Three New York City council members are advocating to permanently close the doors of Cruz & Chiky Grocery, the Bronx store that served as the crime scene where 15-year-old Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was fatally stabbed by a mob on Wednesday.
Council members Ritchie Torres, Vanessa Gibson and Rafael Salamanca, drafted a letter to the Department of Consumer Affairs, asking them to shutter the location because they believe workers should have done more to prevent the teen’s death, the New York Daily News reports.
“An owner who stands by idly while a 15-year-old is dragged out of his store and murdered in cold blood with a machete is no longer worthy of doing business in NYC,” the letter said. “While it might be unfair to expect a business owner, untrained in law enforcement, to perform heroics in the midst of savage gang violence, the failure to do something as basic as calling 911 is morally unconscionable.”
The store remains closed since Guzman-Feliz’s murder. Thousands continue to place flowers and candles outside of the store, turning it into a mural in honor of the slain teen.
An online petition has more than 43,000 signatures to shutter the Chiky Grocery. His death, caught on surveillance video, made many have a visceral emotional reaction while watching the teen’s last moments. Police believe he was the unintended target of a case of mistaken identity and that his death was also the work of the Trinitarios gang.
Newly released surveillance video showed the teen struggling to hide in the store ahead of his brutal murder.
However, many community members called foul on politicians specifically Bronx Borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., saying their outrage is nothing more than a photo opp. A video shows local activist Scott LaRock Jr. as he questions the president about positive programming for the youth as Diaz visited the site on Monday.
Eight suspects have been arrested in connection to Guzman-Feliz’s stabbing. Six will be extradited from New Jersey, along with a suspect who fled to the Dominican Republic. One suspect was arraigned on Monday.
Guzman-Feliz’s family has seen an outpouring of support from social media and celebrities. Rihanna and Bronx native Cardi B, expressed their support for the teen’s family on social media. Carmello and LaLa Anthony visited the site on Monday, along with spending time with Feliz-Guzman’s mother.
SOURCE: New York Daily News