Jun 192014
Police officers surround the intersection of Foucher and South Saratoga Streets, where there people were injured in a shooting Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Police officers surround the intersection of Foucher and South Saratoga Streets after a March 13 shooting that killed two women. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City officials will join with members of the Milan Focus Group on Saturday at the site of a March shooting that left two women dead to voice the need for a safer neighborhood, organizers said.

The “Summer Speak Out Against Crime” will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday (June 21) at the corner of Foucher and South Saratoga streets, where 19-year-old Renalda Variste and 49-year-old Sandy George were fatally shot March 13. Another man was wounded in the gunfire, and 25-year-old Cody Williams was arrested on murder charges earlier this month in the case.

Among the speakers scheduled for Saturday are City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy and Qualify-of-Life Officer Yolanda Jenkins, Lionel Coleman from the Police Community Advisory Board and Tyronne Walker of CeaseFire. The Milan Focus Group is hoping residents of other parts of Uptown will show up as well, and iced coffee and donuts will be served.

Neighbors have long begged for more attention from the city to that part of the neighborhood. Amid complaints about open-air drug dealing, the Milan Focus Group scheduled an anti-crime march last summer with the New Orleans Police Department that began at the very same intersection. In 2011, a blighted house on the corner collapsed to the ground the day before it was scheduled for demolition during a city-sponsored “Fight the Blight” day.

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