Guess what happens when you defund the police?
Guess what happens when you divert school dollars towards wealthy developers?
Guess what happens when the media turns their eyes away, treating the violence as a nuisance, the buzz of a fly?
Guess what happens when City Hall decides there’s an acceptable body count?
That’s exactly what’s happening in Detroit.
Motown is not only an epicenter of American urban violence, but a capital of children’s misery.
We must do better.
Please watch this premiere of our Emmy winning documentary: Kiss the Babies.
Transcript: While I hold in my hand here, the ultimate knickknack of television production, the Emmy, and I guess I’m happy to report that we do more than news every week here at the No BSS NewsHour, we make documentaries and we’ve been awarded the 2022 Michigan Emmy for documentary. Thank you very much. That’s me. Byron Goggin and our friend Ira Todd, retired Detroit police interrogator, decided we wanted to take a look at gun violence, particularly as it pertains to children. It was all the rage, all the stuff coming out of the pandemic. There were articles everywhere. We started this project before the pandemic hit and it was really difficult to get it done during the pandemic with the lockdowns, but we thought it was important. And to me, it’s kind of the culmination of the work I’ve been trying to do here since I moved back all those years ago.
And I mean, not much for awards, proud to get it. It’s an acknowledgement. I didn’t put myself up for it, but these aren’t the things people should be chasing. I mean, it’s not like we went after the scam artists that ripped grandma off on her sidewalk or latest breaking news. There was a house fire or a fill in weekend anchor of the year. It’s none of that. I guess it’s nice, but this isn’t what it’s about. What this documentary, well, I should say this. There’s a lot of news. There’s a lot of things going, but we need to take a break. We need to show you this and what it is. It’s called Kiss the Babies and it’s a multi-year. Look at Detroit particularly. I mean, gun violence against children is a national epidemic and Detroit is one of the ground zeros. There’s only one place where children are more abused and that would be St. Louis. It’s worse here than Chicago, worse here than Philadelphia, and I don’t know what we’re doing. We keep diverting taxes to rich men to make them richer. And if you watch this, you’ll see what life is like in the neighborhood. What happens when you defund police and you defund schools? You’re not really building for the future. So it is depressing, but hopefully you’ll find something worthwhile in it and with no further delay, please enjoy. Kiss the babies.
Looks like a kid, dude. It’s a tiny little casket. How you doing? Alright, A kid.
I love this town, but this town makes me sad.
Canam. Sesame Street
Sources say last week on the way to see Sesame Street lie, Christian had been riding in the backseat with his godmother driving down the service drive Durham angrily rolling down the window, pointing the gun at the car and firing a single shot. That bullet hitting little Christian in between his shoulder blades. The little boy dying the next day.
Who shoots at women? Whether you knew it was a kid in the back of that car, nah. Who shoots at women? She not pointing the gun at you.
Is your son a monster? No, he’s not. He’s not.
I was in a coma for about two weeks. Not only to have something like that happen, I got shot in the head. The face is the upper body, right? But to come out of it and remember that, it’s like sometimes you get a moment to reflect
The leading cause of death among our children. It’s not accidents, it’s not illness, it’s gun violence. This is not all over the world. It’s not in other countries. It’s in America. This is the greatest country in the world and we can’t do something about gun violence.
Gun violence is a part of our culture now.
It’s a drive-by shooting at night. The target a home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Authorities say it’s linked to a feud between local high school students. You see three teenagers get out of two cars, then unleash an estimated 150 bullets. That’s right, 150 rounds of ammunition
Today at yet another school. Students, teachers and parents terrified and scrambling after shots fired on campus. They’re
Requesting medical assistance. Multiple ambulances if
Possible, America has a problem. Children, guns, death. You hear about it After some spectacular carnage at his school,
Possible shots fired at Stoneman Douglas High School.
Almost universally, these schools are suburban or rural.
This time at Oxford High School’s thumb, 40 miles north of Detroit.
There’s hand ringing.
I think this is every parent’s worsening here,
Policymakers weigh in. We
Can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless?
The American people are with you and as the President said on Sunday, halfway across the world, we will never leave your side.
We’re tired of hearing politicians send their thoughts and prayers to us and doing nothing to make the necessary changes to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
But every day gunfire kills more children each week than Columbine, Sandy, hook, Parkland and Uvalde combined. In America, at least one child under the age of 18 is shot every hour of every day of every year.
For the third time, in less than three weeks, a child is shot in the head in North Minneapolis
And the victims are four times more likely to be black children living in a big city.
Police say five people were shot, including a four-year-old little boy who died.
Reaction to this pandemic is treated by society as little more than a nuisance, the buzz of a flock.
What’s sad is that there’s no outrage or protests about a seven year old being shot.
Top of the six o’clock news, the mother in tears, the chief of police wagging his finger and then onto the weather.
Thank goodness for this break that’s heading our AWAI today. I don’t think this region could deal with much more after what we were dealt with last night.
Guns are the number one killer of children claiming more lives than cancer, pneumonia and the flu combined, the financial costs are billions of dollars every year. The emotional cost immeasurable child shooting skyrocketed during the covid lockdowns. When cops were homesick, it climbed higher. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, more children are dying of gunfire than ever before. In Chicago, 250 children were shot in 2021, the
15 year old shot 24 times murdered just around the block from his home.
In Philadelphia, 130 children
Gunfire, more funerals and new pleas from parents to save their children from Philadelphia. Surging gun violence
In Detroit, 110 children. But Detroit is a small city with less than half the population of Philly. Why do so many children suffer? Is it a misguided push of public dollars to the police as B l m asks or is it a lack of police themselves?
Gun violence, as we know, continues to be a major concern in Philadelphia and we know there was a shortage of police officers in this city.
Or is it economic racism, a lack of opportunities and housing and schools. Is it a culture of no snitching, the revolving door of an overwhelmed criminal justice system?
