St. Pete councilman blames Gulfportians for crime on 49th Street | Crime
Gulfport, Florida -- In a response to a resident’s concerns that the City of St. Petersburg too quickly pointed fingers at Gulfport police officers in a recent pursuit, St. Petersburg Councilman Wengay Newton called Gulfport residents “customers” in the drug trade on 49th Street.
“Speaking of crime along 49th Street and Child's Park Neighborhood,” Vice Chair Newton wrote, “Gulfportians are customers not victims[...] Supply and demand.”
“He’s likely referring to the position that law enforcement should target demand rather than supply. It’s probably true that the demand comes from somewhere other than that neighborhood, but to say that it comes from Gulfport? I haven’t seen any evidence of that,” Gulfport Chief of Police Rob Vincent said.
Last week’s pursuit of a stolen vehicle, which started when Gulfport Officer Jessie Kellington tried to stop a Toyota and the Toyota’s driver opted to flee, ended when the alleged car thief crashed into a bus in the Jordan Park neighborhood.
The alleged felon led Gulfport police out of Gulfport, onto the Interstate, and into St. Petersburg with speeds reaching 90 miles per hour, according to Gulfport Police.
St. Petersburg’s mayor, Bill Foster, criticized the Gulfport police, saying...