Leaders: Edgewood Ave block parties are out of control

Atlanta leaders say Edgewood block parties have issues

ATLANTA - ATLANTA -- Some city leaders say impromptu weekend block parties on Edgewood Avenue are getting out of hand.

Every Friday and Saturday night, Edgewood Avenue is filled with more people than cars. In fact, police say on any given weekend, on any one of those days, some 2,000 people can pack into the four-block radius party.

The party has been going on for about two years and things came to a head early Sunday when someone was shot. But that’s just the beginning. 

Photos from the scene of Saturday's shooting 

Earlier this summer, 11Alive cameras were rolling at the party when police ran into a gas station and arrested a man in a car they said was stolen. 

Minutes later, at the corners of Auburn and Jackson, a police officer got caught in the middle of a fight while trying to diffuse it.

Police said the scene has gotten worse over time.

“It [once] wasn't as bad, but we've seen that progression and it's a pretty fast progression,” said Atlanta Police Zone 6 Commander Timothy Peek.

That same night, a woman was snatched out the street by a friend. She danced in front of police cars while they tried to clear the streets.

Then this past weekend, a man was shot when someone opened fire in the crowd.

Peek said police are trying everything they can to get things under control.

“We've instituted cruise zones...We're looking at the parking issues,” he said.

Issues which Council Member Kwanza Hall said needs to be properly managed, but not just by the police. He said businesses also need to step up.

“It’s free security for people who are making millions of dollars,” Hall said. “You cover your bet, because if it happens in your establishment then they'd have another situation, but it's happening just outside.”

Julie Smith is the COO of the non-profit Georgia Justice Project.  This past weekend's shooting happened on their front door step.

The organization is closed during the party on the weekends, but their parking lot is often used. They say they want to do their part to be good neighbors. 

“We have a parking lot that we want to look into managing that. We've talked about having a parking company or food truck,” said Smith.

And that’s the kind of attitude Peek believes will help get the area over its rough patch.

“We want to work hand-in-hand business community, to support public safety needs," he said.

Hall wants to sit down with businesses and police to come up with a more progressive plan to curtail the problem.

(© 2016 WXIA)


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