On Grant Avenue in Jersey City, friends of Lavon King add loving tributes every day to the 20 year-old suspected gang member shot a few weeks ago by cops during a scuffle. They say King, wanted on various warrants was reaching for one of their guns.
Now, Eyewitness News has obtained internal police memos that officers in the South District are being warned to be on high alert because of possible retaliation. This attitude in the neighborhood is not unusual.
The concern of Jersey City Officials escalated after Sunday’s ambush of rookie officer Melvin Santiago. This internal memo, issued on Sunday to South District personnel, details a specific tactical plan that Eyewitness News is not revealing, but it notes that the source of the threat comes from the area of Martin Luther King Drive near Grant Avenue.
Other memos warn of “retaliation using various members of the Bloods”, adding that an informant “has personally seen Mack 10’s, Mack 11’s and Ak47’s in houses in that area” and further warned “anyone on bicycles or motorcycles will likely be carrying handguns at this time. He said they also have bullet-proof vests.”
Many residents told Eyewitness News they are too afraid to talk about the gang problem in the area, but the security officer for the local Islamic center said they are fortunate to be left alone.
“They keep their things away from us, they take it around the corner, across the street, over there – not here,” said Mohammad Abdul-Latif.
When asked if Abdul-Latif saw a lot of police activity in the area, he said there were policemen coming around.