Public Enemy Told Us: “911 Is A Joke In Your Town!” Especially In Detroit, The Joke Is On Its’ Younger Citizens

I hate to report ignorant and backwards news to my readers. It makes me frustrated. At times it makes me wonder about the thinking capacities of my fellow human. But as a journalist, I know that it is more than important to report the news. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. My job is to report the news. Your job as readers is to simply make an assessment of it and try to deal from there.

Yesterday, a sistafriend of mine called me with some disturbing information. I was shocked, am still in a semi-state of shock, but felt that it was important to pass this story along to you.

My sistafriend’s eleven year old daughter was chased home in the late afternoon hours of Wednesday. She was on her bike. The people who were chasing her were in a truck. The people chasing her? Grown men. They hollered. They screamed obscenitiesat her. They attempted to drive the truck upon the sidewalk to run her down. They even got close enough to attempt to pull her off her bike. The terror that was in this young girl’s eyes and heart makes my knees go weak. The same terror I felt when I was raped. I would never even think of wishing that type of fear on a child. On anyone for that matter. As she struggled to remain on her bike and head home for safety, her younger sister yelled adamantly for the would be attackers to stop their reign of unwanted and unwarranted terror. She’s seven.

What was this madness about? These grown men believed that this eleven year old girl stole the bike she was riding from one of their relatives. So, instead of going to the little girl’s parents, who incidentally lived right up the street, they instead chose to hunt an eleven year old child down like she was some animal or worse. Like she was a little negro girl in the deep south circa 1930, and they are the KKK!

When I was told this horrible story, I cried like a baby. It hurt me to the core to know that an eleven year old child could be subjected to that kind of terror. All over something that could have been straightened out in minutes. The kicker of the whole event is this: when my sistafriend called 911 for help, the Detroit Police Department never showed up. When she called again this morning, and waited, they still failed to arrive. My sistafriend then called the local precinct and was told that what happened to her child was not an emergency and did not require a squad car to come to her home.

Can you believe that crap? A little girl is hunted down on the very neighborhood streets that she calls home like a fugitive, a crack-addicted thief, an animal, and the police does not view this as an emergency? What type of city is Detroit? My sistafriend spoke with a sergeant and asked him what should she do. He told her to file a complaint at her local police department. She then asked the sergeant what she should do in the event that she had no car, no gas money to put in a car. Where is the police when you need them most? Are you stuck in a situation as perilous as the one her children faced, with no solution? What could possibly get a squad car to her neighborhood?

Would the Detroit Police come to the neighborhood if her husband, beyond angry, reached in his closet and pulled out a glockand sprayed the house, that held the men that terrorized his young children, with bullets? Would the Police come then? Would the police then proceed to arrest the father for taking justice in his own hands? Would the police arrive right in the middle of a neighborhood bloodbath that has gotten out of hand solely because the victimization of an eleven year old child, at the hands of grown men, is not enough of an emergency to warrant police presence?

I am very heart-broken. Not because that once again, the Detroit Police Department has failed to listen and protect another one of its’ most vulnerable and valuable citizens. But because this young girl of eleven will have learned a sad lesson. The lesson is that she is not important and her plight does not merit attention. This, of course, is not true. The lesson that her young impressionable mind more than likely has absorbed is that being African American and female in Detroit is a risk. A huge one. In Detroit, a gang of men can chase down a girl on her bicycle and get away with it. Big Deal!

Well, Flavor Flav said it, and his words have never been more prophetic: “911 is a joke in your town.” It sure is in Detroit.

By the way, the bike in question is an exact replica of the one that was stolen because BOTH families bought their respective bikes from the same store. In fact, the girls used to ride their bikes up and down Gilchrist and Ferguson…TOGETHER. The young sista in question did not steal her friend’s bike.

Lover, Fighter, Friend, Journalist, and Activist.

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July 2008
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