Detroit police launch 'Enough is Enough,' 2-day bid to restore order in neighborhoods
Detroit — Police on Thursday announced the revival of a series of raids aimed at arresting people with outstanding warrants and providing a show of force to criminals and citizens in neighborhoods.
Interim Police Chief James White said he reinstated "Operation Restore Order" because of rising crime across the city, including a 16% increase in homicides over the same period last year as of Thursday, and a 22% spike in nonfatal shootings during the same period.
"We are unapologetic about wanting to keep this city safe," White said during a press briefing at East Warren and Conner in the 5th Precinct.
White said the raids are intended to send a message to criminals and residents that police are serious about combating violence. The effort is targeting people with outstanding warrants or those who have violated parole or probation.
The latest round of raids, dubbed "Enough is Enough," started Wednesday continued Thursday in the city's 5th and 9th precincts, eastside neighborhoods which perennially are among the most violent.
Last year, the 9th Precinct led the city with 50 homicides, while there were 18 killings in the 5th Precinct.
Detroit recorded 327 criminal homicides in 2020, up 19% from 274 the previous year. And nonfatal shootings soared last year, with 1,173 shootings, up 53% from 2019.
On Wednesday, officers executed three search warrants, one of which netted a suspect in a recent homicide at a gas station, White said. A carjacking suspect also was arrested, he said.
Police Wednesday made 20 felony arrests, eight misdemeanor arrests and seized 11 illegal firearms and 22 vehicles. Drugs seized during the initiative include 13 grams of fentanyl and 37 grams of cocaine.
A group of police officers gathered Thursday morning in a strip mall at the corner of Warren and Conner. White addressed the officers, reminding them that the operation is for “violent offenders only.”
”This isn’t about pulling over mom and pop on their way home from work,” White told the officers.
Chester White, who lives in the neighborhood, leaned against the wall of a Foreman Mills store in the strip mall Thursday, watching the proceedings. He said he didn’t know why the officers were gathered in the lot, but when told about the operation, he said, “Oh, wow, that’s great.”
”It’s cool if they’re getting criminals off the street,” the 33-year-old said. “It’s pretty bad, and there are a lot of kids around here. It’s fireworks season, and you can’t tell the fireworks from the gunshots.”
There were 18 "Operation Restore Order" raids from 2013-17, starting with the November 2013 raid at the Colony Arms Apartments on Jefferson Avenue, which former police chief James Craig called "the most problematic address in the city" after police were dispatched to the units more than 600 times the previous year.
During the initial raid, in which 150 officers flooded the sprawling apartment complex, residents leaned out their windows and applauded as cops led residents away in handcuffs.
Subsequent raids were given names like "Operation Aundrea Garland," after an 18-year-old woman who was killed in a 2014 drive-by shooting; "Operation Mistletoe," a December 2013 action that targeted drug houses; and "Operation Rush Hour," a 2016 effort held in the 2nd and 11th precincts on the city's west side, which had seen a violent crime spike.
Some criticized the raids and said they were mostly for show, pointing out that of the dozens of people taken into custody during the initial Colony Arms operation, most were for misdemeanor offenses, and there were no convictions.
But White said Thursday the operation “has had an impact.”
”When you get a wanted murderer off the street, or a wanted carjacker, that’s not PR — that’s getting violent suspects out of our neighborhoods,” White said. “The people of this city have a right to feel safe.”