Hearne: The News Desecration of Westport

About Saturday night’s wee hours shoot ‘em up in Westport

Naturally local TV news and the Kansas City Star were quick to pounce on the story, dramatize it then milk it for all it’s worth.

In the case of the Star, that translated into back-to-back stories on Monday – with the second a front page rehash on Tuesday – garnished with sensational, dog whistle words like “melee” and “mayhem” stitched together after-the-fact by reporters who were not even on the scene.

Add to the above breathless “reporting” on the commonplace practice of police using pepper spray and a headline designed to titillate.

“Amid shots, pepper spray, police acted to close Westport early,” shouted the newspaper’s front page headline Tuesday for a largely regurgitated story from page four in Monday’s Star (in case somebody missed it).

Unfortunately the newspaper did what it does all too often and failed to drill down to come up with easily obtainable answers that might have provided a more balanced perspective.

Of course that might have diluted the Star’s sensational headline.

For example, the closing wasn’t a broad based decision by police, according to sources. It was largely a knee jerk decision by a single, police sergeant with limited experience in the party zone.

What’s more according bar owners (Remember them? They’re the ones nobody talks to when they’re being written about), closing an hour early was a foolhardy decision that exposed patrons to needless risks during the peak of the disruption.

‘It was a mistake,” says Westport businessman Bill Nigro. “It was just the decision of one guy. I mean, if there’s a problem outside, why would I send my customers out into it? Most of those problems happened early, then (the police) forced the crowd out into the area. That’s just not good for our customers. For example, the shooting happened at quarter to three, a half hour after they forced everybody outside.”

As for the black dude shooting wildly into the crowd, “It’s unfortunate that people who don’t wine or dine in Westport come down here late at night to wreak havoc,” Nigro says. “But that’s just the reality of being in the urban core.”

Said bad guy got taken out by KC Police almost immediately.

A big part of Westport’s problems with the late night bad guys stem from the vast majority of 3 a.m. bars in the inner city having been reverted back to 1:30 a.m. closing times, Nigro says.

Which is one of the main reasons Westport wants to privatize the streets so they can keep guns out of the party zone on weekend nights.

“With the new gun laws everybody can carry a gun today,” Nigro says. “It’s the wild, wild west. But if we make the streets private we can wand people and take their guns away.”

As for the arbitrary 2 a.m. police closing, “I said the the police, if there were bombs going off outside, would you order the public into the streets,” Nigro adds. “There was a fight in front of ∫ and someone punched a policeman and that’s what they did.

Fake news controversy, anyone? 

How about the tarted up reporting about police using pepper spray to subdue the crowd.

“That’s normal,” Nigro says. “That’s the best way to break up a crowd or a fight. You spray a little on the ground or by a fight and it immediately gets in the air and the crowd backs up and leaves.”

As for the dude shooting into the crowd that was killed by police, “That guy must have been on drugs, he can’t have been that stupid,” Nigro says. “He was standing right in front of the Westport Coffee House with four or five police officers within 25 yards of him. So the minute he started shooting, they shot him.”

The bottom line:

“I can’t imagine this happening again since we have police all over the place,” Nigro says. “And if they close us at 1:30 a.m. they’ll still come down – just earlier.”

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15 Responses to Hearne: The News Desecration of Westport

  1. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Yet another reason I refuse to frequent Westport at night.

  2. CG says:

    Westport has always gotten the crap end of the stick from the media here. Its simple, the thugs are the problem not Westport…or the closing time. Keep them out..they destroyed the Plaza rep on similar issues, now its a ghost town…Westport is our cities TOP ENTERTAIMENT area 7 nights a week, for our people and out of towners…P and L is only busy late night on weekends and special events…Westport has people out every night and weekends are packed…going on 5 decades. DEFEND THE AREA NOT THE THUGS…keep them out any way you can. Sorry if they feel that law enforcement is being unfair on checking them out…tough…most of them spend no money there or anywhere else…they just drive around causing problems…they think its cool…

    Westport works hard to keep the area safe. THERE ARE ALMOST NEVER ANY ISSUES ON WEEKNIGHTS OR DURING EARLIER TIMES FROM DAY TIL MIDNIGHT…VERY RARE…IN FACT THERE HAVE BEEN FAR LESS INCIDENTS LIKE THIS ONE OVER THIS SUMMER AND BEFORE..
    Westport has outstanding security and police do a great job there…give them credit…the only guy shot was a ‘bad guy’…police did a great job.

