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NAACP to meet with apartment management after 'racially insensitive' fence erected

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - The NAACP's Portsmouth Chapter plans to meet with management of London Oaks Apartments Monday night over a fence they built around the complex over the last month.

Some tenants called WAVY-TV for help in stopping the fence from being built in early September. 

Tenants said the fence made them feel like "caged animals" and "prisoners in their own homes," during interviews with TV reporters.  

Management did not respond to calls and emails for comment about why crews were building the fence even though residents didn't want it. 

NAACP leaders want to talk with apartment management about the fence and overall conditions at the apartment complex.

Residents said they did not like the nine-foot-high perimeter fence going up around their community.

"I really don't care too much for it, I really don't like it," said resident Jasmine Lewis.

Jaquella Bagley visits her sister here. "(The fence) just makes the neighborhood look like a big jail if you ask me."

10 On Your Side has reported multiple times on the trouble at London Oaks this year alone. Two people were shot in April, a month later paramedics took a man to the hospital after a stabbing, and In June police charged a woman with stabbing another woman.

The complex was also where 16-year-old Will Patterson Jr. fled after he shot police officer Angelina Baaklini last November. Patterson was later convicted of attempted capital murder.

Despite the crime, residents said last month that they're fine without a fence.

"All of a sudden you want to put up gates? I really think that's crazy, so we somewhat do look like caged-in animals," Lewis said.

The head of the Portsmouth NAACP says the negative effects of the fence far outweigh the positive, and calls it "racially insensitive."

The fence runs along High Street, the southern border of the complex, and is also bounded by Mt. Vernon Avenue and London Boulevard.

The only access points now are driveways on High Street and Mt. Vernon Avenue.


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