Downtown Mall in Virginia Eyes Expanded Surveillance After Other Cameras Help Murder Case

A man was arrested for the murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham after being seen on surveillance with the woman downtown.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Video surveillance here helped lead to the arrest of a man accused of abducting and killing a University of Virginia (U.Va.) student. Now, the city is looking to expand the implementation of security cameras on the Downtown Mall to improve safety.

U.Va. student Hannah Graham was murdered in 2014 after disappearing in Charlottesville. She was seen on video surveillance walking alone downtown while intoxicated before being approached by the accused Jesse Matthew.

“Private video recordings of the Downtown Mall were critical in identifying and finding Jesse Matthew,” City Councilor Kristin Szakos told The Cavalier Daily.

Some businesses on the Mall have their own security cameras, but Szakos hopes to expand that effort to “provide video coverage of the areas not visible in the existing systems.”

Business owners at the Mall are supportive of the cameras. Joan fenton, the co-chair of the Downtown Business Association of Charlottesville and owner of a store on the Mall, says the Mall can be a vibrant area that brings in 5,000 to 10,000 people for large events.

“Cameras and the knowledge that there are cameras will help keep it safe and give people an extra sense of security downtown,” Fenton said.

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