Originally created 06/27/04

Manpower needed to fight crime

On April 10, there was a drive-by shooting on Picquet Avenue, in the historical Bethlehem area. On April 11, another drive-by occurred on Old Savannah Road. Children were at Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church for an Easter egg hunt. Bullets flew. Children were rushed inside. That night, a man behind a bush snatched my son from his truck, shot him in the stomach and attempted to shoot him in the head, but he was shot in the arm. That gunman and about four others in black hoods shot up the block. A house on Ninth Street was shot, and the occupants placed the children in the bathtub for protection. Now you know why Johnny can't learn - he's traumatized.

... On April 13, cars were shot in a shoot-out on Braxton Street. A lady was thrown from a car and dragged. On Mother's Day, a man shot and killed an acquaintance. More recently, a lady's door was kicked in.

After my son was shot, I met with the sheriff, who immediately placed seven or eight cars in this area. There were no loiterers or gun-toting thugs on the street. I'm working with Investigator Steve Fanning, who has followed all leads. Maj. Ken Autry promised me that he would post a reward upon my request. Before I could get home, the reward was posted.

... We need additional patrols in this neighborhood. For the police to continue their excellent job, they must have the manpower. I'm joining with Green Grove to put a substation in this neighborhood. The building is available, needing only manpower.

I can foresee crime escalating. There are too many males not wanting to work or who can't find work. Let's get these criminals off the streets. Then we could post a sign: "Welcome to Augusta, where safety is our No. 1 priority."

Mattie Mitchell


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