I know, right? Nobody wants a policeman to get shot in the line of duty. Maybe not even the Hutaree, whose prosecutor pointed at the entirely unrelated murder of Officer Brian Huff in the People’s vain attempt to keep the militia men under lock and key. But we all struggle to react to a police killing. Because a shooting like the one that claimed the life of Detroit Officer Brian Huff is socially undesirable and personally upsetting, there’s a collective rush to judgement. Something must be done! Rare is the time when media pundits wringing their literary hands over the tragedy fail to suggest increased law enforcement, draconian gun control laws or . . . something. This is one of those times . . .
No matter what happened in that vacant house on Schoenherr, a block from an elementary school …
No matter what gun fired the bullets that killed Officer Brian Huff while he was doing his job in that vacant house on Schoenherr, a block from an elementary school …
No matter who gets investigated for firing the bullet that killed Office Brian Huff while he was doing his job in that vacant house on Schoenherr, a block from an elementary school …
Two things are true.
He leaves behind a 10-year-old son.
And Detroit can no longer be overly sensitive to criticism when children who are the same age as Officer Brian Huff’s son live with gunfire that has become so routine, they are becoming immune to it.
Is Detroit in denial? The city that believed GM when it said it wasn’t going bankrupt? Maybe not so much, now; according to Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley
We cannot declare Detroit on its way back from anything or on the brink of anything …
Not as long as suspects such as Jason Gibson, who the police say violated probation, should be behind bars, but aren’t.
Not as long as residents in a working-class neighborhood, where occupied homes have mowed lawns, must struggle to keep crime at bay, as the Free Press’ Amber Hunt reported yesterday.
Not as long as children gather at a corner and point to yellow crime tape and with disturbing nonchalance say, “I guess that’s where the body’s at.”
Not as long as the sound of bullets is not only routine, but expected.
“We hear it every night at 11 p.m.,” one resident, April Lewis, 46, told the Free Press. “It’s not one or two shots. It’s six, seven, eight shots.”
Every half an hour or so.
That’s what cops like Officer Brian Huff are dealing with.
And he leaves behind a 10-year-old son.
OK, we get it. Now what? Now . . . nothing. Riley singularly, spectacularly fails to suggest any course of action to combat Detroit’s crime wave in general, or Huff’s assassination in particular. Right from the git-go, Riley dismissed the importance of drawing conclusions from facts, stuck her metaphorical fingers in her proverbial ears and wrote “nanananananananana can’t heaaaaarr youuuuu” [paraphrasing].
When it comes to gun crime, getting out of denial is a good thing. Taking action to combat the problem—whether it’s zero tolerance policing or improved police response protocol—is better.
Mayor Bing’s announcement that he would seek federal funds to demolish vacant houses—like the one Huff’s killer occupied—is a step in the right direction. Or is it? How would you like to live in a neighborhood where nearby houses are bulldozed into oblivion? Now there’s a debate worth discussing, Rochelle.