Can Miami-area police leaders turn the tide in Liberty City?

More officers on the street after three young people are killed

By Tasia Stone - Producer

MIAMI - "On This Week in South Florida," Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina and Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez talked about their joint initiative to reduce violent crime in the Liberty Square housing complex after two recent shootings there claimed the lives of three young people and left two others injured.

Both police leaders said their departments face an uphill battle when tackling the problem of gun violence in Miami's Liberty City section.

"The community has been distrusting," Colina said.

Both departments increased their police presence last week in the neighborhood, but getting cooperation from the community will take time, Perez said.

 "We've seen Facebook posts of kids flashing guns and gang signs, and they're dressed this way and they have a gun," Perez said.

Meantime, some students from Miami Northwestern Senior High School called on city leaders to implement more programs for children and teens, as a means to keep them off the streets. 

They hosted a walkout last week after one of their schoolmates was killed in a quadruple shooting in Liberty Square.

"Summer is on its way and some kids really have nothing to do and crime is free and poverty and violent crime has a direct correlation with poverty," said Ricky Pope, a student activist at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.

 

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