Detroit residents are tired of crime and living in fear. The message is being heard and with it comes Detroit Chief of Police James Craig who refuses to back down to death threats. Craig is leading law enforcement in the Motor City and says to thugs, “You are not welcome here.” A message of hope for a city desperately trying to rebuild. Craig reports, 35 raids go down a week where known drug activity exists in efforts to rid the city of crime.
The death threat was issued over social media in the form of an email from a disgruntled drug dealer upset over the number of raids that he says are, “messing with his money.”
Craig’s response: “You will be shut down, when you threaten the top of the police line, you also threaten every officer within that network. This in turn, threatens every community member. We will not tolerate you.”
As Detroit suffers with bitter cold, snow, and ice compliments of a vortex that keeps returning, residents are ready for a reprieve not only from crime that increases as temperatures drop, but from mother nature as well. The rap song It’s so cold in the D holds truth for many.
A consortium of law enforcement agencies including, The FBI, Michigan State Police and Detroit Crime Commission are all working to find out who belongs to the narcotics network gutsy enough to threaten a police chief who returned to the city saying, “Crime and the sale of narcotic drugs will not be tolerated under my watch.”
Readers responded on social media networks in support of the chief, and many agree with Craig when he says that he is doing something right if (in terms of raids) if dealers are complaining about losing money. Many posts also showed the faith that Detroiters have that things will be made right. Prayers for the chiefs’ safety were included as city residents praised his efforts. They want to be safe, they also want children in neighborhoods where many deals go down to be safe from drive-by shootings that come with the territory. As the police chief refuses to back down from death threats, Detroit citizens stand in support of his efforts.
Residents have the right to live without fear of drugs being sold next door or down the street. Craig has made an impact since taking the job as chief last July. He has experience with Detroit he was on the force before and left spending much of a 37-year career in Los Angeles. He returned last year and saw for himself what the force and residents were up against. Corruption on every end, he vowed to change things.
There is a consensus of respect for law enforcement that works to turn away an element of crime that makes a living off of dealing death.
The support for Craig serves as a reminder that Detroiters are a proud and resilient group of people who believe that the city will come back. Having someone on board who is concerned about what is happening in the neighborhoods outside of downtown is a good sign that improvement is happening. Craig refuses to back down to death threats and Detroit residents back that decision.
By C. Imani Williams