Partly Cloudy   79.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

Safety in the City

Detroit’s top cop lays out his plan to control crime. Will it work?

(page 1 of 4)

Cynthia Wilkins expected to take her young grandson for summer strolls, giving him licks of ice cream and scooping up the big baby who loved wearing baseball caps for hugs.

He had a smile that could light up a house, and he loved his toy, Clifford the Big Red Dog. Wilkins looked forward to special moments with Delric Miller IV: Hearing him utter his first words, watching him take his first steps, and beaming on his first day of school.

That all became a shattered dream when someone fired a barrage of bullets from an AK-47 into a friend’s home on Detroit’s west side, killing the 9-month-old boy as he lay on the couch. Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said more than 30 shots were fired into the house.

The incident has left the infant’s sister, 2-year-old Cassidy Miller, constantly asking where her baby brother is. His mother is unable to speak about the incident, and Wilkins, 39, feels lonely, extremely angry and fatalistic.

“There are no morals,” said Wilkins, whose mother and daughter also were fatally shot in 2001 in separate incidences in Detroit. “If people think you can just hide in your home, they are wrong. (Thugs) will come up inside there and kill you anyways.”

Baby Delric’s death was among a spate of 70 slayings through the first three months of this year that caused Detroit’s homicide rate to jump 37 percent over the same time period last year.

During those months, other high profile cases include 12-year-old Kadijah Davis, who was shot inside her home when the house was sprayed with bullet following a disagreement over a cell phone in late January.

Michael Haynes, 24, was shot and killed at a BP gas station over the price of a box of condoms, and police said a 14-year-old boy shot his mother 10 times while she slept in her bed, killing her. These incidents and others left many Detroiters feeling vulnerable and unsafe, wondering what would happen next.

By early April, the slayings slowed to a total of 85, or a 9.2 percent increase over the same timeframe last year, according to Detroit Police Department data.

 

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »New Content

New project aims to diversify Detroit’s theatre scene

New project aims to diversify Detroit’s theatre scene

Black and Brown Theatre casts and trains theatre artists of color

Bishop Wayne T. Jackson is interviewing Donald Trump and it's 100% OK if you just ignore it

Bishop Wayne T. Jackson is interviewing Donald Trump and it's 100% OK if you just ignore it

Inviting the GOP presidential candidate into a black space only cheapens the significance of the black church.

No more rats and mold? City says majority of DPSCD buildings now are safe and compliant

No more rats and mold? City says majority of DPSCD buildings now are safe and compliant

Of the district's 94 buildings, 86 are up to code. The district still faces teacher and enrollment challenges, however.

Let's revisit this interview with John and Monica Conyers from 2000

Let's revisit this interview with John and Monica Conyers from 2000

The congressman and the ex-city councilwoman renewed their vows this weekend, so we dug into our archives.