EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Following a shooting that left a 25-year-old-man dead, residents of the Kern Place neighborhood near UTEP are again raising their concerns that they feel are being ignored by El Paso City Council.
Roger Davie told KTSM that he along with neighbors in the area have reached out to City Rep. Chris Canales, who represents District 8, on possible solutions for their growing safety concerns. However, Davie said he has not been able to meet with Canales despite multiple attempts.
In 2023, there have now been four incidents, including the ones from June 8, that have happened in the entertainment district that left a person seriously injured or resulted in death.
May 12, 2023- Shooting outside PROFE
March 16, 2023- Drive-by Shooting on Baltimore/Florence
Feb. 5, 2023- Crash on Stanton in Downtown
Davie said that he wants City Council to take action before innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire.
“I don’t know if this murder will change anything. I suspect that there will be another murder next Thursday and another after that and another one after. That just seems that no one on City Council cares about the people in the neighborhood,” Davie said.
Canales said that violent incidents in the Cincinnati Avenue area that have spilled into the neighborhood has been “at the top of my agenda during my regular meetings with the city manager since I took office earlier this year.”
He also said he has regularly met with a group of neighbors from the area.
Canales, in a video statement he released to the community, called the latest violent incident troubling, “but the situation was already troubling before this latest one.”
Canales said the city has been adding additional cameras to the area and continues to have a heavy police presence there.
“But clearly those actions haven’t been enough of a deterrent,” he said.
Canales said he talked to the new interim City Manager Cary Westin two weeks ago and with City Attorney Karla Nieman about the city intervening with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to oppose the issuance or renewal of liquor licenses by the state to “bars that have been bad actors or repeat offenders in terms of violent incidents, excessively disruptive noise and any other illegal activities.”
He said Westin and Nieman have been receptive to the idea and are “working through how that might work in practice,” Canales said.
He also said that he plans to “directly interview in the TABC licensing process in my role as a city representative.”
“At the end of the day, people deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods,” Canales said. “That should be a core promise the city is able to deliver on,” he said.
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