Business leaders, victim's family meet with Mayor on crime - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Business leaders, victims family meet with Richmond Mayor on crime


The city of Richmond is committed to cleaning up crime along the Broad street business corridor. That's what Mayor Dwight Jones told a group of business owners at City Hall Thursday. It follows the shooting death of a Victoria Jewelry Store employee just last week.

Downtown Richmond is still a safe place to live, work and play. That's the message from the mayor who spoke privately with business owners and the family of a man gunned down while working last Monday.

Still emotional from the murder of Muhammad Baig, 29, his family and friends quietly left City Hall Thursday after a private meeting with the mayor.

"They want the persons responsible to be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Mayor Dwight Jones said.

He and the Chief of Police also met with owners of businesses along Broad Street where the murder robbery happened.

"People were concerned and very heartfelt in their observations of some things that have happened. We do have a criminal element in the city," Jones said.

Scott Garnett owns Lift Coffee Shop. He doesn't want crime to push visitors away.

"It goes to perception. If you perceive it to be safe and that you can walk around, people will go there," he said.

He's working with a city planner to install extra lighting.

"LED lights on the 300, 200, and 100 block of E. Broad Street. He called me 15 minutes before this meeting to say the lights have been ordered," Garnett said.

That's only the beginning.

"Broad Street is changing. The ongoing dialogue is VCU police is going to have a headquarters at 3rd and Broad," Jones said.

He also points to renovations at the Central National Bank building where 200 families will soon call home. The idea is to increase foot traffic and get Broad Street booming again.

"As we bring more businesses, you bring more people on the streets. It's going to push the crime away," Garnett added.

Because the area's recent shooting has left Baig's family heartbroken.

The owner of Victoria Jewelers attended the meeting. He says he's not sure if or when he will re-open but plans to make a decision next week.

Four suspects are arrested in this case. Business owners along Broad Street say they'd like to organize a fundraiser to help support the victim's family. The slain employee leaves behind a wife and two children, including a newborn.

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