Violence breaks out in Detroit neighborhoods while downtown safe for fireworks

Detroit police

While tens of thousands of visitors descended on downtown Detroit for the fireworks Monday evening, hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers saturated the riverfront to quickly dissolve any problems.

But in the neighborhoods, where police were already overwhelmed, the emergency calls rolled in at a pace much faster than officers could respond. Between 8 p.m. and midnight, when a bulk of police resources were downtown, officers were called to at least three shootings, seven home invasions, three armed robberies, four arsons, a rape and numerous domestic assaults.

Just before the fireworks started at 10:10 p.m., a man covered in blood pulled up to Sinai Grace Hospital and passed out after he had been shot in the head during an attempted car-jacking at a Church’s Chicken at 7 Mile and Southfield. He died.

On the west side, police were called to a home on the 17000 block of Trinity where three mothers and more than five babies were reportedly living in a feces-covered home. About a half hour later, at 11:30 p.m., a woman on the 1000 block of West Chicago was clutching her torn clothes, saying she had been raped on the side of the road after getting off the bus.

With fewer police in the neighborhoods, victims were forced to wait longer: There were only enough officers to respond to the gravest cases. Robberies, arsons and car accidents took a backseat to violent, life-threatening incidents.

On Tuesday morning, headlines trumpeted the relatively peaceful environment at the fireworks. Nothing was mentioned of the shootings and other neighborhood crimes.

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.

  • Lindsey

    Hopefully next time when an awesome event like this happens, they can recruit officers (maybe even volunteer officers) to work the event downtown while the have the normal ones working the neighborhoods that they know. I’m sure officers from surrounding counties would want to ‘work’ the once a year event to make it safe for everyone, in every neighborhood!

    • marco baroli

      the Arsenal of Democracy. Now, Detroit is nothing more than the face of the failure of democracy.
      America is at the Malthusian Edge. It’s incredible how so many want to look back, believing there still something worth going back to save. It’s sad how so few are willing to look at the uncertainty over the edge, and realize it’s our only hope of salvation. After all, there’s no word on if the bus tour would have originated from the Rosa Parks Transit Center (where armed guards would have escorted the judge) in Detroit, one of the more violent public transportation systems in America.

      • Dust Buster

        i think you might be on to something

  • Edward Chesher

    Yesterday was a restricted day, so nobody was off. Had it not been restricted, there wouldn’t have been any more officers than a typical work day. The crimes he described aren’t out of the ordinary for an average day in Detroit. Nothing newsworthy here.

  • Chris

    Before getting into any back and forth, the fact is: the police are very short-staffed. Instead of funding statues and other billboards in the city, maybe paying the folks that protect the city would be more helpful … our teachers, police, fire … are all understaffed and underpaid.

  • Gregory Watson

    Crime is the number one reason that people want to move out of Detroit and virtually nobody in his / her right mind wants to actually move into Detroit. Until the under-staffing of police and fire-fighters is remedied, all of Mayor Duggan’s creative and inspiring dreams of Detroit once again experiencing net gains in population are simply all for naught.

    • TheLionKing

      As a young artist and professional actively living within the city limits I am always pained to read commentary on crime articles by old, negative suburbanites boasting how “their hard work” got them out of the city and “they’d never live in the city”. I find these statements extremely funny as well due to the fact the volume of other young professionals, artists, aka the future are moving into the city and starting business and fueling culture. That in turn will slowly better the city. Meanwhile you’re in the suburbs somewhere, using mental energy to spew negativity on a situation you were never a part of and you only see what Fox News tells you. You’re not doing anything positive with your feedback, you’re gonna die in that lazy boy spewing meaningless, hateful negative things until you die. You will probably die in that same chair. Stop sharing your opinions, as they are invalid at this point, you are not experiencing living in the city whatsoever rendering anything you have to share garbage.

      • Guest

        You can’t get enough police and firefighters until you get revenue, and what we need is our police to concentrate on our neighborhoods.

      • Gunnut2600

        You views will change friend. When you have a kid, your priorities change drastically.

        Detroit is great when you are young and you don’t have a lot. When you have to put your kids through the school system, the suburbs start looking a lot nicer.

    • Bernard Goldfinger

      Detroit has to get some revenue to increase our Police and Fire Departments. What we…the citizens would like is for the police to be more concentrated in our neighborhoods.

  • Ididitright

    Woman need to be armed in Detroit, shoot off the pecker, then they can’t do it to someone else. After a few lose their peckers, they may think twice.

  • John Golembiewski

    I guess neighborhood bullshit was supposed to take a break during the fireworks?

    • Bernard Goldfinger

      Hey buddy, since you live in the suburbs, how would you like for your Police to be at the fireworks?

      • bebow

        Better yet, how would John like it if his elected and appointed officials told him he was unselected and unworthy of receiving the services his tax payments funded?

      • John Golembiewski

        Bernard, did you that it is not uncommon for suburban police to “be” in Detroit in support of DPD. And that there is a mutual aid agreement in place that sends DPD to suburban depts. for same.

        • Bernard Goldfinger

          Mutual Aide is only used when requested, DPD handles they’re own jurisdiction.

          • John Golembiewski

            Bernard, trust me that is not at all the case. It is not uncommon to see suburban police supporting DPD in place like Comerica Park on large crowd days. I will tell you for a fact that DPD sends people to Woodhaven when Woodhaven holds their Uncle Sam Jam. It’s all part of Homeland Security these.

  • Dan Pantalleresco

    The opposite of what I tweeted yesterday.. Well none the less we were safe on Mt. Elliott and Nevada… But if you are getting at that the police force is too small I’m with you. Also I’ve been noticing that the fire department down the street is beginning to take on nature. I may have to go there with a lawn mower soon. It’s sad to see.

    • muckraker_steve

      The closings of the fire stations is really hurting the city. It is sad.

    • Zukey Badtouch

      The police force isn’t too small. The criminal force is too large.

  • Frank

    So are you saying that Detroit should do away with the fireworks because daily life and occurrences continued to happen else where?

    Are you suggesting that these crimes wouldn’t have been committed if the police were in full force in the neighborhoods and not on the river front?

    I’m sorry but I don’t feel there is any connection, and you are just getting pissy because the people from the burbs actually came into the city. All of those police calls would have happened regardless. They would have likely received the same response time as well.

    • bebow

      Frank, you are one of those people who are determined not to understand the situation, because the status quo serves you well.

      • Frank

        Not at all. I understand the situation very well actually. I have seen it first hand, then I chose to better my situation on my own through hard work.

        I just find it ironic that every one wants a positive light to be shown on the city, and when there is, all of the shitty details are now the only thing highlighted by the same people crying in the first place.

        • bebow

          Those “shitty details” are important facts to 95% of the city.

    • DeathinVenice

      “Are you suggesting that these crimes wouldn’t have been committed if the police were in full force in the neighborhoods and not on the river front?”

      I think that’s it exactly.

      “All of those police calls would have happened regardless. They would have likely received the same response time as well.”
      I didn’t realize you were a statistician. Where are you getting your raw data from?

  • bebow

    Pure discrimination by the morally depraved.