Detroit’s Green Light program leads to arrest of gun-toting man
Detroit police believe they may have thwarted a robbery Wednesday as a result of Project Green Light, which allows officers to tap into high-definition video surveillance cameras at businesses.
A citizen called 911 at about 1:30 p.m. Monday to report seeing a man with a gun outside the Sunoco gas station at 7 Mile and Hoover, Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt said.
With the gas station participating in the Green Light program, officers in the Real-Time Crime Center watched the live video feed which showed the driver of a car parked at a pump.
“You could see everything clear as day,” Dolunt said. “You see one guy hand another guy a gun, and he slips the gun into his U of M shorts and walks into the gas station.”
A squad car was dispatched, and the man was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.
Gas station employee Tom Harper said the incident happened quickly.
“I don’t really know what happened,” said Harper, who said he didn’t call police. “All I know is, the cops showed up and pulled their guns on the guy, and then they arrested him.”
The arrest is at least the second since Green Light started in which an alleged criminal was nabbed using the high-definition video. In March, a woman was shown on video shooting a man inside a car in a Mobil station in the 15500 block of Fenkell on Detroit’s west side.
The woman, identified by police and prosecutors as Shamicah Burton, 20, was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, carrying with unlawful intent, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearm. She has a pretrail hearing Thursday.
Mayor Mike Duggan announced Green Light in January, with eight participating businesses. Since then, the number of businesses equipped with the $6,000 video systems has grown to 25. Fourteen gas stations, four McDonald’s restaurants, six stores and one bar participate.
The program was started in an effort quell rampant violence at gas stations and party stores. City officials, when launching Green Light, said about a quarter of all violent crimes in the city in the first half of 2015 happened within 500 feet of a gas station.
“This real-time crime-fighting is amazing,” Dolunt said. “It’s nice to be able to see crimes as they’re happening, and with the high-definition video, you can see everything so clearly. (In Wednesday’s incident), you could clearly see where the guy had stashed his gun. That’s valuable information for an officer to have.”