Police arrest them, but then they’re quickly
Yeah, the police chief says there’s not enough jail space.
What it is is a national pandemic and we’ve decided to take a hard look at one of its epicenters. Detroit. Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013.
Tonight out of America’s iconic motor city, Detroit waving the white
Flag, the homicide rate is at its highest in 40 years, dubbed murder city with 78,000 abandoned buildings, 63% of its population gone so empty. The city of Paris could fit inside the vacant space.
In a grand social experiment, $7 billion in debt was wiped away. The police budget was slashed. Pensions and healthcare cut. This was supposed to loosen up money to make life better for children, but did it. No one seems to ask
Silence the violence, silence. High streets
900 children have been shot in those nine years since Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Whatever happened to the young survivors of those shootings? What’s happened to the families?
Peace. Put down the guard, down the guards.
I’m Charlie LeDuff. I’m a reporter here in Detroit. Shootings happen all over the country with kids all the time. Nobody caress story. Move on. Next story, move on. But Detroit is like no place I’ve ever seen. It’s no place you’ve ever seen when it comes to kids. One in 40 kids shot in the United States last year was in Detroit. A prominent educator came to me and said, what happens to children after they’ve been shot? How come nobody cares? Why don’t we ever follow up? Can you do that for me? I said, sure. Which one been a thousand of ’em since we came out of bankruptcy in 2015? Which one?
Hold No boy shooting enough. Easy enough
Goodbyes are exchanged in the lobby of Detroit police headquarters. As the 24 year old man being sought for the shooting death of three-year old Christian, CJ Miller turns himself over to police.
It just showed Christian that he is love and I’m glad we found him. We got him. Now we can start healing.
Christian Miller, a three-year-old baby on his way to see Sesame Street live. He’s going to see Elmo skater out and some dude angry because the woman driving the car with Christian in the backseat cuts him off as she’s getting on the highway, apparently he’s so upset. He tells his girlfriend to lean back, pulls out his piece and fires into the car. One shot kills the baby.
Start for us to take
This serious. My name is Ira Todd. I’m just an old broke down street cop. I’ve seen it all. When a three-year-old is shot, what’s left behind? It’s a whole community, not just their family, but a whole community that’s mourning the death of this three-year-old. People don’t realize there’s years of anger and pain that’s associated with that whole thing. These senseless murders of these kids, these gang members shooting into crowds or shooting into houses. Well, they don’t know what the target is. They don’t even have a clue of what their target is. And so when you have a three-year-old that’s killed out in these streets, I mean it affects the whole community. It affects the whole world and we need to do something about it.
Why is everybody so angry?
That’s just how they brought up and the things that they see, the environment and like you said, economics, no jobs out here. People out here suffering barely confi their families. So what you expect, you thrown into this mix to where everybody is just mad. That’s just how it is. They just mad for no reason. Rather you knew it was a kid in the back of that car. No. Who shoots that? Women. She not pointing a gun at you. Who shoots at men? Who shoots at men? People period’s driving a car. Let’s knuckle up. Let’s fight it out. Let’s get a fair one on. At least we both get to live to see another day and it is too much. Too much of this going on out here, man. People tired of it now. I’ve been tired of it. You see it on the news, the school shooting. Some kids, you share a tear for them kids. Now this is my reality. It hurts. You go out your way to protect your son. You do what you supposed to do and somebody else get into a situation. Now he’s gone. You just can’t. It is hard, man. What can you say,
I could say gun control. I could say more police. I could say more jobs. I don’t know. Government programs, I don’t know.
Yeah, but that was always the issue. Anyway, more policemen more. But this haven’t happened,
This particular case, it doesn’t get more slammed dunk than this. This thing was wrapped up in a bow and presented to the prosecutor’s office. I mean, we had witness testimony. We had the driver in this vehicle actually give a confession to everything that occurred. I talked to him. He creates consciousness of guilt. This thing where this guy is not even remorseful, but he’s telling you everything he’s done. He’s talking about how to get out of it. He’s trying to find a way to justify his actions. But he killed a child. Killed a child, instead of coming in and humbling himself and saying, look, I made a awful mistake. I don’t know what the hell got into me. This guy was still trying to save his own
Ass. I just thank God my baby got just
So I wanted to talk to Derek Durham. I mean Elmo a baby. Was this guy an animal? Was he sorry? Was this the worst mistake he’d ever made in his life? You never hear that. So his parents agreed to see me. I never got to see Derrick. What I saw with the parents has changed everything about how I saw life.
I was just at court and I even hugged the little boy’s mother
And I respected her for that because if she didn’t, I would’ve looked at her like, well, damn, this is why we in situation because I wouldn’t. But I felt her sympathy here
And I told her out of my own mouth, if they tell me that you got to die for this baby to come back, I would do that just for she can be with her so she can raise him and watch him grow.
But it don’t work that way, does
It? No it don’t. I wished it did.
I had come to hear a story about a murderer. What I walked away with was stories of victims.
They have an actual loss. It’s something that you can’t give back and I’m sure a lot of people express their condolences to them, but it’s not a lot of people that can say to them that I know what you’re going through. I know how you feel.
Everyone in that family had been shot. Four generations, grandparents, the parents brother, a fetus.
I was shot twice. I was shot once. It went through the side, through the stomach and through the stomach, through this side on my butt. And the baby was hit? Yes, my baby died. Oh my God. The bullet struck, the baby’s the head, the temper of the head or whatever.
And then Derek’s twin brother,
I hate even talking about it, but they found my son outside on the side of the house, his feet. I think the foot was hanging in the inside and the body was don’t have to
Through that baby. I was shot too. But
You were shot where they hit
You. They tried to hit me in the head. The gun was right here. My back was kind of turned and it went in right here. It came out right there. It was straight shot. When I knocked it down, it went in.
