Justified defensive shootings are fairly common in Detroit, with 12 justifiable homicides occurring so far this year and a variety of other criminals wounded. Police Chief James Craig has made national headlines by encouraging honest citizens to defend themselves. He has made it clear that citizens involved in self-defense shootings will not be harassed or hounded. The full power of the state will not be used make examples of those who dare to defend themselves.  At least not in the way the George Zimmerman was. Instead, the Chief sympathizes with, knows that Detroiters are sick of crime and wants to see them fight back. Some people, though, think this is a bad idea . . .

A couple of examples from detroitnews.com:

 At last week’s Command Accountability Meeting, Sandra Hines of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality called the chief “irresponsible” for his comments, and said he is encouraging vigilantism.

Ron Scott, a former member of the Black Panther Party, a community organizer/activist, and another member of the DCAPB opined:

“When you take a Wild West approach and say, ‘Shoot them,’ it’s irresponsible,” Scott said. “It’s frontier justice at its worst.”

Craig, of course, said nothing of the sort and is happy to defend his stance:

“I’m only talking about situations where someone’s life is in imminent danger. When a citizen is faced with a life-threatening situation, they absolutely have the right to defend themselves.”

What is particularly interesting are the views expressed by  those who bother to comment under the article. When I checked there were 251 comments. I only found one that was somewhat critical of Chief Craig. From Heidi Ausgood:

La Shanna I didn’t even bother to read the article…why? They do want us to exterminate one another. The plan is to regulate all these people to one side of town and have them prey on one another.

People are starting to shoot one another and alleging home invasion. What happen to the story a week ago about the young man and woman who allegedly tried to break in a man home and he killed the young man. Only to have his mother say on camera he had been hiding from this couple for weeks.

The most poignant pieces I heard was the young sister’s door who was stolen. She said “I understand it is hard”. Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating people not protecting themselves. But let come up with some ideas to create revenue streams in our communities. We are facebook friends in-box I have some ideas.

The vast majority of the comments are explicitly in praise of Chief Craig.

From Pam Csfari: Chief Craig, respectfully, YOU ROCK!

From Michael Morelli:  Blame him? We should be congratulating him for showing some common sense. People feel threatened and protect themselves, and that is somehow a bad thing? Unfortunately, in the minds of idiots the answer is yes.

From Rick W. Sutliff:  Chief Craig is trying to deal with a lawless city that has run wild for 30 years. The armed homeowners are just exterminating vermin that got in their homes. A good thing.

From Mel Walters:  Doing a super job chief Craig and NO there’s NO way you can even share blame. Law abiding homeowners had had enough of the feral thugs roaming the streets.

There are scores of similar comments, but I think the point is made. In spite of being told that Chief Craig is encouraging vigilantism, the commenters simply don’t believe it. Some of them even wish there were some actual vigilantism.

I believe Chief Craig’s job is secure. Perhaps other city police chiefs with crime problems will look at this situation and take note. It will be instructive to see if Detroit’s crime rate drops in the next year or two. Either way, I suspect the vast majority of people in the city appreciate a police chief that they believe is on their side when it counts.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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52 Responses to Fear and Loathing in Detroit: Chief Craig Defends Self-Defense

  1. Good. Especially there of all places. Of course the latte liberals will be enraged from their coffee shop laptops and spread fear mongering of vigilantism across the internet.

    • Why do we fear vigilantism anyway? We pay police and courts and legislators to capture and punish those who oppress us, what is so bad about doing a bit ourselves? If we screw it up, then WE should be punished for it, but if we get it right, like shooting a burglar, where is the problem?

  2. All the opposition to Chief Craig’s support for the citizens’ right to self defense is coming from the gang-community organizer-Democratic Party axis. They see that he is about to kick the props out from their schema for control. If the gangs are put down then economic life will return to the community, people will become more self reliant and no longer be dependent on handouts from the government.

        • Never can tell, they might have been already dead! There’s a new defense! Call it the Zombie defense! If the deceased votes in the next election, all charges are dropped, case closed.

    • Unfortunately the voter base doesn’t matter much right now in Detroit. Most of the decisions are being made by the unelected (non-elected?) emergency manager.

      I would have hoped that the suspension of democracy in the city would have been the bigger wakeup call to the residents that the policies of the previous administrations had failed.

      • One does wonder that more has been said about the situation. The citizens voted in democrat mayors in every election since 1962 and largely voted exclusively for democrats in other relevant positions.

