As the weekend is set to begin, Fells Point area residents and business owners remain on edge after violence broke out in Broadway Square last weekend.
- Well, another big story. Fed up in Fells Point. Right now, nearly 40 business owners have the chance to voice their ideas, their comments, their concerns, to the people who can do something about them during a virtual town hall. It comes after business owners threatened to withhold taxes and fees, a response to what they call lawlessness in their neighborhood. WJZ is live. Amy Kawata with the big issues, and what the governor is now saying about all of this. Amy?
AMY KAWATA: Denise, that virtual town hall meeting is set to start any second now. The governor says he's been in contact with city leaders and the police commissioner offering resources and pushing for a plan of action. He says he's expecting an update on that plan tonight.
LARRY HOGAN: Well, it's outrageous and unacceptable.
AMY KAWATA: Governor Larry Hogan calling out city leaders to step up to the plate in response to frustrated business owners concerned about safety and lack of essential services in Fells Point.
LARRY HOGAN: I mean, this is a basic failure to stop lawlessness and they've got to do something about it. We've been pushing them for a plan.
- We deserve better as citizens of Baltimore.
AMY KAWATA: 37 business owners now taking a stand, threatening to withhold taxes and other fees until order is restored.
- We just don't feel like the city of Baltimore is standing behind businesses.
AMY KAWATA: In response, Mayor Brandon Scott called for a virtual town hall meeting for the public to express their ideas, comments, and concerns about what's going on in the neighborhood. This comes after a violent weekend in Fells, where three people were shot and fights broke out.
- We cannot and will not accept that these things continue to happen.
AMY KAWATA: It's a problem business owners say is nothing new. They're demanding the city to clean up trash in the area, enforce parking, and crack down on illegal open air alcohol and drug sales. Mayor Scott vowing to work with the police department to address the spike in violence across the entire city.
- The reality is that we have neighborhoods that are hurting from incidents of violence across the city, including Fells Point. And what we're not going to do is prioritize one or the other.
AMY KAWATA: And as we approach the weekend, city leaders are warning of temporary street closures and strict parking enforcement. They've also asked police to step in and enforce DUI checkpoints on Boston Street between Fells Point and Canton. Live in Fells Point tonight, I'm Amy Kawata for WJZ.