My father dead. He got killed when I was a little bit younger, probably like two or four years old. My mother told me that he went to a grocery store to get me some diapers and they was robbing the store and he wasn’t willing to give up the money for my diapers. He needed to get me diapers. And they said that he was supposed to tell. He was telling the man that man, my daughter need diapers. She need these. And the man killed my daddy.
So that’s four generations, two people living in hell, a son in prison, two in the ground. It’s a cycle that goes on and on. You could say it’s culture, but I come to find out when it comes to shooting at children, it’s so much more than that.
You know what? I want you to think about that a minute. Let it resonate. There’s the sad reality, but Christian’s not isolated. A kid’s lives are being changed by gun violence every day. Cops get like 20 cases a day. It’s impossible for ’em to keep up. It’s impossible for them to prevent these type of incidents from happening. And what’s left behind shatter lies.
There’s not a week that goes by without a gun shooting going off. I’m afraid to even allow my kid outside because I don’t know if he going to come home.
That’s really sad is that I’ve lost count now. I mean really one is enough, right? And this poor kid is just laying in bed. You can’t even lie in your own bed. In the middle of the night
An infant was sleeping in a crib and somebody must have fired a gun in the air. We will never know. And the boiler came again, crashing down through the ceiling and became embedded in the child’s forehead. It certainly distorts your sense of what safe is. That’s one of those cases that will forever live with me just because it’s not something that’s supposed to happen.
There’s a bar in the back that alternates and does reciprocal movement. She had to prove she could get down out of her wheelchair and get back up in.
My name is India Williams, a 12 year old girl. Life change. I don’t know who you are, but I’m sure you know who I am. I am sure you did not mean to shoot me. And at this point in time, I really don’t care what happens. I just would love an apology for your actions. I don’t think harm or time will do you justice because my life can’t go back. But once again, my name is India Williams and I would love an apology.
India Williams, seven year old on a Sunday riding her bike. Some meatheads decide they’re going to shoot it out. She’s a bleeding on a sidewalk. She becomes the IT girl in Detroit for years because she’s so vibrant. She’s so beautiful. She’s so young. She’s so good. Natured nine year
Old India Williams, an innocent victim of gun violence two years ago, shot while riding her bike
Last Friday. We raised thousands of dollars to be able to buy this device for your daughter. The
Police came to see me Christmas.
I need these. Thank you so much. Very nice.
I just smell crying.
But now there’s renewed interest in this case.
Crime Stoppers is now highlighting her case. Her mother grateful for more attention on her story.
Pretty excited about someone putting a reward up, but I just want people to speak up
When I come to meet her. Five years later, the cameras have gone away. The chief has gone away, the toy bags have gone away and everybody in the neighborhood knows the guy is still out there. That’s another problem.
And they said they had a pretty good idea of who they felt like was the trigger person in the car. But again, no one wanted to come up and say anything or no one wanted to be like, yeah, I’ll testify or tell on that person. So it was just like at a standstill. So
The neighborhood knew, didn’t they?
Everybody pretty much knew everybody knew or know. Yeah, nobody’s really going to be like, yeah, I seen him in that car pointing that gun and shot that little girl. Nobody’s really going to step up to do that. Why? Because it hasn’t been done yet. It’s a number of reasons why people don’t tell. It’s a street thing you shouldn’t tell on people. Snitches get stitches, stuff like that. But in this case, this man changed my baby life and she almost didn’t make it,
But India did make it and her life continues to roll on picking up the pieces, therapy, rehab, trying to find normalcy. The days have turned into months and the months into years, the cameras have moved on and so have the authorities unknown to the family. Prosecutors dropped the case. Ana’s getting ready for school on a Sunday evening. She goes downstairs to get some soap. Comes upstairs, three guys wearing hockey masks, fire through the window, striking her. They’re still at large. She just wants to move.
I stand right between that middle window and the last I stand right there and I opened my phone because my mama text me. So as soon as I opened it, boom, I just got shot right here. So I just fall this way and blood just started coming out of my face.
Scared? Yeah, I still, I got anxiety sometimes
Anxiety, who wouldn’t have anxiety?
I could just be thinking about something and then I could just think about the day it happened. So then I’m just like, dang, and I’ll still be in the house. So that’s even worse.
You don’t feel safe in your house?
We help raise some money, a GoFundMe to get ’em out of the neighbor. That’s another thing people say, why don’t you just move away? Why don’t you just move away to where we can’t get the section eight voucher back from the slumlord. There’s a lot of money to be made in poverty.
It seem like they ain’t got no heart. They know everything I’d have been through and it just seemed like they just want me here and I’m trying to tell them I’m trying to do what’s best for my daughter.
When she asked to move, they sent her maybe four other properties that they own and these properties were in worse neighborhoods and in worse conditions than the home that she’s trying to get away from.
I just feel like I’m stuck. I still have this money. I can’t move. I’m seeing nice houses that I want to rent out and just they get rented out to other people. I’m still waiting to get out my lease. How can
I help you? Yeah. I was calling on behalf of Myra Lansing. She’s in the process of moving, but she needed a clearance or something from you guys property management company. You do own drove fund one, right?
All she needs to do is this contact office. You have contact,
Everybody knows eight mile. They live it at seven and three quarters mile. It’s a quarter mile to the promised land, a quarter mile. It might as well be 2000 light years from home.
So naturally I want to meet somebody that hasn’t been shot that’s trying to get through it, do the right things, meet Jordan Ruff Andel at the time. 16 moves out of his mother’s house because she can’t afford him. He moves in with another teenager on the other side of town. He takes two buses to school and from school all by himself. Getting through what he says to me, this guy, this very young guy, this very talented guy, is there are flowers capable of growing and any corner in this country, they just need to be nurtured and they need to be watered. He’s got everything we want in a young man.
