Federal agents are not the answer in Detroit

military enforcementDonald Trump keep your Federal agents in Washington.

Send them to Chicago, Portland or Seattle. We do not need them in Detroit unless they are coming here to bring jobs, hope and education. If the idea is to crack down on Detroit citizens the project will be a failure.

And it will create more violence.

Ever since I was a child the mentality has been to pound the black community. Let’s set up decoys and shoot whoever robs the decoy. Let’s pound on them and eventually they will be whipped into shape.

I lived through Detroit when it was called The Murder Capital of the World when upwards of 700 people were murdered a year. The primary thing that brought the numbers down was population decline.

Detroit homicides are up 31 percent this year and shootings 51 percent. You don’t think that has anything to do with people in desperate situations cooped up because of Covid-19? I sure do.

Meanwhile, resources are stripped from mental health, recreation and job creation. If you wake up and see people happily whistling on their way to work that might whip you into shape. If you wake up and see abandoned houses and folks with nothing to do then you don’t solve the problem no matter how much police enforcement is involved.

Yes, Detroit has a gun problem. But traditionally Detroit has not had roving bands of delinquents shooting up the streets. Detroit shootings are backyard barbeques gone wrong.

Detroit shootings are between friends who are having a bad moment. It is a card game gone wacky. It is one person who feels cheated busting a cap in his buddy’s ass. Are Federal agents really going to crack down on domestic violence without the public turning violent against Federal agents?

“Quite frankly the president doesn’t know the first thing about Detroit,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said.

I agree.

Does the president really want to cut down the violence in Detroit. Then the federal agents he sends it should not be armed with flash bombs, shot guns and tear gas. They should come armed with federal aid to build up summer and after school programs.

These agents must come armed with hope, not armored vehicles and bull dog tactics.

If you live a comfortable life and get agitated with an neighbor, you are not likely to shoot them. If you live a tough life where going to jail is a better alternative than your neighborhood life, you might come out blazing if your neighbor pisses you off.

I wonder what the murder rate is downtown? I wonder what it is in Boston-Edison or in Midtown. I am going to guess it is very low. But what is it on Dexter and Davidson? What is it on the lower east side or on Greenfield and Fenkell? I am going to guess higher.

Do you know why I am not one of those criminals you fear? I grew up in a rough section on the west side of Detroit, but the women who raised me showed me a path outside the hood and into a good career. So when my boys wanted to crack somebody upside the head or went looking for trouble, I said “no thanks.”

And then I had to be strong enough to stand up to them after they called me weak and scared. I would not be here if I didn’t have hope and a path to a good life.

I didn’t have the vision to succeed. Somebody had to show me that vision.

I bet many of the young people that are causing trouble simply need that vision and that path of hope. I hope the president provides them that opportunity rather than blast them  with tear gas and initiate a long hot summer with more violence.


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Published by terryfoster8

I am a 58 year old retired sports journalist, husband and father of two living outside of Detroit in search of his next big adventure in life.

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