Murray Hill residents call for change

Recent violence has neighbors in fear

Author: Tim Pulliam, General assignment reporter, tpulliam@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 27 2014 10:54:35 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 28 2014 12:45:45 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Murray Hill residents told Channel 4 Thursday night that they are determined to make their neighborhood safer.

Neighbors in the area are calling for the Fat Kat nightclub to be shut down after four people were injured and one person was killed there during a shooting in early February. Neighbors told Channel 4 that the violence in the area is getting worse.

City Council member Jim Love promised members of the Murray Hill Preservation Association Thursday night that the city will pass a law to stop deadly shootings at area nightclubs.

"We need to make some changes to make it safer," said Love.

Love told the crowd Thursday that after talking with leaders in other cities and law enforcement officers, he'd like to see if Jacksonville can implement tighter security restrictions at nightclubs.

Love suggested more lighting, putting JSO officers inside of clubs and tighter code enforcement on loitering as some of the changes the city could make.

"It takes everyone's support. You can't be apathetic in things like this," said Murray Hill resident Rosemary Stout.

Love told neighbors he would like discuss with the council about creating a law that would allow the city to take away a nightclub's license after a history of violence. He said Washington, D.C., has a similar law in the works.

"This has got to stop. This is a black eye to our community. It hurts our economic development," said Love.

Council members will discuss their options with JSO next Thursday, March 6, at City Hall at 3 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the meeting.