A lot of people within the city, they’ll go to illegal things. Basically what’s openly available within the city, it’s the sand. If you keep too many rats within the same live trap, they nine times about Tim, by the morning time, one of ’em be eaten by another. So in other words, less resources, less thoughtful.
So I’ve become close to Jordan in the two years that I know him. His very best friend killed himself with a gun and then I got a call around Christmas, his other very best friend looked at the dope man Ron at the liquor store and took it in the chest. There’s an old saying, you’re like walking lunch, you know what I mean? Yep. Are you a target, do you feel?
Yeah, I have man, I have. It is been like that almost since. Yeah, almost since I can remember, but not me being on my own and not being in the house all the time and having to make money and stuff by myself. Yeah.
When do you feel it? When does the radar go off? When does the hair on your neck start to tell you? Oh, what do you do to avoid it?
Basically whenever you walk outside the house radar. I mean it’s like a lifestyle though. If you think about it, you born in Detroit, you know, you know about stray bullets hit people and just senselessness. I don’t know. I look at it as a living.
There’s a whole way of life where it’s not like that.
This represent a larger issue within the city. Communities are torn apart. They’re being torn apart. Crimes are being unsolved, people are becoming desperate. People are in fear, people are angry, people are tired and fed up. Cops are tired and fed up and all of this is just a result of the downline of Detroit.
This city lost 244,000 people in 10 years. It left behind a city with the highest unemployment rate in the United States. It left behind the highest poverty rate. The highest murder rate. Washington, DC and Boston have populations almost the same size as ours. Every city in America does not live with this violence.
Why are so many kids getting shot?
It’s really fear and I always tell guys, fear and anger, equal rage, fear and anger equal rage. I grew up in the same environment and I just got
Lucky. Fear I get because there’s a lot of violence already. What’s the rage? The rage. What’s the
Rage come from the anger. A lot of times when you walk around and if you see a guy all of a sudden he go bad. It’s not just the fear that made him go bad. It’s the anger. He’s anger. Guess what? He can’t get a job. He’s angry because you look over here and somebody’s doing really well and they getting all the benefits.
Isn’t that something like the heavy violence, the heavy murder, the drugs that rage all coincides with the leaving of these factories?
In Detroit, we kind of just went through a downs spiral. We didn’t had much recreation even for the youth or even for adults. I mean no jobs and opportunities. So it was just people relying on themselves, what can I do to provide for me? And mines
No jobs, no money for schools, no money for programs, no money for police. Do you know how many kids have been shot since bankruptcy? How many kids in the last six years? How many Over 500. This is crazy. You know what percentage even getting arrested, how many? Less than 20.
What really brought us here is the loss of the police force, the loss of police department, the loss of people caring about law enforcement. When I came on job, it was 5,000 cops. You could not drive through a neighborhood without passing another scout cop. It was 5,000 of us. You had enough resources to really go out there and fight crime. Now we got about 2000 cops and think about 2000
Cops. 2000 cops, 2000.
And then not only that, they making them work double shifts.
So Detroit goes bankrupt. It’s supposed to somehow improve children’s lives. Do we get schools? Do we get programs? Do we get afterschool jobs? Do we get more police? Do we get crime solved? No.
Dan Gilbert just broke ground on the Hudson site. Billion dollar construction project for three years and he has to have 51% of the work be done by Detroiters.
Did Detroiters get those jobs? No. That was supposed to be done in three years. It’s five years later. Is the skyscraper built? No. Are children continuing to get shot? Oh yeah. Over 600 kids have been shot since bankruptcy and we’re trying to figure out how to keep ’em safe. There’s two ways to do it. Police and schools. And so when you do big development deals where you never have to pay property taxes as part of the deal or we’re giving you cash subsidies and we’re paying the interest, the property taxes in the D D A are diverted to pay for the hockey arena. And as we know, property taxes fund schools,
I would much rather have, I’m thrilled that the little Caesars arena is there because it gives us an asset. It gives us a draw for the city for people to come and it replaced nothing with something really spectacular
In order for the city to break even in terms of income taxes on its investment in the hockey arena, it would have to create $1,500 million a year paying jobs. That’s how much we would have to create jobs because it’s 20 million a year.
Yeah. Again, I’m not going to stand here and do math 4 million especially. I’m not going to as a dyslexic person try to do math in front of you right now.
But that’s for reading. That’s not for math. Dyslexia,
We pay all these taxes and they waste all this money if they really want to do something, you can put this money back into the system, educate people. Who are we really supporting here? Oh well we support, we bail these plants out, but we bail these plants out. It’ll put money back in the or
The miracle of downtown and the hockey arena and the restaurants. Look
At that. Yes.
The two cities you’re talking. Yes.
You got these billionaires that come in, we’re going to build this stadium. Oh, we’re going to provide jobs. Oh, so minimum wage jobs so we can go serve the poor people. Go serve the rich people because half those people that are serving you, they kids can’t even go and watch a game. You can make downtown as beautiful as you want, but I’m being real right now. A lot of people are afraid to say this. I’m not afraid to say any of this because I’ve been there, done that. But at the end of the day, what about the neighborhoods? I got
Family where 95% of the city lives you mean?
That’s right. I got family still in the neighborhood who are afraid to come out at certain times of night who are afraid to go to that gas station right down the street from them who are afraid to take a walk to the store because they’re afraid. Man fear.
You can get robbed and killed at the bus stop. That obviously show you ain’t got much to possess at the time. You just probably got some nice shoes on at the bus stop and you can get robbed for that because people are dangerous. It’s not a why. It is what it’s,
Listen to the life he’s living. He’s telling you a couple of girls, 14 year old, a 12 year old, they took a random bullet. They wouldn’t even do it. One was in her house, one was on her bicycle. One there used to be a code. No kids
Code doesn’t exist anymore. If you don’t have respect for them type of things they can’t get. And people feel like they can’t get you, they can get somebody else close to you or something. And that’s due diligence. More of a cause to show you that it’s no cold and we not playing with you.
