A community leader in Shaw is calling for the installation of new security cameras in response to a shooting that left one man dead and another injured near a public park last week.
Police said 19-year-olds Marcus Martin and Marc Butler shot and killed 19-year-old Derryk Johnson and wounded another man across the street from N Street Park on the 600 block of N Street NW last Wednesday night. The shooting was the result of a robbery during a dice game, according to the Washington Post.
Though both suspected shooters were arrested and charged with first-degree murder this week, a member of Shaw’s ANC 6E says District agencies can do more to stop violence near the park before it occurs.
“[Department of Parks and Recreation] and [Deptartment of General Services] need to step up to the plate and ensure that the public feels comfortable and safe there,” 6E vice chair Alexander Padro told Borderstan. “That process begins with installing security cameras that capture everything happening inside and outside the gates of the park.”
Last Wednesday’s shooting is the latest incident in a long history of criminal activity in or near the park, Padro explained.
“How many more lives must be lost before such a basic deterrent is put in place at the N Street Park?” Padro wrote in an email to a local listserv yesterday. “What matters more to our city: the cost of installing and maintaining these cameras, or the cost of human lives and the opportunity cost of loss of use of a park, quality of life, and freedom from fear for hundreds, if not thousands, of our citizens?”
Gwen Crump, spokeswoman for the DPR, said the city agency “has been exploring security enhancement options at N Street Park,” and plans to install a security turnstile to restrict access there this fall. The department is also mulling installing new cameras in the area.
“We are also reviewing other options, such as video monitoring, to help us achieve our goal of making every park a safe place for all D.C. residents,” Crump said.
Still, Padro said he hopes the District will at least decide to take action by the ANC’s next meeting in September.
“I hope that by then, DPR will have publicly agreed to install the security cameras the community has asked for without further action by public officials or loss of life,” Padro said.