Monday, March 06, 2006

DC Pimp Convicted

I used to live right around the corner from where all this stuff was happening, and I'd often see and get propositioned by many of the girls walking around these streets. I often tried to take streets that were not the most highly-trafficked by the prostitutes and their pimps, but it was just about unavoidable - they were everywhere.

A lot of the girls, especially the younger ones - 14 years old or so - used to hang out very close to the CVS store right there on Thomas Circle - and the CVS was my often-visited late night destination for soda and junk food. Most of the girls were well into their twenties, but sometimes you'd see the really young ones - but honestly, it didn't strike me at the time as scandalous - and it should have, of course. Now it seems obvious, but back them I guess I was so conditioned to just look right through it - I saw it every night, so it never hit me that having these really young girls on the street was some seriously fucked up shit. It's odd because they often seemed very happy, flirty, excited - just as you might expect to find a bunch of girls at a local bar or club - but these girls had been lured into 'the life' by an adult, and that is against the law, fortunately. Little kids don't know enough about the world, in my opinion, to be pimpin themselves out. And these kids never had much of a choice once they made that first fatal mistake of saying 'yes' to their pimps promises.

And then there's the sex house:

The former prostitutes said they walked the streets all night, in all weather -- outside motels; downtown at 14th and K streets NW, once the city's premiere red-light district; and near Eastern and Minnesota avenues NE. They told of a private bar known as Clicks on the second floor of a building in the 1400 block of L Street NW, where sex acts took place behind a curtain in the VIP room. Wes Dimov, the proprietor, pleaded guilty Feb. 25 in a separate case to operating a bawdy house, a misdemeanor.

I knew that place was shady - in the middle of downtown DC, where there's no activity going on except homeless people panhandling, pimps and hoes walkin the streets, and lots of late-night customers to the local CVS (including pimps and hoes) - this little pseudo-restaurant/club-lookin place on L street in between 13th and 14th streets was lit up with a massive, gaudy, tacky disco-type light, and had hip-hop dance-type tunes pumpin out of it. It always looked completely empty, but you'd see people hanging out near and around it. I always assume it was some type of hash/drug house - I guess I should have known it was for prostitution.

The scariest thing about watching these pimps and hoes walk the streets (I thought I wrote about this before, but I couldn't find it) was watching how the pimps would walk to the side of and just behind their hoes - sometimes one girl, sometimes a couple of them - and the pimps would usually be a black dude, but after that, they were all different in appearance, but one thing was the same - their intense, terrorizing and antagonizing commands to their girls. So, imagine this scene as you're just out for a late-night walk around the relatively weather-mild town of DC - probably on your way to the local CVS: Two scantilly-clad girls are walkin up or down the street with looks of shear terror on their faces, while some dude walking just within earshot of them - say, 10 yards, is saying shit like:

make that money, bitch! i want a lot of money! you heard me, bitch?! better fuckin get my money, else!

The pimps would not be yelling the shit - they were be saying it in a low and deep voice directed straight at their chicks - but I'd often come close enough to hear some of what was being said - and it almost never came from he girls, but if it did, it was desperate-type pleading and affirmatives like, "I'mma do good tonight for you, daddy" - that type of shit.

Now, here's where the kicker comes in. How was I, uber-unimposing white boy that I am, able to so often just move about the streets on the way to my CVS without ever worrrying about some weird violent shit going on related to the prostitution? I may have been a little over-confident, but I also had common sense on my side - I knew the cops knew, and I knew the cops wanted some ground rules to be obeyed - that meant not terrorizing the local residents - who were predominantly white, and so, mattered to city hall. I mean, the pimps and hoes were doing a brisk business down in that part of town - all of 6 blocks or so, less than a mile, from the White House. Cops would occasionally cruise the streets and more or less choose not to see what they saw. The cops were being paid and serviced by the prostitutes just like in every other decent-sized American city. Listen, if you need a story of a married cop and a prostitute gettin it on and committing all sorts of other crimes, just google it. It's a fact of life - period. K Street in between 13th and 14th streets used to be packed with johns and pimps trolling the access lane in their SUV's and cars, soliciting the services of the girls - all out in the open. The cops did crack down on this a bit, from what I remember, but most of the pimps realized they'd just have to be a little less obvious in plying their trade.

The question is, did the cops look the other way when they saw these little fourteen year old girls - or younger? I believe that answer is obvious - yes, of course they looked the other way. And that shit is shameful.

For me, I would prefer prositution was legalized, like in Holland, but not for children - they need a chance to grow up to adulthood before they make such decisions to engage in money for sex.

Scary shit, but all in all, it's a very good thing that this pimp is getting locked up for a long time. Trappin little girls in 'the life' and all that - dude deserves it.

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