Well you’re telling me now it’s we are hunting your kids
For the most part. Anything happens happens if you with your kids at the time. And yes, it’s no respect towards that.
Since I came on the job, I seen eight year olds shooting guns and shooting people. You see the parents brandishing guns around their kids teaching their kids how to handle these guns in the suburbs and in the city. We have too many guns out here and too many opportunities to obtain these guns. And these kids are using these guns like never before.
500 kids been shot in Detroit the last six years. You’re 10 times more likely to be shot as a kid in Detroit than in America. Surprise you.
Yes, but it’s a lot of kids out here, 14, 15 on Instagram, Facebook uploading guns, uploading ’em, assault rifles. They us grown folks don’t even have. And it makes you wonder how they get they hands on it. So the kids is resourceful these days.
You hear these kids say, look, I’d rather get caught with one than without one. We got to change that mentality. People are afraid. These kids are afraid. They’re not just totting guns because it’s a fashion statement. They’re totting guns because they are afraid of dying out here in the streets.
A random situation can cause you your life just walking into the store, not even having a plan and a bump, a look can have a gun in your face. Have somebody chasing you out the store shooting at you. So yeah, I got a gun because everybody else has a gun.
And guess who’s getting the street justice out here? It’s your juveniles. There’s people under 17 years of age and they’re becoming the victims too because nobody cares.
Dude, you’re a baller. Do you really think to go be able to get guns out of your heads?
I’m Grace Caros and I’m third generation of American Coney Island. People say Detroit’s a comeback city. I say where you’ve been. We’ve been here for over a hundred years. My family’s been here on the same corner serving our famous proprietary American Coney Island hot dog. So like always we’re keeping things fresh, updated and new. We’d love to have you come downtown and visit us, but if you can’t, you can always go to american coney island.com, order a Coney kit, get it delivered fresh right to your door.
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Programs. You say mentors, you say men, you say, I think I know one of the finest men ever to step foot in this city. Pastor Barry Randolph at Church of the Messiah. When
We looked at gun violence in Detroit, when the, when this church stopped and said, okay, we got to look at gun violence. Our thing is not, no, we don’t need to go out and buy the guns back. We are thinking why do these kids full of, so they need to protect themselves. And why is violence now a solution to conflict resolution? Why are they even thinking that way? So the first thing is you got to talk to those who are actually in it and then you got to hear the answers that they give
You. It’s not just about money, it’s about life. Even when you got money, you feel me? We ain’t got no health. Not only that, I mean if you get money and then the niggas around the corner from you ain’t got no money, who they going to come take from? You feel me? They that because you don’t know how to move If somebody climb on you like that, you understand what I’m saying? What I’m saying is if one of us get money, but everybody else ain’t eating, you feel me? That don’t do nothing but make you a target. So either you going have to, you put yourself in that circle in that you feel me? Success attract people do or not. You feel me? Yeah. What I’m saying is you ain’t got to be doing nothing at all and it’ll still go left for you. So it’s like you get money, okay, people going to hate on you.
So we had to get down to the root cause of why was it that way? And the part about it that was extremely scary to stop and think about. The young people felt as though they had no hope, they had nobody to protect him. Whether it was the police or whether it was the school or whether it was the neighborhood. Nobody gave a damn about them. And they felt like they had to protect and arm themselves. And that’s the way they going to school. That’s the way that they’re in the neighborhood. They feel like nobody is going to come help them. And where does that mindset come from? From reality. From reality?
Good afternoon. I want to start out the reason why we’re calling this press availability to talk about some of the senseless violence that occasionally happens across the city. We look at our homicide picture for this year and why we’re reporting a decline. We know that 31% of our homicides are caused by a simple argument.
These customers are upset about their food order fried mushrooms and get into an altercation with the victim. He’s first hit with a pipe.
You know what? It ain’t about the fried mushrooms. It’s about that moment when that one moment, when that shelf breaks, that it’s the last thing that you can put on that shelf and it breaks and people lose control. It’s a buildup. And then sometimes when people snap, they just freaking snap. They angry, they mad.
How do you stop it? So we’re starting a campaign and basically it may seem simple, check yourself, stop the violence,
Check yourself. You know what that is? That comes from a society of adults who have no answer, throw up their hands and they quit.
So a slogan and some poster can’t stop. A culture built on anger and fear. The reality can’t be massed. The violence continue.
Now I can’t help but think about that tragedy that occurred on one of our local freeways where three year old little boy was shot and killed and he was shot and killed because once again, the shooter felt disrespected because he believed that the driver of that vehicle may have cut him off. So he elects to use a firearm.
So let’s take everything we learned so far and go back to the Kristen Miller case. You know what? It really can’t get any more cut and dry than this. We have witnesses, confessions, shooter turned himself in. It is a slam dunk case
For everyone that’s here for the Durham trial. I know this is an emotional case. I know that there may be things that are said and exhibits that are displayed that may be upsetting to you. I’m going to ask you to please try to keep your emotions to yourself and not have big outbursts in the courtroom because it could affect the jury
With the emergency. Yes. Somebody car. My God, I think he was.
I’m going to pause here before we get started. This is 14 seconds then do you recognize the voice we just heard? Yes. And who is that? Me. Do you recognize that? Yes. And what is that picture of? Car seat with the bullet hole in it. Is that the car seat that CJ would’ve been in? Yes.
My window was down all the way and then I leaned my chair back.
Okay. And why did you lean your chair back?
Because Rick told me to.
What happens after you roll your seat down?
It just happened really quick. I just seen the gun flash like a Roman candle or something.
You said you saw a gun flash? Yeah. So your window was rolled down and you see the shot and then you feel some glass coming towards you.
