A neighborhood in East Palo Alto sounds worried after finding out that they could share the area with an imprisoned sex slayer who is scheduled to be freed in the next weeks.
City leaders and law enforcers hope for the release to not be granted as they are concerned about the presence of several schools in the neighborhood, KPIX5 reported.
Lamar Johnson, the convicted sex suspect, could be housed in East Palo Alto, specifically in a home on Beech Street as part of him attaining freedom.
Residents in the area are already warned by the East Palo Alto Police Department about the release.
“Recently, we were made aware of a decision by the court to place Lamar Johnson in East Palo Alto following his release from prison. Lamar Johnson has been designated as a sexually violent predator based on conditions met through crimes of which he was convicted and his subsequent prison sentence,” part of the police notice read.
The convicted person has been slammed with several rape and assault cases in 1984 and 1992. The police said he was identified by the jury as a sexually violent predator 17 years behind bars as part of a 36-year sentence.
The notice furthered, noting that Johnson’s new home’s location “is within just several hundred feet of four high schools and two elementary schools. The home is also within less than 2,000 feet of nearly 20 AirBnB rentals.”
“We did go to schools already and churches nearby where they’re potentially placing this individual, and nobody was happy to hear what we had to say,” Officer Eric Lopez said.
The location is also opposed by the city officials.
City officials are equally opposed to the placement.
“The proposed place is actually surrounded by a public high school, a private high school, an elementary school. It’s the worst place,” Vice Mayor Ruben Abrica aired.
Locals are urged by both the police and the vice mayor to voice their concerns with the city and department.
“It’s really dangerous for our kids. I don’t think it’s safe,” a resident Ovidio Rueda said.
“He’s done his time, but I think the state of California and the court system needs to find some alternative ways to place people like him. Places where they’re farther away from populations, definitely farther away from children and young people,” Abrica added.