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Detroit police arrest 30 in response to believed gang activity on east side

Leonard N. Fleming, George Hunter and Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Detroit – — Detroit police officials promised a gang crackdown in honor of a young woman who died Wednesday in a hail of bullets.

On Friday, police said Operation Aundrea Garland produced 20 felony arrests, two confiscated handguns and 10 misdemeanor arrests, among other action and discoveries.

“The citizens in the city of Detroit deserve safety and security in their community. To achieve this, the Detroit Police Department launched Operation Aundrea Garland and will continue to purge this infiltration of violence,” read a statement released by DPD officials. “We will not stand idly and tolerate these senseless killings by cowards who have no regard for life.”

Garland was killed Wednesday in what became a flashpoint for a 24-hour period in which three incidents of gunfire in or near the east side left six others wounded in one of the most violent ZIP codes in Detroit. And it left Police Chief James Craig vowing to step up efforts to crack down on gang activity.

“Officers flooded the area of the incident and the entire 9th Precinct in hopes of obtaining pertinent information about the shooting and to possibly identify the suspect (in the Garland case),” Detroit police wrote in an email to The News.

Police had not identified a suspect in Garland’s shooting as of Friday afternoon.

The latest initiative under Operation Restore Order, a series of high-profile raids that started with the Colony Arms Apartments in January, was scheduled Thursday for the 8th Precinct on the west side, but after the quadruple shooting onEdmore,deployment was switched to the 9th Precinct, where the shootings occurred, and renamed “Operation Aundrea Garland,” Craig said.

Other statistics from Operation Aundrea Garland: Three vehicles were recovered and one was impounded; at least 62 vehicles were investigated along with 82 males and 18 females; 184 citations were issued and 2 grams of marijuana was found.

“The neighborhood has been under siege by these gang members, and it’s going to stop,” Craig said Thursday.

Gang violence has persisted in the city, despite Craig’s crackdown — drawing the ire of activists, residents and investigators who are pushing for stronger measures to combat violence

There have been several recent efforts to quash gang activity on the east side, home to several organizations that include the 7 Mile Bloods, the Hustle Boyz and the Hab Squad, which police say is named after Ihab Maslamani, who was convicted in 2009 after kidnapping and killing a man he abducted from an Eastpointe sandwich shop.

On Wednesday night, Aundrea Marie Garland was slain and three others were wounded on the 16600 block of Edmore. Police in Detroit and Harper Woods are investigating whether there’s a connection between those shootings and a shooting at nearby Eastland mall on Wednesday afternoon that injured two people, including a member of the 7 Mile Bloods.

Detroit police also are investigating whether a third shooting early Thursday on East State Fair, in which a 38-year-old man was hurt, is related.

Craig, who visited the Edmore crime scene Thursday, called the shooting gang-related and vowed to apprehend those involved.

“There’s been a dispute with gangs in that area, and our effort in the next few days will be to dismantle these gangs,” Craig said at Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners.

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