Now what happens after the glass shatters?
She slowed down. We slowed down with her and then eventually we took off.
And while this was going on, did the defendant say anything?
He said he let her do too much.
Concludes this matter.
I retired and I’d been in a shooting. I went through the same thing where I took somebody’s life and I left the job for a while because it really bothered me taking somebody’s life. But I came back because I thought about the lies that’s been left. The kids that needed people like me who cared. And then Charlie came to me one day and said, Hey, we got this little girl that just wants some justice. She just want an apology from a shooter. And this little girl is paralyzed. It touched my heart. I faced death the majority of my life all the time as a cop dealing with cancer, dealing with a number of things. I know death is permanent. And when Charlie came to me to help, I wanted to help. I wanted to do something before I left this planet. So this case here is just, I think it’s still solvable, but you just need somebody to come forward and talk. And the problem we have in Detroit is a lot of people are still on that no snitch rule and they don’t understand without citizens or people coming forward and saying what they saw and being willing to testify to these things we’re going nowhere. So I think India could get some justice down the line. I’m just optimistic about that.
What are these guys might know?
Yeah. Hey, how you doing?
You remember back in 2014 there was a young lady by the name of India Williams that got shot right over here? Corner. Oh, she was outside? Yeah. She still paralyzed. I still talk to her. She still paralyzed. You still talk to her? Yeah. Do you remember when the incident happened? Were you around? I
Can’t remember when it happened but I was around.
Okay. What did the streets saying about this stuff? We hearing a lot of versions and a lot of different things.
I can’t even really tell you. I don’t even stay around here. I ain’t heard no more
About it. Hear nothing else about it.
I really can’t tell you. I’ll stay around here so I ain’t heard
Nothing. Yeah. What was the story? Was it two dudes beefing, two brothers or something like that? Where you come from? Cut
That shit off. Cut that shit off,
Bro. We making
Them okay for a movie. Ain’t no movies over here. Ain’t no actors over here, man. We going holler at you. This shit
Real life. Well they talking to us. They talking to us. Yeah though. Ain’t not talking to y’all no more
Nigga pay no bills here. We’ll talk to you
Bro. I got you. I got you. See you
All you catch all your fucking camera
Away from you shot in my goddamn
House. Oh, he mad. I ain’t here too as a motherfucker. All right. Well I don’t want, you ain’t got a
Bulldog in there to get mad than
Me. I don’t want to mess with your bulldog then, man. No problem. Problem. Yes, she’s because you ain’t no problem. I said no problem. But you ain’t moving. I ain’t running either. You ain’t got to run. I got some shit that make you run though. I ain’t worried about that. Believe me, you
Ain’t got to
Worry about it. Come on, let’s go, let’s go with you. And that’s what you have. What’s that? Those are the kind of things that you deal with when you just try to talk to average people. You get citizens like that who are just angry, just bitter. And the police have to deal with a lot of that. I see it all the time. And this is why crime often go unsolved. It’s imperative that we get the community involved, but it’s tough because the perception of police in the streets. People will not talk to us. What do we do to get people to feel comfortable about if you saw a shooting happening in front of your house right now, would you be willing to testify or would you be reluctant to testify?
I’m telling. See this is my thing. This is the problem that I have with our community. Us. They have the word snitching. Misconstrued. Yes. If I’m spying and you have some things going on within your own home and hey, they got this going on, that’s different. But when something happens that affects your area, that has the ability to affect your children or your wife or your mother, then you should stand up for that. Absolutely. You have to. That’s the first thing of protecting your home. Yes.
So getting back to the mill trial, people did step up, people did appear on the stand, people did come forward to testify. But look what happened.
We received a note that indicated that the jury has not reached a unanimous decision and you don’t believe that you will be able to reach a unanimous decision. Is that correct? Who is your foreperson? Juror number 14. Could you please stand? Is that a correct assessment of the situation in the jury room? Yes, it’s your honor. And you don’t believe you’ll be able to reach a verdict at
This time? I do not believe we can reach a verdict
At this time. Is there a motion? You may be seated.
I would move for a mistrial, your Honor. Hung jury. Your Honor, I leave to the court’s discretion
On the basis of what’s happened here today. I find I have no option but to declare a mistrial in this matter because of the hung jury. So at this time the jury is relieved of their duties as jurors. Anything further from the people? Nothing further, your Honor. Anything further from defense? No. Okay. That concludes this matter.
The hard, if you saw when they came out, some of them looked extremely upset.
You know what? We thought this case was a slam dunk, but the jury missed the bucket.
This is one case the police get ’em, the witness cooperates. The prosecutor actually charges. It goes to a jury. And what
Happened? It’s pretty cut and dry. What happened here and from the beginning? They said that they, they’ve got enough evidence that they feel we should be able to convict for murder one. But murder two is no question. And then we get into the jury room and one person out of the 12 just neglects the responsibility. She said
She doesn’t believe police officers is what she ended up telling
Us. Yeah, she said she doesn’t believe police officers, the family of Christian Miller who was looking to get their justice on Friday were denied their justice because of an agenda of somebody is all I can figure.
And so you want to know why the prosecutor drops Indio Williams case because of stuff like that. And so nobody gets justice. It’s
The oldest saying in the book. But you think there was justice here?
No. Absolutely not. Then we got to wait till June try again. So no justice be justice. We get a conviction. I’m going to be justice. Wait for me, it be justice for my son. We trying to get justice for cj. Know what I’m saying? Me and his mama. We still suffering
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But it’s all about mistrust of the police, mistrust of the system. Nobody trusts the prosecutors anymore. We don’t trust the judges, we don’t trust the officers. We don’t trust the testimony just coming from credible witnesses. What do we do?
So when it all goes according to plan and yet nothing happens and it’s a mistrial, you know what happens? It leaves victims in the street, it leaves cases open and you’ve got India Williams wheeling around in her life just waiting for nothing more than an apology.
