Sophie Maguire, St. Francis de Sales School Parish Secretary for Many Years
An Investigation Into How Deaths in America Are Examined - ProPublica

Into the abyss: With high crime, fewer cops and little money, Camden is sinking even deeper into trouble

by Kevin Manahan/The Star Ledger

Camden, the state’s poorest and most violent city, earlier this month laid off nearly half its police force. And even so, the city council voted this past week to raise taxes by 23 percent to cover the bills.

No one knows what will happen next because this kind of civic collapse is new and historic. But the city’s 78,788 residents wonder if their lives are teetering, as resident William Sylvester says, on the edge of “all-out hellfire.”


Life in Camden amid the blight and the bullets

Just as the angry customer bolted the McDonald’s, a 911 call came: Two miles away, at Ferry Street and Broadway, in the shadow of Sacred Heart Church, Anjanea Williams, 20, had been felled by a bullet meant for a drug dealer.

Police say three men, their faces covered, approached a group of men standing outside a sandwich shop. One opened fire. Williams, walking to the deli with a friend, was the only person hit. As the innocent victim, known as “Nay Nay” to friends, crumpled onto the sidewalk with a slug in her abdomen, her blood mixed with the snow and ice left behind by the last storm.

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