A woman who lives next to the scene where 65 year old Marvin Bryant was stabbed to death opposes turning the lot into a park.
T he vacant lot is next to Beauchamp Library where South Salina Street intersects Wood Avenue. It's in a part of Syracuse that is struggling to better itself while battling a significant crime problem. The city is looking into a proposal to turn it into a park where people could play chess,enjoy entertainment or just relax.
D iamond Breland and her family live in the well kept yellow house next to the lot. She says a park would only become a haven for crime. "It's just there as a new loitering spot. It's across the street from a liquor store." Breland told CNY Centralâ??s Jim Kenyon.
T he 24 year old college student pointed to the hole in the side of her family's home where a bullet came within inches of hitting her earlier this year. When Marvin Bryant was stabbed to death last night, Breland is speaking out. "If we can't feel save in our own home, what possibly could a chess park do? We can't get people to stop stabbing each other... now the ideas is we're going to get those people to play chess?"
C raig Davis who runs the grocery and liquor store across the street, came up with the idea of uniting generations by creating a park that would feature tables with chess boards. "If there was a chess park over there, you can get older and younger people to interact together. A lot of times you can't get younger and older people together unless it's a funeral or a wedding."
S yracuse Councilor Khalid Bey says the park would benefit South Salina. "It's just a matter of how we manage the park. It will be very well lit. I don't see how the park itself could be a detriment to the community."
O n October 30th, the city will sponsor a community meeting to decide whether to turn today's crime scene into tomorrow's chess park.