Last year there were 67 children shot in our city under the age of 17. Nine of them were killed.
Why is my daughter shot? Why is an innocent two-year-old shot? Why is anybody child shot in
The chest, five-year-old shot in the chest,
It was just firecrackers. And then the car started dinging and next thing I know it, she was screaming.
We know that two a three-year-old and 11 year old are at the hospital right now. It’s
Just fine. Why would you do that to him?
13 shots and all went into this home.
Every block got a story. Right. I know poor kid. She got hit right over here. Right here. Those fuckers came flying up. She’s on her bike. Bam.
So they still scared seven years later and they steal
Terrified. He told me he was afraid he’s going to get killed the last time I came. But then he texted me, am I going to get paid? Like do the right thing? Dude, I think it’s important for everybody to know that India Williams was the it girl and five years later they didn’t even know she her mom. The family didn’t know that the case had been closed. Bye. I found in the police files, the witness to her shooting. We’re getting closer to finding out who did it and getting that apology. Hi, how can I help you? Can I speak with please? Hey, what’s up? So you’re not going to give testimony in the court on this? Hell
No. Why the fuck why I come to court like I told you before? Because what? I’m not about to do that.
What the fuck you mean what? I’m not going to court and doing nothing bro. I’m not doing that man. And please don’t come back here.
Anymore. You burning your man.
I told you it’s my partner. I told you it’s partner.
Put your dogs off, fill better and do it. Okay.
All I’m asking,
Don’t ask me nothing. You don’t
Want to talk to.
How many times I got to say bro, appreciate
See you, but
One day I’m going to call you and I holler at you, me and you just talk. Is that cool? And I won’t pop up on you. Give me a call. Can I get your number? That went really, really well. Sometimes you got to let those people vent on one person while the other person just kind of sit back and listen. Play a little good cop, bad cop on him. And that went really, really well that time. I’m telling you that show wasn’t for you or his mom. You know that show was for the neighborhood? That was for the neighborhood.
Oh wait, what he say?
He was like, get the fuck away. He’s showing the neighborhood. I ain’t talking. I ain’t snitching. I ain’t this. Trust me, he going to talk. That guy’s going to talk. That was for the neighborhood. That wasn’t for you. His anger wasn’t you? I mean he was nervous. That was more nervous than anger. You see that neither one of his fence was clutched. Clutched or anything. This guy was shaking his breathing everything else he was afraid. But that show wasn’t for you. That show was for the neighborhood man. So now we come back and we just blow a little smoke up his ass and I’m telling you, he’ll talk. So you know what? People really do want to do the right thing. I think most times these witnesses, they want to tell the truth and they need to tell the truth. And I think he wanted to come forward and tell us everything. And I think he told us the whole truth.
I was still down there by the side street, but they say she was just out there on her bike.
Okay, so you couldn’t see her from your vantage point, you just watching all this car activity. Right. Okay, good. Okay.
And once they get to the S side street, that’s when the gun fire start exchange. I don’t know who shot first because I’m still trying to get the chest to see what’s going on.
Did you see anybody holding their hands out the car with a gun? Did you see any guns come out of the car where you can actually visualize somebody holding a gun?
Yeah, I could see a shooting back.
Okay. He’s driving but he’s got the gun out across his chest and he’s shooting backwards out the window. So he ain’t looking at what he shooting. He’s just shooting back at them and
Trying to get away.
That’s crazy. Okay. And then
Are popping at him while he’s shooting back? Yeah,
They all shooting at each other now. Okay. So I seen the hand coming out the driver’s side.
Okay, you saw that. That’s good. So it was a big gun battle then, right? It was in the middle of the neighborhood? Yeah. Broad
Broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon, kids out playing.
By the time I made it down there, little India was, she was a couple officers away on the ground. And these knuckleheads just doing this up there, like you said, broad day right down, don’t give a fuck. Yeah, that could have been my daughter out there.
Exactly. So here it is. You got this guy witnessed the crime, right? Which he can identify three shooters. He can identify cars. They shot over 30 times with automatic weapons and they paralyzed This little girl, he’s scared to testify and they’re still walking around free to this day.
So Iris got the confession on the island. We’ve got the report. Our gunman’s been arrested before. He’s supposed to go on trial and he evaporates because the witness is scared shitless. Ira gets the tip that the guy took 18 bullets on, get it the fifth anniversary of the day. He pulled one into India. I’m going to go to hospital. He’s laying there. I don’t know how long this guy’s going to live or how long he’s going to be in Detroit. Now’s the time Ira hips me where he is at. I go on over. Look it’s me. And you remember cherished about five years ago, who? The street on Cherished. You ought to be for the guy. Guy
Ain’t got no beef with no guy, no cherish. What’s this?
That’s a seven year old who was shot about five years ago. A guy trying to shoot you, you defending yourself. I’m quite sure about that. And this little girl just accidentally got caught up in it. If
I senior would’ve did this, she would’ve had a big apology from me, sir. She would’ve had a big apology from me. I don’t even know how my name even got close to him being brought up about that situation right there.
Police report, somebody IDed you.
That’s the case. Like I said, I’d be at the jail school, sir. Definitely wasn’t me. Probably a lookalike. Ain’t the only tall, dark skinned black dude. For real.
Can you send a message of encouragement to her?
I feel like if I send a message to her, to her, I feel like that’s me.
Just say you didn’t then go out. I didn’t.
I really don’t even know what to say honestly, on there.
Is there anything we can do as a government or a police or just as a community?
Only thing we can do is pray and just try to promote the nonviolence. That’s it.
That doesn’t seem to be working.
That’s what I’m saying. Whatever you do, people still going to act crazy. It don’t matter what do here, man, in this crazy city you live in, not even a city or world we live in. It is not even this Detroit. It’s the world we live in.