        Admittedly there were some external forces at work in creating the disaster that is Detroit now, but many of the most serious of these were foreseeable and so avoidable or at least subject to mitigation through careful policy. What the city actually got from it’s elected government was very poor, short cited policy, massive entitlement programs and liabilities for salary, benefits and retirement plans for public employees that would have eventually lead to bankruptcy without the external economic factors.
        These problems are always associated with democrat controlled government and similar problems can be found where ever there has been a democrat majority for a sufficient period.

        Despite the rather obvious fact that democrat rule was leading the city to disaster a strong majority continued to vote democrat right up to the present until eventually the only way to save the city and it’s residents from themselves was to bring in an unelected outsider and force the elected officials to accept his hegemony in financial matters.

        The elected democrats would not even admit the city was bankrupt despite this being evident to anyone with even a cursory understanding of the relationship between revenues, operating costs and liabilities.

        This demonstrates the policy failures and eventual result of these same policy failures in micro that will occur (and are to some extent already occurring) at the macro level in state and federal government.

        This is an important story politically, an instructive parable philosophically, immensely interesting economically, and most certainly news worthy in every way yet so little has been said about it that most people outside the city aren’t even aware of it.

        I can only conclude that the reason this isn’t more widely known and talked about is the well documented leftward media bias. The tale of Detroit is a major embarrassment for democrats and a damming indictment of progressive policy.

        • Some asshat on MSNBC (I think it was tampon-ears) was arguing, with a perfectly straight face, that Detroit was broke because it wasn’t taxing and spending enough. Who knew that Detroit was a victim of “austerity?”

        • Did he mention who he was planning to tax? My understanding was the entire remaining population has a combined net worth of something less than a dollar.

  3. after living and working in Detroit for 25 years (and i do mean in the city) now a transplant down here in Texas all I can say is “it’s about fricken time” it’s still going to take decades to turn that place around This is what happens when a city is run by democrats for the last 40 years

  4. ” Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating people not protecting themselves…”

    So you’re just opposed to the police chief advocating the same thing?

    • I’ve been reading up on Sudhir Venkatesh’s research on inner city gangs in Chicago, and two salient facts stand out. First, the gangs practice left-wing style gun control, where the right to carry (and to decide who gets to carry and when) is a privilege of rank, and (of course) enforced with violence or the threat of violence.

      And second, that the police cooperate with the gangs to make sure other civilians are disarmed, out of some misguided notion that this internal gang gun control will keep violence in check.

        • Wouldn’t you suspect that gang members are also selected to BECOME the police? Dunno, just sayin’…

  5. dig a little – Heidi Ausgood is a well-known “community activist”. ‘Nuff said then

    • Right, she is one of those who are continually clamoring about the need for “discussion”. Her idea of “discussion” is to comment on an article she admits she didn’t read.

  6. For over 20 years I spent my Januaries in Detroit on business. I thought Detroit was permanently white (with snow and ice) until I traveled there during one Spring. I knew people all over the city, and some on various streets where police did not normally travel due to having their officers and cars shot at and stripped. I knew USPS letter carriers who carried their own concealed weapons without licenses to defend themselves. Most law abiding people owned guns with or without licenses or permits.

    Self-defense is a true defense. Self-defense is older than the Magna Carta, The Ten Commandments, Code of Hammurabi, Sanskrit, or any codified law or language. With budget cuts, less officers and cars on the streets, Chief Craig now knows the importance of self-defense. His officers may not arrive for 45 minutes to over 1 hour. During that time his citizens would probably be dead so officers would not be needed, just the coroner.

    Craig served for decades with the LAPD and delayed, threw away, turned away, every concealed carry permit he could. His more recent experience with Maine law enforcement let him see the much smaller crime rate there and everyone had arms. Craig wants his law abiding citizens to live, not the criminals to live and the law abiding citizens to die.

    • Good points SouthernPatriot.

      I my opinion Detroit and Police Chief Craig are the proverbial “crack in the damn” of gun control. The Armed Intelligentsia are understandably jaded but I am telling you that we have the momentum and we are winning. It may not seem that way in Cook County (Illinois), Hawaii, coastal California, or the Boston-Washington D.C. megalopolis, but it is the truth.

      The more interesting question, in my mind, is why is that the truth? Why do we have the momentum?

        • Doh! Damn autocomplete! (Did you see what I did there?) Actually, I cannot blame autocomplete. Even I occasionally type the wrong word. Yes, I should have typed “dam”, not “damn”. It was probably a Freudian slip of some sort.

  7. This post is full of win. Not only does the police chief of Detroit come out in favor of civilian carriers, but the public sentiment is wildly in his favor. Today is a good day for Detroit.

    Besides, when was the last time we had a civic figure featured on this site who was legitimately loved by the people?

