3rd Newark shooting in 3 days prompts call for action

July 15, 2010 2:30:55 PM PDT
The corner of Clinton and Hunterdon in Newark's south ward was the scene of the latest murder. A young store owner gunned down, shot several times in the chest and head, just feet from the site of the new multi-million dollar police precinct.

The ward's councilman is not happy on so many levels.

"The EMTs left the body uncovered for 4 or 5 hours," Councilman Ras Baraka said.

Councilman Baraka goes on to say that shootings in his ward haven't changed since 2007, even as crime overall in Newark has dropped.

For starters, he wants a change in command.

"I'm calling for the immediate removal of the captain in charge. We need someone in there who represents the people and the issues of this community," he said

"Councilman Baraka and I have had that conversation in private. I'm actually disappointed that he went public with it," Newark police director Gary McCarthy said.

McCarthy takes issue with the councilman's tactics and his math.

"The murder rate in the south ward has dropped far lower than the average of the entire city," he said.

He showed us internal police statistics. The councilman is right. There have been 46 shootings this year compared to 40 in 2007.

But go one year earlier when the director and mayor booker took over. In 2006, there were 73 shootings -- a decrease of 37 percent.

As for the removal of the captain in the south ward, the director says he has bigger fish to fry.

"Sometime in November were looking at perhaps laying off 180 police officers and demoting 107 supervisors," he said.

Budget cuts like cities all across New Jersey.