I know the night you got shot is the five-year anniversary that she got shot?
Isn’t that crazy?
I don’t know nothing about that. It could be a coincidence. Sir,
I wish you the best brother.
Today we decided to go to India’s family church and we’re going to give them information on what we’ve found and see what they want to do. We’ve taken this case as far as we can. We need to take the evidence and the information to the police department, let them see what they’re going to do or just drop the whole thing. Alright, so Indy, we actually, we located the report and we found out there was a witness, okay? But he didn’t want to come forward because of some circumstances and so we went back out, identified him, located him, and talked with him and he told us the whole story. Basically who shot, who was shooting and what stray bullet hit you
And why and
Why. From there, Charlie went and met the actual shooter. So I
Went to the hospital, he was laying out full of bullets and I gave him a letter. I asked him to read out loud and he read it out loud, but no apology. He wouldn’t even admit it was him. He couldn’t remember he was even arrested. So we know who it is. We didn’t get your apology. What do you want us to do with this? There’s a witness, and the witness said the reason he won’t come forward is because they let the guy out and he’s not protecting. And the man’s still, as you know, all around
At this point, it’s nothing that I really want to be done because he’s not going to admit of shooting my baby. So we have came to the terms that it happened and God is going to pick that situation. Sometimes justice will not ever be served in certain situations, and it’s sad to say at the beginning that’s all she wanted was apology. But you know you’re not going to get that from him.
What about you?
I don’t have nothing to say.
It’s been a long time. So I’m
I go with Jordan to take his driver’s test. Driving is his path out. Independence. No more being exposed while waiting on the bus. That never seems to arrive on time. How are you?
I’m well and yourself? This big day? Good? Yes, ma’am. All right, follow me.
Every young man dreams of a set of wheels, the first miles towards the dream of a small business and maybe a small house for his mother. So is that a real license? No. Secretary State office. Awesome. We got him a car so he can go to work, get a life going, contribute to society and help that young one come. That’s how we do. You know what? When we were coming here before the test, we were driving down your street and it was the bus stop that first spring. I knew you and you were going to school and we were talking about your friend and took his life with the gun.
Me? Yep. Me.
What a circle. What a full circle. Has it been
Serious? It’s only the beginning though.
How many children do you know have been maimed killed? Oh my god.
Oh my god. Since I’ve been the pastor of this church,
Which is how many years?
16 years at least. 300 at least. At least 300 At least. At least 300.
The thing about Pastor Barry is he teaches computers. He teaches bike mechanics, but mostly what he does is he’s a father figure, someone to talk to.
We help them get to their full potential by providing a safe space, a sacred space, a space where they can come and they can talk, but they can also heal. But we want to take them to their highest potential. You all have so many gifts and talent, but when people think hood, the first thing they think is something bad, some awful. There’s some bad circumstances in the hood, but there’s some people in the hood who doing some good things in the neighborhood where they are. The vibe that’s in the room is saying all of the things that are possible is showing all of the people who are making it happen. Because in the room it’s not just talk, we are pulling it off. We are literally creating the jobs, building the entrepreneurs, getting the kids through school and getting them to graduate college, getting them employed, but also too resurrecting families, resurrecting community, changing the mindset of the evil that’s been put out in our community and neighborhoods.
It’s more young people doing the right thing. We are here to demonstrate the power of people who have overcome power, of people who are making a difference in the world, in spite of this is not about hope. This is about doing what you know you have the God-given, right? And the ability to do this is about making it happen. Not waiting on a politician, not waiting on law enforcement, not waiting on big business, waiting for them to do the right thing. Jesus will be back first. They’re not all collectively going to do the right thing. No, it’s up to the people to do the right thing.
This is the way this has helped changed my life, man. Truly this has helped changed my life. I don’t have to ask anybody for nothing. I haven’t borrowed any money in a long time and I have a lot of people on the payroll, so I think we are doing pretty good.
Melvin Walker decided to take the horror that happened to him and focus it into making things better. He has a construction business now. He trains and pays anyone who wants to learn.
When I got shot, I kind of fell into a low self-esteem space. I fell into a low self place. I really did. So all of this right now is just of me rebuilding myself. I’m building back better, but I am not playing with it because it is just one of those things like man, I don’t want to be, Hey, you got people that become a victim and then they living that victim for their whole life. They don’t ever want to try to change the situation. I’m always trying to change. Change is constant. So now my thing is finding people that want to be themselves. I want to take this thing to another level. I want to grab the lowest of the lows. Everybody that was low, we coming up. That’s my philosophy. I want to make sure that the people that get counted out get a shot.
He does it just like someone did it for him after his shooting, paying it forward. In the end, Walker asks, isn’t that how we really fix these things to be a pillar for the fragile and young and tired? Something to lean upon to give of yourself.
My chancellor at the college that I worked for for 18 years, Wayne County Community College, gave me a start, helped me in my whole process of when I really did go through the tragedy. And I mean from there, I mean the sky’s the limit.
And we don’t need to get tired or numb from hearing this. It needs to be shouted from the rooftop. We got a problem, we got a problem. America, we got a problem, Detroit. And the only way that we go get this right is ain’t nobody going to come in here and wave a magic wand. And God is not going to stop and send a savior into the world. He just going to say, where are my people who know the right thing to do? When are we going to get this right and say, our society, our community is worth saving. But more importantly, how many children do we bury before we say enough is enough? And for us to say Enough is enough. This is go take courage. It’s go take courage in the community, courage in the government, courage in law enforcement, courage in the way that we do things, but for the sake of our children, we are going to be judged by allowing our children to be murdered in the street and we can’t end this.
So in the end, where’s the hope? It’s in the children. That’s where the hope is. So let’s give them a break and nurture the hope. Give them something not crumbs. Make ’em the priority. That’s where we should start.