‘Knockout game’ may target police during tonight’s fireworks in Detroit

By Steve Neavling

Follow our live blog as we track crime and police activity related to the fireworks tonight.

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

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.

  • ralphy

    Yeah nig

  • Michael K Kuentz

    “wedge”? Nice choice of words, Steve!

  • Marian Pyszko

    Are we still wonder why people are still fleeing Detroit? 1.3 million people have fled for what reason again?

  • mking

    Wouldn’t mind if the people playing this “game” got an official knockout right back. Pathetic people.

    • Marian Pyszko

      Get your CPL and you too can defend yourself from imminent death and or great bodily harm.

      • Lambo313

        Not if they got the drop on you … now you are knocked out and armed, what good does that do?! #1 best defense is being completely aware of your surroundings. I would hate to see a law abiding citizen get killed from false securities.

        • Marian Pyszko

          Better to have a gun and not need to use it than to need a gun and not have it.

        • AntiCitzenOne

          Not every punch is a knockout punch you know…

      • mking

        Why should I have to ‘defend’ myself for doing nothing wrong? That’s my point here, it’s pathetic. Harming people for no reason shouldn’t happen, or be tolerated. I, nor anyone, should have to go downtown with a CPL and a gun to have to protect myself.

        • Marian Pyszko

          So who is responsible for your personal safety?

          • mking

            I am – for my own safety. That means: avoiding dangerous scenarios, looking both ways when I cross the street, wearing a seatbelt, etc. I shouldn’t have to worry about people inflicting harm on me, though. While I know that’s unrealistic, my original point was that the DPD should do what they have to do to stop this – the citizens shouldn’t have to. If that’s the case, do you think everyone in America should walk around with a gun? Sounds about as safe as this game.

          • Marian Pyszko

            The police are entrusted to keep the peace but are not obligated to do anything under the law. Under Michigan law and most state laws ordinary citizens are empowered to make arrests if they witness a felony in progress or have knowledge a person committed a felony. The safety of all us is the responsibility of the public. Whether that means calling the police or drawing a legally registered gun depends on each individuals judgement and comfort level. No, I do not think everyone should walk around with a gun. But do I think everyone who can legally own a gun and is confident in their own abilities and training should carry a gun? Yes, that I do.

  • Folasade Idresse

    Was there a shooting last night at the River Days? I presume the media won’t report on it until after tonight’s fireworks.

    • Marian Pyszko

      It was a near riot downtown on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

  • bebow

    Well, that might wake the DPD up.

    • Marian Pyszko

      They will seek shelter in the nearest Dan Gilbert owned building until its safe to come out….

  • papatrouble05

    make funeral arrangements?


      As in you fuck around you get shot

  • Alan Stamm

    This post’s sourcing is thinner than Twiggy’s ankles and wrists.

    “Police are investigating reports . . .” Says who? Reports from where?

    John K. Bennett isn’t a reliable source without an agenda, in my view, even if he claims this in his HuffPo Detroit bio: “The journey for righteousness and truth never stops.”

    • Roger Wade

      “Twiggy’s ankles”?

      Did you just step out of a fucking time machine?

      • Alan Stamm

        Gaga’s waist, OK? That better, Roger?

        Still waiting for Steve to address the more substantive point.

        • muckraker_steve

          Alan, as I told you on Facebook, the threats came from social media. Check the third to last paragraph of the story.

      • rhoneyman

        hey. i liked it.