Community around Miles College concerned for students’ safety

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — Antoinette Poplar was at home last night when two Miles College band members were shot on her street, and she says it’s not the first time.

“I actually heard the shots,” said Poplar. “We hear gunshots here quite often to be honest with you, to the point that I think we just ignore the shots thinking ‘Well, maybe it’s a car backfiring.’ It’s not.”

Poplar says she doesn’t blame Miles College students for the violence, but she believes more needs to be done to protect the students.

“Outside people know that Miles College students are walking here sometimes day and night, and they become easy targets,” said Poplar.

Candice Cox is a communications student at Miles and she says she does feel safe when she’s at school.

“They’re doing an outstanding job as far as looking out for things that’s going on,” said Cox.

However, she said she’s glad she doesn’t have to come to campus at night.

“That’s usually when a lot of stuff happens — when it’s dark out. Nobody can really see anything. That’s when other people try to take advantage of students on campus,” said Cox.

We also talked with other students just off campus who said they didn’t feel safe. They declined to speak with us on camera because they say they’re afraid of repercussions from the school, like losing a scholarship or being kicked out altogether.

Miles College Director of College Relations Alicia Williams refused to talk with us on camera about the security measures that have been taken since the shooting. In a written statement, Williams said a mandatory curfew has been implemented on campus and that security on campus has been increased.

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