Law officials announce effort to curb gun violence

George Hunter
The Detroit News

Detroit — Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are launching a joint effort to curb gun violence in a city that averages about 21/2 shootings per day.

A news conference detailing a “gun violence initiative and public service announcement” is being held Monday, with U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and others to discuss the effort, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The initiative is part of Detroit One, a multijurisdictional task force started in 2013 to target the city’s most dangerous offenders, the press release said.

Duggan foreshadowed Monday’s announcement during a recent news conference announcing he had renewed Craig’s contract.

“We have a serious problem in this city with people using guns to settle beefs,” Duggan said. “The chief and I have been involved in extensive conversations with ... McQuade and ... Worthy, because if you’re going to attack it, you can’t just have the Police Department by itself; everybody needs to do it together. In the next couple months, you will see a serious strategy.”

As of May 24, the city had 341 nonfatal shootings, an average of 2.4 shootings per day. The year-to-date total was the same last year and 17 percent below the 411 shootings through May 24, 2013.

Lyvonne Cargill, whose 17-year-old son, J’Rean Blake, was gunned down in May 2010 by a man who didn’t like the way the high school student looked at him, applauded the effort to target gun violence.

“Everybody needs to come together to stop this craziness,” said Cargill, whose son’s slaying triggered the police raid that ended with the accidental shooting death of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones by a Detroit police officer.

“We need to show these kids the right way, because after they shoot someone they end up in prison wishing they’d never pulled the trigger,” Cargill said. “That’s the first thing that happens: If there’s a problem, out come the guns. There’s so much hate out there.

“People need to understand what happens when they kill someone. I lost my son. I wish I could touch him, talk to him. I wish this was just a dream. But it’s not. I can’t bring him back.”

Others in the collaboration include Michigan State Police, Crime Stoppers of Michigan, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Michigan Department of Corrections.

ghunter@detroitnews.com

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