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The Nation

A crime-ridden community paid its last respects to a slain anti-drug crusader whose death has focused attention on South Florida’s drug wars. More than 400 mourners, including President Bush’s son Jeb, gathered at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Perrine, about 10 miles south of Miami, only blocks from the grocery store where Lee Arthur Lawrence was gunned down Monday. Lawrence, 51, who owned the store, had fought for years to keep drug dealers off his property and out of his community. He was killed in a fusillade of up to 30 bullets fired from a semiautomatic weapon. Authorities believe Lawrence was shot by professional killers. Jeb Bush presented Lawrence’s widow, Sarah, and her two children, Nita, 28, and Lee Arthur Jr., 22, with a letter from the President and Barbara Bush. “Lee Arthur has been on the front line of the drug war that threatens us all,” the letter said. “It’s a problem for all of us, all of Dade County, the state and the country.”


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