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Blue Light Special

Life in a City Under Surveillance

Photos by Frank Klein
Greenmount and 28th Street
"I think [the camera is] good," Shionta Williams, 13, says. "I'm not doing anything wrong, so I'm not worried about them."
"If they put them here, they should put them everywhere," argues Bonnie, 45. "Why do they have to be here in this neighborhood? What's that about?"
Camera at Pennsylvania and North avenues
"They ain't doing nothing for nobody," says Alexander Ellis, 39. "They're just there to lock black people up for drinking beer."
Camera at Saratoga Street and Park Avenue

By Stephen Janis | Posted 8/17/2005

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Five blocks up Greenmount at 28th Street, cameras have moved the drug dealing away from the area, says Eric Johnson, 35, manager of Bull Robinson's liquor store. "It used to be an active corner, but they moved away--where to I don't know," he says. Asked whether he views this a positive development, he is less sanguine: "Until they bother somebody else, it's good." As Johnson steps back inside the store, a young man wearing a white T-shirt, who refuses to give his name, is clear about the cameras' effect: "This block is a ghost town now, that's all I know."

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