Family of Martha Childress suggests immediate actions to combat Five Points violence

‘Martha’s List’ looks for cooperative action from law enforcement, community

Family members of the 18-year-old victim of last week’s Five Points shooting outlined Monday their suggestions for a safer nightlife district with hopes of preventing future tragedies.

Titled “Martha’s List,” the family’s action plan focuses on immediate steps the community and law enforcement officers can take to combat violence in Five Points. Suggestions include:

— Using real-time monitoring of surveillance cameras rather than relying on them for post-incident arrests;

— Offering a free shuttle system to campus in lieu of lengthy waits for free cabs;

— Enacting a dress code at downtown establishments to prevent weapons being concealed under clothing; and

— Improving the bond process in the legal system.

First-year USC business student Martha Childress was critically injured when a stray bullet struck her spine after an altercation broke out near the Five Points fountain around 2:30 a.m. Oct. 13. Doctors have told her family that she may never walk again. She was transported today to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which specializes in treatment and rehabilitation of spinal cord and brain injuries.

Michael Juan Smith, 20, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting. Police are looking for three other men in connection with the incident.

“We’re not going to let this go,” said Ron Johnson, Childress’s stepfather. “It’s really important that in the days and weeks and months ahead we actually see some actions. … We don’t want to see something like this happen again.”

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