After series of shootings, Miami steps up police presence in Liberty City

Officials meet to discuss better cooperation, communication


MIAMI – The city of Miami is stepping up its police presence in Liberty City after a series of shootings, including one that killed a 4-year-old girl.

"They should've been ‘round here a long time ago," said Diamond Jones, whose 4-year-old daughter, Nyla, was shot and killed earlier this month. 

Only a block away from where Nyla Jones died, four young people were shot on Sunday, which sparked student walkouts at nearby Northwestern High School, urging an end to the gun violence.

"I hurt because within the last month they had over seven, eight deaths, now you want to stand up," said Demetria Bell, a Liberty Square resident.

On Thursday, Miami's police chief, the county police director, both mayors and commissioners were at a roundtable talking strategy and challenges.

"It's a level of cooperation that has not existed in the past -- we share info everyday," Miami police Chief Jorge Colina said. "We have an opportunity here ... not just say it but live it."

But the officials said they could only do so much. They need the help of the community.

"If the community on the ground does not buy in, we are wasting our time," Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Esteban Bovo.

That concern was confirmed by one resident at Liberty Square housing complex.

Shabre Dansby was outside with her son, Khalid, on Thursday only because officers were patrolling the neighborhood. But she knows her neighbors -- and their fear.

"Nobody's going to snitch – that's the problem," Dansby said.

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