Crime ridden communities, public safety, and civil liberties. For years, the homicide rate in Richmond, Virginia was one of the highest in the nation. Much of the violence occurred in open-air drug markets around public housing projects.
What it meant for the residents, mostly single moms and their kids, was filthy streets, constant fear, and the persistent threat of drive-by shooting and stray bullets.
Six years ago, in an attempt to reduce crime, the city of Richmond turned the streets and side walks of some of the projects into no trespass zones. Today, some residents say the policy makes them safer, and keeps the drug dealers at bay. Others claim it compromises the constitution, and restricts individual rights. The Supreme Court is about to have its say.
Marilyn Olds, President of the Tenant Council at Creighton Court in Richwood, Virginia
Joseph E. Brooks, Member of the City Council of Richmond, Virginia
Sa’ad El-Amin, Member of the City Council of Richmond, Virginia.