The Seemingly Intractable Problem of Crime in Detroit

This article by Bill McGraw in the Detroit Free Press really depressed me.

http://www.freep.com/article/20090324/NEWS01/90324060/As+I+watch++crime+flares+on+Detroit+ghost+street

As the author watches, a violent beating takes place in the same place where yesterday, the Detroit Police had a press conference to announce the roundup and arrest of 61 criminal suspects.

“I was getting ready to leave West Robinwood at about 3 p.m. when I watched as two men jumped out of blue car at Woodward and attacked a tall, older man who had just stepped out of another vehicle,” McGraw writes.

“The tall man broke away and ran. His assailants pursued him into the middle of northbound Woodward, where a vicious battle took place amid the passing cars.

“He put up a good fight,” said a witness, Barbara Stevenson, 43, of Detroit.

A Detroit police officer, on routine patrol, quickly arrived on the scene, and the two men were soon cuffed and face down on the pavement. ”

On this street, 60 of the 66 homes are abandoned, according to McGraw:

“West Robinwood is a ghost street. You hear the distant barking of dogs, the rustling of dead leaves and shards of broken-up homes blowing in the wind. Trash, dumped tires and furniture litter the lawns, driveways and the street. Even in a city as hurting as Detroit, West Robinwood is extreme. The remaining residents are desperate for help.”

How can you hope to make any progress in surroundings like this, when the problem is this bad?

1 Comment

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One response to “The Seemingly Intractable Problem of Crime in Detroit

  1. Good post.

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure I can add anything positive about Detroit’s situation. Certainly the economy (especially Detroit’s employers), government scandals, the crumbling housing market, police issues, and citizens relocating to other communities have left the city reeling.

    I don’t see much bright news on the horizon for Northern giants like Detroit as young professionals choose warmer climates.

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