Gay Atlanta couple pays price as urban pioneers

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Gay Atlantans know how to flip a fabulous house and create condo envy. But one gay couple has discovered it's harder to flip an entire neighborhood. Sometimes it punches back. Literally.

Meet Stuart and Robyn Jackson, a gay couple turned urban pioneers when they moved to a condo at Broad and MLK Jr. Drive in downtown Atlanta nearly 15 years ago. And two years ago, they decided to fight back against the drugs and other illegal activity around them. It hasn't been quite the same since. 

Via AJC columnist Bill Torpy:

Calling police has become routine for Jackson and his partner, Stuart Jackson. Broad Street just south of their loft resembles a Dystopian society of loud, animated people hanging out until all hours, drinking, selling drugs, urinating, fighting, sometimes even shooting, and urinating some more.

After calling the cops, Robyn Jackson waited outside. A man ran up, accused him — correctly — of calling 911 and then punched him twice in the chest. He said he waited almost another half hour for police to finally respond.

Stuart has filled the inboxes of police and Central Atlanta Progress with emails since, alerting them to the “societal breakdown” happening around them. 

Via the AJC:

Here’s a sample: Help us another homicide in Downtown Atlanta. Broad Street Bandits Gang in Downtown. Another shooting on Broad Street at the barbershop. Assault at 100 Broad. Vagrants and drunks at 91 Broad. And, my favorite, Trashcans on Broad Street being stolen in broad daylight.

Yet it doesn't stop.

As we spoke in front of their condo, a young man in a white T-shirt walked by and loudly stated: “Leave the people alone or you’re gonna get hurt.”

I don’t know if it was a threat or some friendly street advice. The tone seemed to carry the former.

Don't these criminals know that the gays fight back? They will chase down a home invader, catch their perps and even get the dog to help.

[Photo of Robyn and Stuart Jackson courtesy AJC]

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