Police are investigating reports that prospective gang members plan to attack residents and unsuspecting officers during tonight’s fireworks in Detroit in what would be a brazen escalation of the so-called “knockout game.”
The gang initiation and Saturday’s violence on the riverfront have prompted police to step up the enforcement of a 6 p.m. curfew for people under the age of 18.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to wedge into downtown Detroit to watch the annual fireworks along the riverfront.
On Sunday, one officer warned that police won’t tolerate attacks on cops.
“Here is the deal, if you are the parent to one of these miscreants call the funeral home and make arrangements,” Detroit Police Officer John Bennett posted on Facebook.
“They deserve whatever they get and I hope they get it!!!” Ann Alexander responded.
Police said they first discovered the threats on social media.
The rules of the knockout game are brutally simple: Punch an unsuspecting person in an attempt to knock him out. Last week, a Ferndale man suffered a concussion, broken jaw and chipped teeth in what Ferndale Police believe was inspired by the knockout game. Other local cases have been documented.
Tonight we will publish a live blog on law enforcement activities at the fireworks.
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.