DOLTON, Ill. (CBS) — There was a concrete controversy in Dolton Wednesday night.
The village put up massive concrete blocks in an effort to make one neighborhood in the south suburb safer. But the people who live there told CBS 2’s Tara Molina the blocks are having the opposite effect.
On the night of Tuesday, Aug. 27, in Dolton, 16-year-old Akeira Boston was sitting in a car when someone started shooting.
Nearly a month later, her case was still open and Dolton police were still looking for her killer. But something else has moved into the neighborhood.
“My first thought was oh my God – this is an eyesore,” said Valeria Stubbs.
Massive concrete blocks surround the liquor store at 142nd Street and Woodlawn Avenue where Akeira was shot and killed.
“I served at war time, and this looks like a war scene,” said Pastor William Fleshman.
People who live in the area tell us they’ve had it.
“Now the people that are going to moonlight are parking in front of their houses, blocking their driveways, and they can’t park in front of their own house,” Stubbs said.
On Wednesday night, joined by other members of the community, residents asked for a different kind of change at the scene.
“There was a crime committed here,” said concerned resident Herbert Ruckes. “Instead of barricading the community, we want more police protection – or at least surveillance.”
“If this happens someplace else in the village, are we going to put more barriers up?” said Pastor Fleshman.
CBS 2 asked Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers about that. His response was, “We had to take some action.”
Rogers said the site is village property, and called the concrete blocks a safety measure to keep people from hanging out around the area late at night. He said late-night loiterers are an ongoing problem.
“This was an immediate solution to the problem. We plan, in the future, on putting a guard rail there. That would take some additional funding,” he said. “So the cheapest thing for us to do, since we had those barriers in stock, is place them at that location.”
Molina asked Stubbs whether she would be OK with the concrete barriers if they were less of an eyesore.
“Yes, I would be OK with that if it didn’t look horrible,” she said, “because this looks horrible.”
Dolton residents said Wednesday night that what they really want to see is more police, and for the owner of the business to make moves to make it safer. We will follow-up on that, and what the village called a temporary fix in the concrete blocks.