Police Chief James Craig discusses crime data, viral shooting video, and more

In 2019, residents of Detroit watched James Craig address a multitude of issues, ranging from dangerous freeway incidents to untimely deaths. Today was no different for the 40-year police veteran who held a press conference at the Detroit Police Safety Headquarters. Craig discussed year-end crime stats, and the viral video circulating the internet of gunshots fired on New Year’s Eve.

On crime statistics ranging from 2015-2018:

“There’s been a reduction in overall violent crimes over the last four years. When you look at homicides, we’re showing a 7% reduction. 273 in 2019 compared to 295 in 2015. We’ve seen a 35% reduction in robberies. 2,337 in 2019 compared to 3,648 in 2015. There’s been a 26% reduction in non-fatal shootings. 767 in 2019 compared to 1,034 in 2015. Carjackings has seen a 53% reduction. 244 in 2019 compared to 500 in 2015. As you can see, crime still trends downward. I’m not waving a flag of success, but I will tell you, progress, absolutely, but we can’t do it alone.”

On the rise of homicides and non-fatal shootings in Detroit:

“Arguments were the leading motive for both homicides (34%) and non-fatal shootings (31%). The city-wide average for gang-activity homicides was 13%. We’ve continued to see a decline in gang-related homicides, but there were two times in this past year, once in July, and in Nov-Dec where we did see an uptick in gang-related homicides. By the end of Nov-Dec, we identified four groups on the Westside, impacting the 8th, 10th, and the 12th precinct. These groups were responsible for over 10 violent crimes. As a result of our efforts, 12 arrests were made, and 7 firearms were confiscated. Also, there was a negotiated truce with gangs on behalf of the DPD. This is going to be a strategy that we’re going to enhance over the next year because it works.”

On Project Greenlight and CeaseFire Detroit:

“We currently have over 660 green lights across the city. On January 1, 2019, we only had 474 green lights. There’s been a 41% increase over the last year. CeaseFire Detroit has been instrumental in helping reduce the violence in our community. We’re going to unify, because we are one Detroit. It’s critically important that we all join together as one so we can stop the violence in Detroit.”

On the recent celebratory gunfire video circulating on social media:

“I can tell you, I have never seen anything like it. Many of the viewers and listeners can probably say the same thing. When you look at that video, you would think that every neighborhood was erupting in gunfire, but I don’t believe that. When you look at that video, it’s disturbing and embarrassing for the City of Detroit.”

To watch the entire video, CLICK HERE.

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