What are the Detroit police about?
All around us and in daily news reports we are witnessing official disrespect for Black life.
Street crime and Black-on-Black crime have earned headlines for years. It is the story corporate media loves to report; the kind of crime that builds fear of each other within the community and fear of the community in general by everyone else.
Media creates the fear and disrespect that leads to a young girl getting killed while looking for help. Renisha McBride knocks on a door and gets killed by a man claiming to be afraid of her. Two weeks later, the property owner Theodore Paul Wafer is arrested after the victim’s — but not the shooter’s — toxicology reports are published widely. As though she were on trial.
“Sing and drink,” urges a Grosse Pointe Park police officer on a video he recorded of an intoxicated Detroiter while on duty. The police officer circulates the video among family and friends and then a disgruntled divorcee takes it public. The tag line of the video, “Got to love the coloreds.”
A pregnant woman trying to get her check cashed says the store operator sexually assaulted her. She turns in the semen-stained clothing the same day of the incident as she files a police report— in August. Now, three months later, no charges have been brought, and even worse, apparently no investigation has begun into her allegations. The accused perpetrator admits the police have not questioned him.
EM Kevyn Orr’s chief James Craig has sworn to turn the police department into a modern, functioning unit aimed at protecting and serving the public. Investigating citizen’s complaints would seem to be number one on the list of basic duties police should be working. Blacks may not find respect in suburban police departments, but cannot citizens at least find honor at home?
We urge Chief Craig to direct an immediate investigation of the sexual assault charges. From the highest ranks of the Detroit department, Black life must be respected. Investigate the young woman’s charges, listen to the community activists demanding justice be done and do your job. Demonstrate that you too, believe Detroiters deserve respect, have value. Life is precious.