On Malcolm X’s birthday, the Coalition of Police Transparency and Accountability announced that they wanted the federal government to step in and investigate the Detroit Police Department for misconduct and excessive force.
They say a sharp increase in excessive force complaints is why monitors need to step in.
“Not only are we tired of living this life, but we’re tired of being targeted and killed,” said Detroit Justice Center Interim Managing Attorney Nancy Parker.
Parker says the number of African Americans killed at the hands of law enforcement in Detroit is far too many. Claims are being made that there’s always been a culture of racism and unnecessary violence.
“The number of killings continues to increase,” said ACLU Attorney Mark Fancher. “The number of violent incidents, problems, the racism. All of those are still there.”
Each shooting was detailed in the memorandum sent to the Justice Department. Fancher says it’s not a question of if the shootings were justified but how a death could have been prevented from happening in the first place.
“We want law enforcement that understands the value of life and that goes to great lengths and great plans to preserve and protect it,” Fancher said.
The CPTA was founded after the death of Hakim Littleton, a 20-year-old killed by DPD after allegedly shooting at police. Parker insists that federal dollars earmarked for police are now used for other means; Defunding the police and refunding the people.
“The people of Detroit have spoken,” Parker said. “Yes, maybe not everyone is yelling defund the police, but what they are saying is keep me safe and invest in my community. Invest in my neighborhood, and that is what we are saying.”
The Detroit Police Department responded with the following statement:
“Chief White’s administration is committed to transparency and accountability. This community desires safety, constitutional policing, and a community-first approach to law enforcement. This is why the Detroit Police Department is firmly committed to its mission to encourage thoughtful decision-making and a strong sense of community responsibility. To this end, the Department recently hired a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) professional with experience in the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Our goal is to disrupt the pipeline to prison through progressive initiatives, such as Crisis Intervention, CeaseFire, Procedural Justice seminars, and other initiatives. Chief White’s efforts in crime reduction were recently recognized at the White House by President Biden and his administration.”
Detroit Police Department