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North side Kalamazoo residents express their fears at City Hall


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo City Commissioners got an earful from north side residents about a series of incidents that have left them terrified, and concerned that Public Safety is not on their side.

A woman on Woodbury says a gang of thugs is taking over their neighborhood and despite their complaints, Public Safety has done nothing to help address the threats, and she lives in fear.  

She witnessed the assault on two young men on Park St. and says they were attacked, stabbed and beaten in retaliation for calling the police on their attackers previously. So far no one has been arrested, but investigators reportedly have a person of interest identified.

One of the victims remains in critical condition at Bronson Hospital.

Another woman told Commissioners that she watched as an army of officers descended on her neighborhood to make a marijuana bust, and in the process, they violated everyone’s civil rights, especially the suspects.

There were also complaints from several people who attended a basketball tourney at Lacrone Park Sunday where a boy collapsed, and when they called for help, 9-1-1 dispatchers were rude to them and help was slow in coming.

Maddie Jordan Woods, President of the Northside Association for Community Development says she wants all the incidents investigated and written reports produced. She wants explanations.

Commissioner Don Cooney noted that the poverty rate in Ferguson, Missouri is high, but that its higher in Kalamazoo. 

   Mayor Bobby Hopewell says he doesn’t have the answers. He says the solutions are incredibly complex and it is going to take everyone to help solve them.

He says he took a ride-along with officers on Friday, and even he was verbally abused by several north side youngsters, just because he was in a patrol car.

Chief Jeff Hadley was at last night’s Commission meeting and met with some of the people who spoke afterwards.

. There have also reportedly been some meetings at City Hall about the violent events of the past few weekends.