  8. Nay-sayers gon’ nay-say.

    Has Heidi Ausgood ever had to defend herself, or her family, or her property from these misbegotten rug-rats pretending to be men? Does she even live in Detroit? My guess is Hell no, and I’m probably right. And about the boy she mentioned who was recently shot during a bonafide home invasion that was also caught on camera: the mothers of these creeps will literally say anything to cast the light on the victims of their little street urchins because they simply don’t want to admit to themselves that their “children” are heartless thugs.

    No politically appointed police chief in any crime-ridden Hell-hole is ever going to admit that Chief Craig is absolutely right, much less lean from his example and admit that they can’t save everybody.

    Fuck everybody that would deny these people their rights, everything they stand for, and the horse they rode in on.

  9. WOW! I never thought there would be a day when I wished that my city was a little more like Detroit!
    Go Mo-Town!

  10. If defending myself against someone who appears to be bent on harming or killing me or someone I care about, or on appropriating some of my property without my consent, is vigilantism, then sign me up as a card-carrying vigilante.

  11. “Ron Scott, a former member of the Black Panther Party, a community organizer/activist, and another member of the DCAPB…”

    That says it all right there…

    • Which is epic levels of bizarre and hilarious because gun control in CA started as a very specific, very targeted FU by Gov. Ronald Reagan to the Black Panthers for protesting while carrying firearms.

  12. My brothers are DPD. They may hate the Chief, but they deeply love the fact that the citizens are raising up. One of my brothers has been to a few of these shootings. He says that every time he hears the following from the shooters “I am so sick of this bullshit. I had to do something”. The only problem is that the citizens have to fear retaliation from the dead scumbags friends and relatives. The cops try to look out for them, but they are so overworked it is difficult. He gives those people the same advice “go get more guns, and make sure everyone in the house knows how to use them”

    • “My brothers are DPD. They may hate the Chief,”

      Can you give the short answer as to why they don’t like him?

      As an outsider (way far from Michigan), I really like his stance on citizen self defense. But, that’s all I know about him.

      I want to call him a “hero” for that stance and for taking it publicly … not caving to political pressure. But, I’m hesitant to do so because I don’t know anything else about him and other policies.

      Would welcome insight from those that are there.

      • The chief is a politician, not a cop. He has done a lot of good things, like gettting rid of the Kwame stooges. But he has also done a lot of unpopular things as well. Cutting some programs, privitizing others. Like every chief everywhere, he has promoted a lot of kiss asses as well. A lot of command officers that have no right to be in the jobs they are in. This, obviously has lead to some bad attitudes. Plus the DPD ranks are incredibly thin. The DPD is old. I don’t know what the average age is, but it has to be around 40 ish. There are few replacement officers coming.

    • I’ll make you a bet; given a few documented retaliations by the thugs’ relatives or fellow gang members, you will get to see what REAL vigilantism looks like, as the newly empowered citizens who have been forced to defend their homes then gather their friends and family and HUNT DOWN those who might decide to “retaliate”.

      • With 12 citizen self defense shootings in Detroit so far this year, have there been any retaliations?

        I often wonder, except where it is truly gang-member-on-gang-member crime if this ‘fear’ of retaliation is overblown. We really don’t hear about it, anyway.

        As William Aprill has said (repeatedly), violent criminal actors pick victims that offer a high chance of success; they don’t tend to go after known high-risk (to themselves) targets.

  13. If you threaten my family I have no issue with exploring options: 12 gauge? .45 ACP? .40 S&W? .38 Special? 9mm? So many choices. Don’t get me wrong, I would do a lot to stop someone from making bad decisions or to improve a community, but when Billy Badass kicks in my door I’m not going to risk my family to see if he needs a hug because he came from a broken home and Mommy was busy with two jobs because their community lacked means to attract investment and growth. It is NOT FAIR that the poor suffer the burden of high crime rates. It is NOT FAIR minorities are over-represented in socioeconomically depressed areas and under-represented in media. It is NOT FAIR that the poor and minorities are more likely to be victims. It is also NOT FAIR to expect members of these communities to stand down in the face of danger when the time has come to STAND UP AND TAKE BACK YOUR CITY. Your police have all but told you YOU ARE THE FIRST RESPONDER. Be ready, be sure of your target and who is behind them, and for God’s sake don’t feel guilty about the decision you may be forced to make. I live in a quiet suburb, but we had an attempted home invasion in my subdivision, bad guy with rifle in hand. I don’t want to kill a man, but if I do HE will have made that choice.

  14. Does anyone else have a problem with the term ‘justifiable homicide’? It seems we need a less negative sounding term. Maybe ‘justifiable lethal self defense’.

