Police chief: Just 4 curfew violations during fireworks
Detroit — Police called this year’s Ford Fireworks and River Days events a success, saying there were no major incidents and only one arrest.
The smooth four-day roll out of downtown events led Detroit’s police chief to suggest a curfew that has been in place for the fireworks may not be needed next year.
Four youths were detained for violating curfew and none were held during the River Days festival, Police Chief James Craig said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The number was down from 158 juveniles held last year for violating the curfew.
Detroit police had sought an expanded citywide curfew for four days for minors ahead of the River Days and fireworks. The City Council and civil liberty groups balked and eventually, the restrictions were limited to 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday downtown.
One fatal shooting nearby was unrelated to the fireworks, police said. The 37-year-old victim was shot around 10:15 p.m. at the Martin Luther King apartments during an argument about children using fireworks, police said. After he was shot, the victim drove downtown and through a fireworks barricade, rolling to a stop at Jefferson Avenue.
“Someone expressed disdain over it,” Craig said. “Somebody responded by shooting that person.”
Elsewhere during the fireworks, police said they found a number of children unsupervised and used volunteers to watch over them, Craig said.
“We certainly wanted them to enjoy it and our volunteers played a critical role in ensuring that there was some supervision,” he said. “We wanted to maintain our focus on safety.”
The parents of the four youths detained were issued parental responsibility citations, police said.
One adult female was arrested for punching an officer in the face, Craig said.
More than 165 volunteers signed up to help police during the four-day period that began with River Days, Craig said. Law enforcement agencies including the Michigan State Police, FBI, Highland Park police, and sheriff’s departments from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties also pitched in.
Police had been concerned after a particularly violent four-day period leading up to the fireworks, when 24 people, including a 2-year-old, were shot.
Pastor Maurice L. Hardwick, founder of the Live in Peace movement, said he was pleased there were no major incidents at the fireworks. He attended with numerous volunteers including his wife and three sons.
“We had a great night,” he said. “We are not savages. We love our city.”