Saturday, December 10, 2011
Crime in predominantly black Camden, New Jersey
It was once a bustling industrial town but now, broke and stripped of resources, danger lurks around every corner. Drug-related murders plague predominantly-black Camden, New Jersey, where 44% of residents live below the poverty line, the highest rate in the United States of America. In the last decade crack houses have sprung up amid the boarded-up factories and burned out houses. People live in fear of being robbed or shot as addicts roam the streets looking to fund their habit. The violence has got so bad that New Jersey’s top law enforcement official has met with leaders in Camden following calls for drastic state intervention. State Attorney General Paula Dow was scheduled to meet with Camden Mayor Dana Redd on Thursday morning and later with Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk. Redd spoke to the Attorney General after masked robbers killed a 46-year-old store owner and shot and injured three others inside the store. The killing was the 16th in the city since October 1, 2011 and the 48th in 2011. Some officials believe that the crime problem has spiralled out of the control in 2011 after more than 100 police officers were laid off in January. City Councilman Frank Moran has asked Redd to declare a state of emergency and call for the National Guard to be brought in. The annual CQ Press rankings, which are based on 2010 data, named Camden the second most dangerous city in the country.