To the editor,
I came home a week ago Friday night to a real shock. My roommate was on my couch with broken ribs and a swollen lip. Why? Because he was swarmed by 30 people in our courtyard. In our courtyard! Where there are surveillance cameras, bright lights, security guards and hundreds of patios which someone is bound to be on. But the sad thing is even if someone was there...what could they have done? Thirty attackers. That's pretty intimidating.
So here's how it went. He and a friend of ours were walking home, minding their own business and out of nowhere, they were surrounded. Surrounded by 30 guys, all of colour, ages 14 to 25, all with bandanas tied on their faces (the younger with red, the older with grey). My roommate ran, got chased and was stomped all over; kicked in the ribs and booted in the face. My friend stayed frozen still, surrounded by all the youngest of the group. They took her cell phone and her money, but she was lucky. They didn't beat her.
Can you imagine? The violation, the fear. You are surrounded by 30 men and you don't want to yell because they'll beat you. You don't want to run, because they'll beat you. You definitely don't want to cry, because then they'll really beat you. This sickens me.
The worst part is, there's nothing you can do. Call the cops? What can that do? There was a mass group of people; it's not easy to identify someone when there are that many. I wasn't even there and right now I feel completely helpless in this situation. I can't imagine how my roommate and friend are feeling.
I sat home for the past few days and thought, what can I do? Not much. The only thing I could think to do is write this letter and hope maybe someone reads it. Maybe raise a little more awareness that this problem is not going away. Right now I know four different people who have been swarmed and I know at least five more people who know someone who has been swarmed. In a city the size of Halifax, that number seems a little crazy.
So what can we do to make this situation better? Put cameras on Pizza Corner? There was a camera in our courtyard right above their heads when my roommate was beaten. Cameras obviously are not the answer. They may help a little, but Pizza Corner is only a small area in a very big city. We all need to come up a solution. Halifax is a beautiful city where I always felt safe. Now, not so much.
By Jennifer Daigle