Prince George’s County is considering a program that would help residents and business owners pay for surveillance cameras on their properties.
The legislation is in direct response to the November murder of a teenager raking leaves. His mother believes if there was surveillance video, the case might have been solved.
Juanita Agnew has cameras on her home she can monitor on her phone, but that wasn’t the case the day her 13-year-old son, Jayz, was killed in their front yard in Hillcrest Heights. She believes if she had video, it could have helped investigators find his killer.
“I definitely wish it was something that I had before, but it’s something, it does give you that security knowing that it’s real time,” she said.
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After Jayz’s death, Agnew learned her immediate neighbors didn’t have cameras, either. Those in the neighborhood who had cameras did not have video from the day Jayz was shot. He died three days later, and by then, no one had any video.
“It’s sad to know that in these modern times so few homes had the surveillance camera, and it made me wonder why, and a lot of it is cost,” Agnew said.
Agnew brought the problem to the attention of her Prince George’s County Council member, Krystal Oriadha, who is sponsoring legislation to help residents and business owners pay for cameras.
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“It was important to me that we create something like this so doesn’t happen to another mother, that they can have the resources that they need, the police officers need, to make sure that if something like this happens, they have the information and they can get justice,” Oriadha said.
The program would provide $200 to residents, businesses and nonprofits to buy cameras and $100 to cover subscription costs to have the video recorded and stored. Oriadha hopes for $100,000 to $200,000 to get it started with a priority on areas inside the Beltway.
“And even if people don’t sign up for the rebate or the voucher program, what I’m hoping with this story of what this mother, this family went through just inspires people to do it on their own, even if they don’t participate in the program,” Oriadha said.
Jayz was shot while raking leaves in his yard. Almost three months later, there have been no arrests. But Agnew said this proposal gives her some hope.
“It was uplifting to know that Jayz’s case can bring about a change,” she said.
Anyone who gets a camera through the program will not be required to share their video with police but could be asked to do so as part of an investigation.
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