For now, Miami police won’t get a $118,000 donation for more surveillance in Wynwood.
City commissioners deferred the agenda item Thursday after many people spoke up against it at the virtual meeting.
“In this current climate, it would be a disgrace for the city to pass such an item, which only increases the amount of policing and criminalization in my neighborhood,” said one caller during the public comments section of the meeting.
For an hour and a half, commissioners listened to residents tell them not to approve the donation.
“During this time that we’re dealing with as a nation, that’s pretty insulting,” said another caller.
Wynwood Business Improvement District has the money to donate. It would add 33 more cameras in the area and a license plate reader.
Commissioners decided to put the donation on hold.
“I would very much recommend that the Wynwood BID engage in public dialogue on this to make sure that residents know and concerned citizens know why they are trying to accomplish what they are trying to accomplish so that this isn’t about the people versus the police,” said Commissioner Ken Russell.
The Wynwood Business Improvement District has not returned NBC 6’s call for comment.
Russell says this project has been in the works for a year, after a woman was killed during a hit-and-run and no one was arrested.
Some commissioners believe it’s bad timing, while others say there’s no better time than now.
“I see no reason to wait any longer because those that oppose this, are going to oppose it no matter what,” said Commissioner Joe Carollo.
Nuriel owns Ono Poke Shop and The Bagel Club. He sees both sides.
“I’m fairly neutral,” he said. “Either way it probably wouldn’t bother me that much. I would like to see Wynwood allocate that money better though, there’s definitely more issues here than having cameras.”
Commissioners are planning to discuss this again during their July 9 meeting.