I participated on Radio Baladi talk show this past Friday discussing the controversy of Miss USA Rima Fakih and the Arizona-type immigration law proposed in Michigan.
Yesterday’s comments were made at the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality meeting at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit relating to the recent shooting of 7 year old Aiyanna Jones by a Detroit Police officer as well as a warrantless entry by the Detroit Police of Masjid Al-Haqq late last year.
*Mayor Bing’s spokesperson responded to yesterday’s concerns that were voiced at the meeting by stating that his administration hears certain people making noise about him and the police but not about the criminals. See article below.
This is a flawed, deflective response for two reasons:
1) Criminal activity has been spoken against at such meetings and was spoken against during this meeting. Some of the video of it should be posted soon.
2) The mayor and the police are held to a HIGHER STANDARD than criminals. It is the responsibility of citizens to not only report crime when it is seen but to also check the mayor and the police since they are SERVANTS of the community, not the other way around. It is the right and duty of citizens to voice concerns and dissent to their elected officials, not just praise them. This is an American tradition as old as apple pie.
Mayor Bing’s office defends actions in wake of recent violence
By ZLATI MEYER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing’s office is dismissing criticisms that he doesn’t have a plan to reduce the violence that has rocked the city in recent weeks.
Bing spokeswoman Karen Dumas rejected comments disparaging how he is coping in the wake of a spate of violence, which has included the fatal shooting of Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a police raid on May 16. The statements were made during a Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality community meeting Sunday evening in Corktown.
“People are upset with the police, and not upset with the criminals. That’s the problem,” Dumas said. “Our efforts are methodical, not reactionary. … We understand there’s a problem.”
Approximately four dozen people attended the coalition’s two-hour meeting at St. Peter Episcopal Church on Sunday.
“The mayor said he doesn’t have a plan; I’m going to be so bold to say we do have a plan,” coalition spokesman Ron Scott said. “We are the answer we are looking for.”
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who addressed the group, said he was “extremely troubled” by the mayor’s statement that an investigation into Aiyana’s death should be handled at the local, not federal, level.
He also questioned the wisdom of having a TV crew following Detroit cops at work, which may provoke overzealous actions. Crews for A&E’s “The First 48” were filming police the morning of Aiyana’s shooting.
The city’s recent wave of violence also includes the deaths of Police Officer Brian Huff during a raid on May 3; of 69-year-old Geraldine Jackson by a stray bullet on May 13; and of 17-year-old Je’rean Blake on May 14.
Presentations also included violence-prevention advice, questions about the police department’s gang squad methods and information about an individual’s rights.
The coalition is planning to protest outside the Detroit Police Commission meeting at police headquarters at 3 p.m. Thursday.