Newark residents: Man murdered on 'sacred ground'

NEWARK - Police say a murder took place during broad daylight on Wednesday in Newark on what some are calling sacred ground.

Newark police have identified the victim as Chris Smith, 30, of Newark. They say he was shot while on the sidewalk outside the home of activist Amiri Baraka by men in a moving car.

Baraka has been an activist in Newark for more than 40 years. He helped elect the city's first black mayor. In 2002, he was named New Jersey Poet Laureate, leading many to refer to the area in front of his house as 'sacred ground.' Baraka's son, Ras Baraka, is also a Newark City councilman.

After a brief chase, police say the suspect's car crashed in the West Ward. The three occupants inside were arrested, and police recovered the gun.

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