Bronx residents, elected officials protest jail site in Mott Haven

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018
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Marcus Solis has more on the protest against a jail site in Mott Haven.

MOTT HAVEN, Bronx (WABC) -- Bronx residents and elected officials staged a protest at the location of a proposed new jail Tuesday.

In February, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council announced plans to build a jail that would house 1,500 inmates in Mott Haven. The property is city-owned and currently being used as an NYPD tow pound.

The proposal is part of the de Blasio administration's plans to shut down the Rikers Island jail complex and move inmates to smaller facilities in all boroughs except Staten Island.

Opponents say the neighborhood around East 141st Street and Concord Avenue is too residential, with a school around the corner. A community group called Diego Beekman has proposed building affordable housing and a supermarket at the site.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. said local officials were never consulted during the site selection process.

Diaz supports closing Rikers and said he's willing to consider other locations in the borough.

"We'll see what you have, we'll keep an open mind," Diaz said of the city's plan. "But this is a non-starter, it will not happen right here."


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