muckraker report

Lawlessness ensues as Detroit paramedics come under increasing attack

On Wednesday, a man who called 911 because he was having adverse reactions to his medications attacked two paramedics and shoved one of them into a bedroom at the 4400 block of Freer, EMS said. While in the room, the paramedic barricaded himself and called 911. The suspect busted in and assaulted  the paramedic a second time, according to EMS.

Another crew was attacked Tuesday, and two more were chased away as they arrived to a scene.

Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said the city is doing its best and devising a long-term solution.

“We’re steadfast. We aren’t going anywhere,” Stephens told me. “The question is, how do we go about strategically making our city better and safer? I am so hopeful. I believe in our city and in our people.”

Attacks on city workers are becoming more common. Last month, someone chucked a molotov cocktail at a fire station. A month before, thieves stole a ladder and other items from a fire truck as firefighters battled a nearby blaze. About a year ago, a group of men brutally beat a bus driver.

Despite the increasing dangers, city officials cut the wages of firefighters and EMS by 10% and reduced health care and pension benefits, adding to the low morale of paramedics.

Mayor Dave Bing said the cuts were necessary to avoid the appointment of an emergency manager.

Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at

Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates, investigations and photos of Detroit.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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  • Alan Stamm

    Worthy issue to spotlight, Steve. Just one framing nitpick about the use of “increasing.”

    Your post supports “becoming more common,” but “increasing attack” and “increasing dangers” rest on facts not in evidence, as they say in court. Without a baseline — a comparison to past data — it seems speculative to reach beyond “a series of recent attacks” or “an alarming set of incidents in recent weeks,”

    That’s strong and unquestionably newsworthy, as well as supported by the evidence cited.

    • bebow

      Picking nits is far less disturbing than facing the reality of what’s taking place in these neighborhoods, isn’t it?

  • bebow

    Bing indicated his intentions are to coax ( a generous word) residents from our homes in unselected areas using indirect means. That’s what’s behind allowing criminals to run buck wild in the neighborhoods, and the more criminals see they can run buck wild without consequences, the bolder they get. Bing and his police chief regularly appear on the news to telegraph subtle signals that there will be no intervention to address even the daily slaughter. Paraphrasing here: If we sent a 1000 more police into the neighborhoods, it wouldn’t change anything. How many times have we heard that? The same number of times the criminals heard it. Other indirect negative actions on neighborhoods residents have also been launched, which I’ll save for another time. Criminals, such as those described here, know the neighborhoods are utterly lawless. So, they feel free to assault, rob, rape, or kill here whenever the spirit moves. It isn’t just neighborhood residents catching it anymore, and clearly, the criminals won’t be staying out of selected areas of the city.