, I also was very lucky.

While I  can only hope that his confrontation with me, was enough to spare someone else from potential violence, if not deadly harm.

But hoping isn’t enough, what happened to that little boy at Mall of America will happen again, what happened to me, will happen again but escalate to a tragedy and maybe we won’t be able to prevent all of these  tragedies, it will be worth it, if we can prevent at least some of them.

Note: Anything that’s not constructive will not published. I find any kind of anti-Islamic and anti-semetic hate actually any kind of hate based upon appearances, religion, political affiliation, socioeconomics, weight and ideologies, revolting.

The local peep’s pre #SBLII show…

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(photo credit and countdown clock courtesy of Myself)

Trigger Warnings/Disclaimers; This blog is not about football. There’s no activism (although one might able to figure out a reason or 2, why I’m an activist). If profanity or having a sense of humor about things that one’s (mine!) own issues, are offensive, please do not read.

Okay, so everyone around me, kinda thinks I lost my fucking mind, when it’s come to not liking having a Super Bowl (i.e. 52) so close to me.

So I thought in the name of good humor, from someone who does serious activism, might be a refreshing change for a blog.

I thought the best way to do this was to “interview” myself.

Here’s what this looks like….

1. Will I be watching the game?

No, I’m watching people try to get to the game. Outside my window cause it’s sunny (I’m like literally allergic to the sun) and super cold out. And I don’t like crowds of people, which is NOT a good combination for a person who lives in 4 1/2 blocks away from where a Super Bowl is taking place, who also doesn’t like ANY noise but realizes her own irration with that.

2. Will I be going to ANY Super Bowl parties?

No, even though there’s one in my building, but see above comment about NOT liking being among a crowd of people. And noise.Not to mention the last time I went to a Super Bowl party, was exactly 26 years ago.

And exactly 8 months and 3 1/2 weeks later, I brought home, my firstborn. So while I love my children, but don’t care for Super Bowl parties, due to my social awkwardness in my advanced years (I’m 48).

3. Do you have any ideas on who might win the game?

Couldn’t care less, just want them all to get home. Safely. But get home, just the same. The players, celebrities, tourists, etc. I hope all had a great time and have great memories to think about when they are HOME.

4. What will you be eating in celebration of Super Bowl Sunday?

Apparently, it’s hard for people to understand, I’m not celebrating anything, until it’s over and everyone’s home safe. I can’t eat when nervous or stressed out. Because of the busyness in my ‘hood and my disabilities, when finding myself running out of food yesterday,  being in a lot of pain, I unfortunately had to rely on Domino’s for delivery, so I can stay holed up at home until tomorrow and the convenience store, across the street.

5. Okay then. What will you be eating in celebration that Super Bowl Sunday is OVER?

Hopefully, lots and lots of Buca (see my blog about my ideal “Super Bowl”) if there is a nice slow exodus of people, today and tomorrow. If not, then my own private “Buca Super Bowl” will hopefully happen sometime during the week.

6. What’s the big deal about the big game, are you some kinda anti-social people hater?

No, I care about people, enough to try and help them. In the privacy of my own home. But I DO  care about my privacy and my anonymity. A lot. It’s pretty hard to protect that, when there’s literally cameras being held from people all over the world.

My life initially for a decade and half, was AMAZING since the last Super Bowl was held in Minnesota. It’s not so much, now.

7. Any last minute advice for people who are watching the game or couldn’t care less about it on how to handle a painful loss?

Yeah, do unto others, like you’d like them to do unto you. Football fans are passionate, that’s great. It’s been good to see the good that’s come out of having a Super Bowl, here locally.

I don’t expect people when feeling a loss, throw a tea party. I fucking shouldn’t (and no one else) should have to worry about the throwing of  a Molotov cocktail, either.

8. Why do you swear, when it’s so super offensive to people?

To me it’s sentiment or intent , not on how people relate to one another. I’m not going to say “Bless your heart”, when I’m thinking “Go Fuck yourself”, even if it goes unexpressed. One of the things for me, that I HATE about social media, is that it encourages thoughts and behaviors and the immediate need to express them.

9. Well then, how’s the rarified air you’re breathing up in that palace, of yours, Princess?

It’s not rarified air or that I think I’m better or worse than those who LOVE social media. I have no filter most of the time and I came by that way before the digital era due to both organic AND circumstances. There’s great things about social media, I’m still on it, even though I’m thinking more and more, of either moving to the North Pole or becoming Amish, although I’d fucking die without electricity or the internet, so I’m certainly no angel, myself or without my own vices.

10. Any last thoughts you want to leave people with about Minnesota or “Minnesota Nice”?

It’s not. Just like I’m not. I’m a by-product of a native Minnesotan who married a native New Yorker and won a “where are we going to raise our kids ???” battle the first 5 years of my life. And because my mom won, this originally born in Brooklyn as been living in Minneapolis (or its suburbs) for the last 43 years. I couldn’t hack living either living in a bigger town and don’t know from life, in a tiny one.

I’m not “nice”. Whether Minnesota is or not, is something that’s extremely subjective. I am kind and empathetic, but whiny and snarky. Sometimes it’s a great combination in a person, sometimes it’s a disaster, all of which I am.

But not all Minnesotans, transplanted or born and raised are the same. I drink pop, I hate hotdish, beer, donuts, cheese curds and the Minnesota State Fair, so I’ve got to end this blog now and find somewhere else out of state to move, asap, because I just fucking committed “Minnesota Blasphemy”.

So later gators, stay safe and warm if you’re in my hood and hopefully calmer heads will prevail both during and after the Super Bowl.

(Editorial Note: I didn’t realize due to being both distracted and a disabled blogger, that I switched between asking the questions in my “interview” with my self in both first and second person. Until 2 minutes AFTER I fucking published this blog.

Hopefully if anyone reads this, well, if that’s the worst they can come up with, given the fact I’m a medically, mentally and cognitively disabled blogger, as well as a non thin person with a love of carbs, I guess whatever happens, happens and I’m not going to try and edit anything more, other than what’s been edited from the time of original publication, that was needed to best understand intent, which was to be funny and slightly cynical about some way not funny things that I find, both personally and as an activist……)

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