    • It’s not “negative” if you actually use the words as they mean, and not the culturally diluted definitions that become bastardized by the pop media.

      “Homicide” means one human killing another.

      There are two broad types of homicides: those that are crimes and those that are not. Within each category are intentional acts and unintentional acts.

      If it is an intentional act but not a crime, it must be “justifiable.”

      The problem is that too many people associate the term “homicide” with crime.

    • “Self defense” is a term used by law enforcement and media. Justifiable homicide is a finding by a jury. That is why we have few annotated “justifiable homicides”, now being touted as evidence there are no successful self defense shootings. The actual reason is that few jurisdictions try to prosecute their law abiding citizens for a DGU.

  15. Detroit’s crime rate may not drop in the next year or two, but the number of crime victims who survive their attack without serious physical injury will certainly increase … and that is a very good thing.

  16. Look up the story of Walter Budzyn and Larry Nevers. Kym Worthy was the prosecutor on that case and is now the elected chief prosecutor.

    The politics in this town have been racist since at least Mayor Coleman Young, and the prosecution and sentencing of people will be for a long time to come. God help the poor sonofagun that comes from the suburbs and gets caught up in something and doesn’t “fit in”.

  17. The sheep will become the wolf the police are there to clean the blood when it’s all over and YOUR family has been killed. I live here i know. the chef is doing the right thing telling the people to stand up and keep there family’s from being sheep. Some one kick’s down your door u call 911 and maybe the police will make it in 10 minuets it could be all over by then your dead there gone.

    So let politicians tell you gun’s are bad all they want. YOU have the right to keep and bear arms and to defend your self and your family. Stay safe Detroit!

  18. Detroit is a fascinating place because you can go to the Casinos and be perfectly safe. You go to certain areas and you see the poorest of the poor, travel a twenty minutes north and you have the safest city in Michigan (population over 100,000). The places they want to be secure and have a low crime rate are secure and have a low crime rate.

    • Metro Detroit is very odd for people to visit. Last summer, I took a friend and her daughter from out of state all around Detroit, and suburbs over a few days. They were stunned to see both how bad and how good things were. For example, the mansions of Indian Village and the bombed out destruction just a few blocks away. Also on the east side, the crappy area along Jefferson…then Grosse Pointe. All the empty space of Detrroit came as a surprise to them as well. The utter randomness of the city surprised them. How you go through a neighborhood, and see these ruins…and then a few houses that are perfectly preserved right next to them. Those are the people who are now fighting back.

  19. Good comments, everyone. Thanks!

    It is enheartening to see that when “ordinary people” are given encouragement to defend themselves, they do not hesitate. That must make the gun-grabbers’ mouths go dry with fear. I like it!

  20. The Detroit Coalition of Muggers, Rapists and Murderers supports Sandra Hines and the DCAPB!!!

    Disarm the victims!!! Armed victims create a hostile work environment for us!!

  21. The most poignant pieces I heard was the young sister’s door who was stolen. She said “I understand it is hard”. Don’t get me wrong I am not advocating people not protecting themselves. But let come up with some ideas to create revenue streams in our communities. We are facebook friends in-box I have some ideas.

    OK, want some ideas? Here’s one:

    You’re not going to create legit “revenue streams” in your community when crime is rampant. To start most businesses takes a whackin’ large bundle of capital and time, and people who have the capital and time aren’t going to willfully invest in a community where retaining their capital and return on same is made difficult or impossible by criminals.

    To that end, you have to deal with the criminals in your communities before you can expect business formation and anything like a “revenue stream.”

    This type of quote can come from only someone who has no experience with business or attracting business to a community. In other words, an academic, a politician or a “community organizer.”

    The DPD and the politicians have shown themselves to be either complicit or incompetent in dealing with the criminal element in Detroit for decades. The former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, is now doing 28 years in prison for an outlandish level of corruption, bribery, influence-peddling, extortion, etc. As the Kilpatrick trial unfolded, anyone with eyes and ears could see that the political class in Detroit is deeply criminal and corrupt, and offers no hope whatsoever to Joe Q. Public, the average citizen trying to get by in Detroit. People in Detroit have now received the message, loud and clear, that they are on their own in most all aspects.

    The cow that the left wing “community activists” have milked for decades has gone dry. The white middle class of Detroit have mostly up and left, so the old-school racial grievance politics of the left won’t work any more. The society that the left wing wanted to create is left bare for all to see in Detroit, and now the few people who remain in Detroit will have to clean up the aftermath of the left wing political activists, one corpse at a time.

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