Three murders in eight days, and the city looks away

April 8, 2010

Lamonte Wright, 20, was killed March 27 on Clerk Street. He was shot in the back with a shotgun and bled to death on the sidewalk in front of his girlfriend.

Eight days later, early Easter Sunday, Michael Muchioki, 27, and his fiancé, Nia Haqq, 25, were robbed and shot in the back of their heads on Randolph Avenue near Union Street, less than a mile from where Lamonte was killed. They also died on the sidewalk.

The killers remain at large.

The response from Mayor Healy, Police Chief Thomas Comey, and the rest of the city government was a shrug.

On Sunday, hours after the murder, no police were stationed on Randolph Avenue.

On Monday, less than forty-eight hours after Muchioki and Haqq were killed, there were still no police stationed on Randolph Avenue. Neighbors said there had been no police presence since the murders early Sunday morning.

The police where in the neighborhood, though. Three uniformed police officers were directing traffic at a PSE&G work-site on Ocean Avenue and Union Street on Monday afternoon, a few blocks from where Muchioki and Haqq were killed.

Unfortunately this represents what the police think of our neighborhood. They will do nothing to stop the lawlessness that is forcing hard-working people to fear for themselves and their children.

We are organizing to demand change. We demand that the police and city government respect and protect our neighborhood.

In the coming days, there will be more information on specific actions you can take to protect your family, your home, and your city. If you are as eager as I am to do this, e-mail me and we can start working together right away.

Together, our voice will be heard.