Residents react to police patrol after deadly home invasions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Residents react to police patrol after deadly home invasions

October 5, 2005

Tifton--As investigators announce arrests in a string of home invasions that targeted Mexican immigrants, some migrant workers want more police presence in their neighborhoods.

Three suspects are in jail and charged with six counts of murder. Authorities in Tift and Colquitt counties say they've stepped up patrols. Some migrant workers say they have noticed more cop cars driving through their neighborhoods but others haven't.

"They're not trying to protect the Mexicans like they say they are," says one resident. Nervous and afraid, this woman wishes to remain anonymous, but says she's frustrated with Tifton police.

"They're not really making an attempt to save our lives or nothing, they're just sitting there on their butts," she says.

Since Friday's home invasions that left six migrant workers dead, and five others injured, she hasn't seen one patrol car in her area.

"They should be here around all these places all night sitting here patroling us because they want to keep the Mexicans safe," she says.

"We don't sleep at night. It's hard to sleep at night," says resident, Christina Simpson.

Closer to where the murders occurred, she and her daughter remain on edge.

"It's like being closed up in a box. You can't get out like you used to before all this happened," she says. But Simpson believes police are doing everything they can to make the community feel safe.

"They're just on top of things. I feel a little bit safer with as much patroling as they are doing with everything that's happened," she says.

Simpson says every hour of the day police constantly patrol the area.

"Ever since this happened they've been back and forth," says Simpson.

She says it bothers her that six people had to die before police stepped up protection in the mostly hispanic community.

"We're not really the higher class people, so they don't actually come out here unless they get called and somebody's fighting," she says.

"We're scared for our lives. A lot of Mexicans are scared for their lives," says the anonymous resident.

Many people, like her, in this quiet community feel the same way, and remain bothered that such brutal killings could take place.

"This is offending us because we come down here to work. We didn't come down here for people to kill us," she says.

Several people told us there was another attempted home invasion in their Tifton neighborhood Monday and police responded quickly.

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