  3. The Word says:

    Westport is dead. The Plaza is dead. Young blacks ruined it a while ago, people realized it a while. People now have just accepted it and stopped going.

    Why go to the Plaza when you have the same restaurants and shops in your local suburb? Why go to Westport when your local watering hole is just as fun. And you won’t get shot, stabbed or mugged.

    The city should just accept the inevitable. I say destroy the Plaza and Westport and build a new baseball stadium and parking. The only time the city cares about your safety is during sporting events. Build a new stadium on the grave of the Plaza and build parking on the grave of Westport. But a tram in the middle to take fans from two and fro.

    • admin says:

      Interesting concept, Word…

      Maybe they could work out another voting scam to get it passed. Like only the people who leave near the Plaza and Westport get to vote (and only after they fill out and notarize extensive documentation).

      That way the will of the people can be served

    • CG says:

      Word, WESTPORT IS FAR FROM DEAD MY FRIEND…its very busy…James Westfall is restaurant man of the year with his four Westport hot spots like the new Bar B Q where Beaumont was does plus 4 million a year, he has the hottest outdoor patio in KC…as well, Bill Nigro should be KC mayor, he is a never ending ball of energy that leads midtown and has for years, Westport is our only regularly busy entertainment area, period…Plaza hasn’t been for years…

      So Word go look at it before you lead..notice the more than ten new bars and restaurants in Westport, some cost over 2 million dollars to build, far from dead my friend…I’d like to be back there again…

      • admin says:

        Agree, Westport is far from dead…

        That said, a lot of people have indeed made the determination that it’s far easier and safer partying in places closer to where they live and they have plenty of options these days.

        • The Word says:

          I’m from Lee’s Summit and believe it or not, Downtown LS has a lot of good bars there. So why go to Westport when my area watering holes are just as good. The women are just as easy on the eyes and the beer is just as cold?

          Then add in that I can walk around there without fear of getting shot, stabbed or mugged?

          Why go to Westport?

          • boom boom says:

            I was in downtown lees summitt….great place…safe…fun….exciting with no problems.
            Thats really what’s killing westport and p and l…
            why drive all that way with a possible dui when you can walk/uber/drive 2 miles to a really cool place like downtown lees summitt.
            LS is the leawood of jackson county. Great place!

    • Laura B. says:

      Why would anyone go down to the south side of Chicago at night? You’ve got a death wish to go down there at night … except before, during and after games at Comisky. The police are out in force and people feel safe. If people feel safe, they’ll show up. It takes security personnel with experience, though … not some rookie who makes a snap decision … security who can assess and respond without hurting business owners or patrons. I feel the same about Westport. When I see security, I feel confident.

  4. chuck says:

    The “Overton Window”

    Unthinkable
    Radical
    Acceptable
    Sensible
    Popular
    Policy

    The Overton window is an approach to identifying which ideas define the domain of acceptability within a democracy’s possible governmental policies. Proponents of policies outside the window seek to persuade or educate the public in order to move and/or expand the window. Proponents of current policies, or similar ones, within the window seek to convince people that policies outside it should be deemed unacceptable.

    “In the case of the Star, that translated into back-to-back stories on Monday – with the second a front page rehash on Tuesday – garnished with sensational, dog whistle words like “melee” and “mayhem” stitched together after-the-fact by reporters who were not even on the scene.”

    A black guy with a gun, shooting it into the crowd, in an area that (Read Glazer’s post. An anecdotal, testimony from an interested, culturally aware former Westport business owner, who calls a thug spade a thug spade.) has a definable and bloody history of violence on weekends, when the “Protected Class” armies of the night, descend and are given “Room To Destroy”. “melee” and “mayhem” are terms that understate the real time threat to the area, it’s patrons and the business’ trying to succeed in a Politically Correct charged atmosphere in a Progressive town.

