What’s Going On in Rhode Island
On a quiet East Side street yesterday morning, police dug bullet slugs from the vinyl siding on a house and the fender of a nearby car. A teenager walked by with a bloody bandage on his elbow. And mothers complained about the stupidity of young people shooting each other for no good reason.
The night before, five people were shot as they sat in front of 94 Pleasant St., waiting to go to a club. Witnesses said they heard 15 shots. …
“It’s an East Side-South Side thing and they’re fighting over nothing,” said Denise Taylor, who lives on Pleasant Street. She said she has a 17-year-old son who has been shot once and shot at several times.
“I can’t take him to the mall because he’ll get jumped,” she said.
Most of the massage parlors in Rhode Island are operating in office buildings in the capital city — some just blocks from City Hall — but the mayor says the state’s weak law on prostitution hampers the police in shutting down the brothels. …
A quirk in current state law makes prostitution legal in Rhode Island, as long as it takes place indoors. Only the streetwalkers, their pimps, and the customers flagging them down from vehicles can be charged. …
Last year, legislators rejected an attempt to strengthen the prostitution law, saying it would punish women who may be working as prostitutes against their will.
At the last session of the General Assembly, two bills that targeted human-trafficking also died.
I don’t know what to say, except maybe this: Hey, yeah, let’s throw a casino into the mix. That’ll help.