When 25-year-old Adam Taylor was assaulted in the Tenth Street parking garage June 6, he was knocked unconscious and robbed as part of a game called "Knock Out King." The incident was caught on tape by security cameras in the garage and led to the arrest of five suspects.
According to the victim and the Police Department, it is unlikely the assailants could have been identified without the use of the garage's surveillance cameras. That's prompted Taylor and his family to lobby for surveillance cameras downtown, and they plan to ask the City Council on Monday to revisit the issue.
It's been a little more than three months since the council voted down a proposal for downtown surveillance cameras. Despite support from the Special Business District, which offered to help fund the initiative, only Mayor Darwin Hindman voted for the proposal.
Dan Viets and Matt Volkert, big names in the local legal community, spoke out against putting the cameras in downtown areas during the April meeting when the issue was discussed. They and other residents were worried about the erosion of civil liberties.
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said that over the past 15 years, the U.S. has moved toward sacrificing individual freedom for collective safety. He said he was not sure himself where the line was, but he anticipated more of these philosophical issues to arise as Columbia continues to grow.
The Special Business District still supports the initiative and heard the Taylors advocate for it on Tuesday. The Police Department welcomes anything that helps it solve crimes. But will the Taylor assault change the mind of any other city officials?