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Liberty City

Liberty Square residents ask for road blocks to keep out crime

 

Special to the Miami Herald

Road blocks could keep crime out of the Liberty Square housing project, according to some residents.

They want the government to create neighborhood “safe zones” by blocking off certain streets.

“Outsiders come here, shoot up the place then leave,” said Eric Thompson, president of the Liberty Square resident council. “We don’t want another Sherdavia Jenkins.”

Sherdavia Jenkins was a 9-year-old girl shot dead in broad daylight in Liberty City in 2006.

Liberty Square, known locally as “Pork ’n’ Beans,” is a 753-unit public housing complex built in 1937. It is operated by the Miami-Dade Public Housing Authority with financial support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Thompson has spent 10 years asking HUD to help his neighborhood with reduced speed limits, improved lighting and closing the “entrance and exit” to the neighborhood. He said he has never received a reply.

“If we block off traffic, there will be less crime,” said Thompson outlining where to strategically block off eight streets. He supported the request with a report detailing area drive-by shootings for the last decade.

A HUD spokesman told the Miami Herald he would need to research the matter, which could take a few weeks, before commenting.

“Last week, a 2-year-old got shot while he slept in his father’s arms,” said Renita Holmes, a Liberty City activist who has documented area shootings for the last few years. “Then three girls were shot in broad daylight while they played outside.”

Thompson is also seeking help at the local level.

Thompson, with support of his neighbors, held a press conference recently and invited area news outlets.

“Politics aside, everyone agrees we have a quality of life issue here,” Thompson said. “So, what are we going to do about it?”

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