Jersey City’s Growing Violence - My9 New Jersey

Jersey City’s Growing Violence

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Jersey City, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Jersey City may be one of the hottest growing areas outside of New York City, some even calling it the new Wall Street. However, it is also one of the most dangerous cities riddled with gun violence, unemployment, and poverty.

Just last Friday another young man was murdered in the street wars of Jersey City. Damien Fields, 39, was shot six times in the chest and killed while sitting on the steps of a home.

Jersey City resident, Megan Taylor, said that this shooting took place in her driveway near MLK Blvd. and Forrest Street.

“When I came home I ended up seeing the yellow tape, there was a big ESU truck, there was a lot of detectives out here and I come to find out he (Damien) had been shot and killed right over here in the driveway,” Taylor said.

A makeshift memorial has been set up at the site of the shooting for Damien, and unfortunately these incidents happen all too often in the area.

“For my friend Ryan I was actually home for this and he was murdered right over here across the street, and I heard the gunfire for that and I ended up having to come outside, and he was on the ground already, you know trying to breath, and then shortly after the ambulance came and then shortly after I found out that he didn’t make it. Then shortly after that, two weeks later another young boy was shot on the other corner, but he did survive, and now this,” Taylor said.

Many of the people in the area blame gangs and unemployment for the increase in violence.

Taylor says she has not seen a proactive police presence in months. “Store owners don't feel safe, homeowners don’t feel safe, a lot of people are just ready to pack up and move,” she said.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, just returned from a visit with the President, where combating the violence in his city was just one of the many issues discussed. “Job training and employment, budgetary issues that we have. I talked about the flood maps FEMA post Hurricane Sandy, the issues ran the whole gamut and it was a good constructive conversation,” he said.

Regarding the rise in shootings this year, the Mayor stated that homicides were actually on a downward trend since the summer. “We have more police officers devoted to the south side of the city. If you look at gun shootings or violence, it has actually decreased almost month over month since July,” he said.

However, New Jersey State Police crime statistics show that Jersey City has been plagued by gun violence this year, which has risen 54% since last year.


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