A local playground in Greektown, a safe place for neighborhood children to have fun and play with others and a place for parents to enjoy the company of other neighborhood parents, has become a murder site ("Police seek suspect in Greektown fatal shooting," July 15). The senseless killing in Baltimore has come to a small playground where just a few weeks ago the neighborhood members were engaged in a neighborhood event painting flower pots, planting flowers and distributing them to neighbors on the 300 block of South Lehigh Street. Today, we have a candles, rosaries and flowers in memory of Ramon Rodriguez, a 21-year old young man, who was shot and killed on Saturday night. On Sunday evening, there was a candlelight vigil in memory of Ramon and a way to begin a community healing process.
Our communities need help! My community needs help! Youth, regardless of color, creed, national origin and sexual orientation, need help! As I begin to call around to different community leaders, public offices and community associations I am concerned that we acknowledge that community violence is at a spike but what do we do as a community to stop the senseless violence?
It is my wish that community-safety programs and funding come into our neighborhood to allow for creating a safe and nurturing community environment. We have a playground where you can see children under the ages of 10 with and without their parents playing with other neighborhood children, later younger teens come to play and essentially, push the younger children out and later in the evening, older-teens and young adults in their 20s take the park over to use and sell illegal drugs and have sex. What happened to a small, neighborhood playground that was for the amusement and safety of our neighborhood children? Someone help us. We need to have a safe place for our children.
Alfredo Santiago, BaltimoreCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun