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Eastside neighbors crying out for change

11:02 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News often reports on peace walks and marches through neighborhoods that have seen violence or other trouble. 

For those who actually live in those neighborhoods, how effective are such demonstrations?

The Jacksonville's sheriff hit the streets again Tuesday for a Crime Prevention Walk, in the city's so-called Zone 1 on the east side.   

Once the street lights turn on for the night 13 year old Mykail Harris knows it's time to head inside. She lives on East 11th street, in an area where statistics show crime happens often.

"The places where people get murdered I walk in that direction to get to my bus stop," said Harris. 

Using JSO's Crime Mapping Program, you'll see in the Zone 1 area there have been several murders since the start of the year.

In neighborhoods where you'll find people like Tamesha McKenzie hand in hand with her daughter, Rihanna. She says she recently heard an all too familiar sound.

"I was in the house putting my daughter in the bath tub and I heard a couple of gun shots," said McKenzie.

In an effort to be proactive, Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford walked and talked with people in the surrounding east side neighborhood Tuesday night. Crime Prevention Walks happen often all around town. But McKenzie says a one day walk certainly won't change things overnight.

"It's like hard for parents to be comfortable with their child playing and you have fools out here that don't care," said McKenzie. "They don't care about the kids."

Mykail says when she does see officers rolling by, it makes her feel safe. But then there are those nights even before it gets dark out when she says her neighborhood doesn't seem to be protected.

"I feel scared sometimes and I don't want to go outside," said Harris. "You never know what's going to happen each day."

According to JSO from January 1 to September 17 of this year, there have been eight murders in Zone 1.


East-Side Neighbors Crying Out for Change

First Coast News

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