    “With the new gun laws everybody can carry a gun today,” Nigro says. “It’s the wild, wild west. But if we make the streets private we can wand people and take their guns away.”

    The implication, that new “gun laws” are the problem, is a specious straw man argument effort that denies the raped, assaulted and murdered existed who fell victim to the “Protected Class” in prior years . My son was down there a half a block away from the kid who got killed at a gas station a few years back.

    A couple of years before that, that little girl was shot through her car window and killed. Brian Euston, blowing a 3.6 (Or something close.), no doubt with that much alcohol in him, a danger to all in a fist fight, was sucker punched and killed. There have been so many assaults, rapes and robberies down there on weekends that we can’t even remember the names of the dead. There should be a memorial, similar to the one at the Liberty Memorial for all of the innocent, “wrong place at the wrong time” victims of the “Protected Class”. THESE ARE THE DEAD

    “That’s normal,” Nigro says. “That’s the best way to break up a crowd or a fight. You spray a little on the ground or by a fight and it immediately gets in the air and the crowd backs up and leaves.”

    ‘Cause, you know, that has always been the case, I can remember going there in my salad days and being pepper sprayed all the time. Oh no…, that’s right, I went there literally thousands of times and never came close to needing the protection of the KCPD –EVAR.

    “As for the dude shooting into the crowd that was killed by police, “That guy must have been on drugs, he can’t have been that stupid,” Nigro says.”

    Anything, any guess, any supposition, any conjecture at all, is permissible when making excuses for the outrageous, disproportionate African American criminality that is now, as has been the case in so, so, so many instances, destroying yet another shopping area, another neighborhood, another city and the dreams of peaceful citizens.

    ““I can’t imagine this happening again since we have police all over the place,” Nigro says. “And if they close us at 1:30 a.m. they’ll still come down – just earlier.”

    Lemme tell ya, anyone with room temp IQ can imagine it happening again, because it will happen again.

    The new normal, in Westport, the P&L, the Plaza and all over America, is the reality of extemporaneous violence from the “Protected Class” which, if suppressed, will result in law suits from lawyers seeking hard earned tax payer money doled out to filthy fuckin pukes like Michael Brown’s ‘parents’ (BURN THIS MOTHERFUCKER DOWN!!!) and the legions of indolent, “vote for a living” citizens who are a Progressive, electorate stanchion on very important Tuesdays.

    The raped, assaulted and murdered here and across the nation, victims of the “Protected Class” have no redress in the new America, where the Overton Window, moving at light speed, now approves of violence, dysfunction and the lionization of belligerent, dysgenic, atavistic thugs who wreck the fuck out of everything they touch.

    I’m sure, that the dead man was “Turning his life around”, and there will be litigation in the near future, where tax payers will assume the guilt and start writing checks.

  5. boom boom says:

    AT WHAT POINT DO A BUNCH OF OLD WORN OUT DUDES LIKE GLAZE/HEARNE/DIGGER/CHUCK/WORD/GUY AND THE REST OF THE
    CREW STOP WRITING ABOUT AN AREA FILLED WITH 18-25 YEAR OLD KIDS.
    BOYS….YOUR TIME IS PAST!

  6. Rainbow Man says:

    Westport is far from dead.. but there still are not enough cops down there. Not security guards.. bona fide kcmo cops. We need Visible squad cars everywhere. In New York they have cops everywhere in Manhattan.

  7. boom boom says:

    don’t goto westport…
    don’t go to plaza very often….
    glaze and hearne love it there cause they can still entertain the broads they pick up there with coloring books and crayons!

    • CG says:

      Harley Hearne lives in Lawrence, so he doesn’t go to Westport…I go there in the daytime mostly to do commercials..I go see Bill Nigro at night sometimes…its busy and no issues when I am there….at night…as for girls, they are everywhere not just Westport.

      Harley you put down everyone, but again what have you done? What are your standout achievements? Who are you?

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