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“As she prepared to embalm the 59-year-old Brooks on Saturday morning, mortician Gail Washington peered at a small burned area on his skin, right above his heart. Her assistants had pointed it out, and Washington now agreed: This was no natural death.” Washington, as reports, was getting ready to embalm Leslie Brooks after his death was ruled routine. Who knows maybe cops in Detroit consider a bullet hole in the chest natural causes these days. What with the city contracting into just the areas they can afford to light and first responders half-assing crime scene work to the extent that bullet wounds go un-noticed, it’s kinda hard to watch another one of those Chrysler commercials touting the amazing renaissance happening in the armpit of Michigan without spraying coffee all over my screen. So if you have to live or work in Motown, you might want to give Rick Ector a call and tool up. Soon.

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  1. From reading the story, I’m thinking a .22 revolver at contact distance. Whoever did this is probably getting away with murder.

  2. This would be funny if not so tragic. (Think of the Brady headline: “Gun Community Skews Data by Classifying Gun Deaths as Natural.”)

    Homicide detectives should probably follow the TV-show “Law & Order” rule of not calling a death natural or suspicious until the Medical Examiner weighs in.

    Last, as someone who lived in an overtly racist and segregationist area of the country more than 40 years ago, I have wondered how many local “natural” minority deaths actually were natural, or actually more nefarious.

    • *One way we can get the gun crime rate down is just call death by shootings death by natural causes. Well…in Detroit, maybe getting shot is a natural cause.

  3. I am not sure you can blame the cops for all of this. My brothers and many friends are DPD. They don’t really have the time to do…anything. There are so few of them left, and less everyday. Roughly 2 a day retire at this point. And no replacements coming, and a 10 percent pay cut. Most calls do not get answered. If they went to a house with a dead body(they can’t get to every call for a body. Just the obvious homicides), and the EMT said “heart attack”, the officers were out the door in seconds. TO answer the other 200 or so calls backed up.

    • Sean,

      I meant that there ought to be a more conclusive standard procedure for dead bodies. Rest assured I have no truck with the DPD, in fact I wouldn’t want their job in Detroit nowadays.

  4. I am a paramedic in Austin, so this one rubs me the wrong way a little. I have 2 main responsibilities when called out for a dead body: 1. Determine that the person actually is dead, but not the manner of death. 2. Disturb the potential crime scene as little as humanly possible. If someone is face down with rigor and lividity I dont roll them over, search them for wounds or anthong else. It is entirely up to the Medical Examiner (coroner) to determine cause of death. I have on occasion speculated (hard not to point out the needle in the arm and say “probably heroin”) but if I don’t know I’ll say I don’t.

    • Yep, we are not MEs. Dead dude, move on to a more animated customer. Heck in my area once the LEOs show up they’re basically bumping us out of the door like were hiding donuts under the body to avoid contaminating the crime scene. If they get there first, half the time they cancel us and refuse us entry to declare death.

    • Agreed. In NY we’re concerned with “if” not “why” they’re dead. Doesn’t matter how natural or unnatural the death looks, we assess them enough to decide they’re no longer viable. If I walk in, grab the dead guy’s hand, and can lift the whole dead guy like that, then that’s as far as I’m looking. We don’t strip them, or roll them over. Anything obvious like a knife sticking out of them will get documented. We disturb the scene as little as possible since every unattended death is considered a crime scene until the police or ME say otherwise.

      For the previously mentioned reasons, I disagree with EMS being included in the title.

  5. I’m just relieved that the CIA still has an estimated budget of $60-80 billion to keep running the drone program in southern Asia. Then there are the valid investments into the infrastructure of Iraq and Afghanistan of hundred$ of billions more…I mean we ‘know’ those countries and their people will learn to love America.

    So what that America’s cities don’t have enough cops or money for education, and people are going without health care? Hey, we’re killing terrorists!

  6. I don’t know if this is the forum to get into what caused or could fix Detroit’s many problems. I do know Detroit isn’t in the mess it’s in because an asteroid fell or an evil fog came out of Lake St. Clair. The city’s problems are the result of years of decisions by unions and management, politicians and voters and most specifically the people of Detroit and Michigan.
    The CIA, drones, Iraq and Afghanistan do not have anything to do with those problems. If throwing Federal money at a problem would fix anything; Detroit would be Eden by now.
    Your logic Aharon, is the same as that used to say “the gun went off.” It’s fuzzy thinking that denies the source of the problem, substitutes a bogus set of facts for reality and jumps to wholly emotion based false solution.

  7. Detroit can’t even afford to fix their streetlights let alone pay the power company. Perfect example of what strong unions do for a town.


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