The grass-roots organization, which focused on local crime, safety and support of effective law enforcement, chose the Tenth and Cherry Street location because it is the site of the June 6 robbery and attack of 25-year-old Adam Taylor. Footage of the group of seven teenagers and their 1 a.m. assault of Taylor captured on two of the garage’s surveillance cameras helped lead to some of the suspects’ arrests.
Led by Adam’s mother Karen Taylor, the organization will work to get the 2,579 signatures it needs by Oct. 31 to place the initiative on the April 2010 ballot.
The Taylors have been fighting for the installation of city-owned surveillance cameras downtown since Adam Taylor was attacked. At its July 20 meeting, the City Council denied Adam Taylor and his mother’s request that at a future meeting the council would hear public comment on and reconsider installing city-owned portable cameras downtown.
Mayor Darwin Hindman was the only council member to vote in favor of the proposal to place cameras in some locations downtown when the issue was voted on in April.
Some council members have raised concerns about the effects government-owned cameras would have on residents’ privacy. In his Aug. 24 letter to the Missourian, Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said that the absence of “probable cause” associated with the general public and the downtown geographic area means that cameras would violate citizens constitutional “right to privacy.” He also said comparable data suggests cameras are not the most effective and cost-efficient means of reducing crime.
Should the City Council reconsider its decision not to install city-owned surveillance cameras downtown?