Atlantic City residents had a lot to say during a Town Hall meeting held in a neighborhood that began the month with three homicides in nine days.
Council President Marty Small — who covers the Second Ward where violence recently heated up — organized the meeting at Brigantine Homes in the city’s Back Maryland section, where three men died in gunfire from May 5 to 13.
In attendance were Police Chief Henry White, FBI Special Agent Edward Gallant and Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner, who grew up in the city.
The discussion at times got contentious, as residents questioned the police chief’s assurances that there have been walking patrols through the Back Maryland neighborhood and how the police will be proactive without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
At least two residents said their homes had been raided on wrong addresses. At least one of those turned out to be State Police.
“It’s always good when the community comes out and can vent their frustrations and offer solutions,” Tyner said after the meeting that stretched more than 90 minutes. “And I think there were some good ideas.”
The room was packed as residents talked about their own plans for helping curb the violence and give the neighborhood children something to do.
Ada Munoz has lived in Brigantine Homes since it was first built 38 years ago. The building where the meeting was held hadn’t even been built yet. Now, when it starts to get dark, her shades are down.
Delmar Hamilton said he hasn’t seen any officers on foot, just those driving by in patrol cars.
The area, known as Back Maryland, has long had problems with violence. But starting on May 5, things have seemed to heat up.
On that day, David Blackwell Jr., 31, was fatally shot outside the Barclay Arms Apartments.
Six days later, 28-year-old Anthony Jordan was found shot to death inside a car parked outside his home on the 1000 block of Brigantine Boulevard.
Then, on Mother’s Day, Keith Cundiff Jr. — a 32-year-old rapper known as K-Miz — was shot in the face and killed in the 800 block of North Maryland Avenue.
Small said that day that he spent hours with the victim’s family, and had spoken to police and Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner. Both Tyner and Police Chief Henry White are expected to be at the meeting.An arrest was made in Cundiff’s killing the next day. Lorin Wright is charged with murder and other offenses. Superior Court Judge John Rauh has ordered him detained without bail pending trial.