Pontiac community advocating for change following the senseless death of a 7-year-old girl

Posted at 5:57 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 07:18:54-04

PONTIAC, MI (WXYZ) — The death of 7-year-old Ariah Jackson is sparking change in Pontiac.

Ariah was shot in the head and killed during a drive-by shooting.

The community was outraged by the senseless killing.

"We are not going to tolerate violence," Pontiac Mayor Time Greimel said.

Greimel says he's seen four homicides in the last two and a half months. The sheriff's office believes this is gang-related.

"She was just as a daughter to me as she was to her own mother," Ariah's aunt Dashawn Jackson said.

Police say Ariah was sitting in the back of the car when she was gunned down in a senseless drive-by shooting after getting off the bus outside of a home in Pontiac.

Other children were in the back seat of this car but not injured.

"If you know anything, speak up," Dashawn said. "Just speak up for Ariah's sake."

The other children in the car were Dashawn's.

Officials, activists, religious leaders, and supporters were all in attendance at a community meeting. Leaders were raising concerns around the violence happening in the Pontiac community.

"It's an emergency in our community. It's an emergency in our community. This city has been in mourning too long," City Council President Pro Tem William Carrington said. "We're going to identify the root causes of violence in our city. This is a great city. We are going to establish a city anti-violence task force."

Community members wrote down questions for city leaders to answer.

The mayor also reminded community members in attendance that they have six officers in the community policing, but need the citizen's help.

"A law enforcement response alone is not going to solve this problem," Greimel said. "We need to make sure we are putting into place more early interventions that will prevent conflict."

Ariah's grandmother wants justice.

"It's really senseless. It's senseless we got to bury our baby," she said.

Anyone with information on Ariah's death is encouraged to call the Oakland County Sheriff's Office at (248) 858-4951.