It was a violent Memorial Day weekend in Detroit, with the Detroit Police Department reporting a total of nine homicides. Eight people were fatally shot during the holiday weekend, while a ninth person died of blunt-force trauma. There was also a quadruple shooting in Greektown just after the clock hit midnight on Tuesday.
Police Chief James Craig issued a statement on the violent weekend, as well as Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield, who represents the 5thDistrict, where one of the homicides occurred over the weekend.
“The culture of violence we are experiencing is a systematic and cancerous problem plaguing our city and this nation,” said Sheffield. “While it is seemingly impossible to end the senseless violence committed by individuals who devalue human life, our response cannot and must not contribute to the normalization or acceptance of gun violence being a part of our society. We must transpose the pain and suffering of the victims and their families onto our own lives. We must respond in a manner that says an assault on the life of one is an assault on the lives of us all.”
“I may not have all the answers today, but I am speaking up to say I am mad and this type of blatant disregard for life, the law and our city will not be tolerated. I, personally, will be reaching out to law enforcement agencies across the region to become more involved in devising a plan and the appropriate response to these senseless acts of violence.”
The rash of violence in the city comes just as Sheffield is set to lead a call to action rally Friday, June 1 at 10 a.m. in front of the Spirit of Detroit Statue in downtown Detroit. Sheffield will be joined by advocates, clergy, community leaders, students, survivors and others against gun violence to call attention to June as Gun Violence Awareness month. They will also address the city’s response to the rash of gun violence and the preparations for dealing with that type of crime this summer.
When the warm weather hits Detroit, people have a tendency to get violent and that is what is expected once the summertime arrives in the city. But Sheffield and other city dignitaries want to change that notion.
“It cannot be business as usual,” said Sheffield.
During last year’s four-day weekend from Friday to Memorial Day in Detroit, there were six homicides. There were three during the 2016 holiday period and seven in 2015.