Community remembers slain Detroit police sergeant who died after being shot

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 23:35:08-04

The squad car belonging to Detroit Police Sergeant Kenneth Steil has become a makeshift memorial on the sidewalk in front the Ninth Precinct on the city's east side.

The car is adorned with balloons and people have left flowers, cards and other mementos of thanks and remembrance.

It was also the centerpiece for a vigil held Monday night that brought residents and community groups together with the men and women who worked alongside Steil.

"We thank you, O God, for the many years of service that he's given to our community," said one of the speakers during the vigil.

The flag at the precinct is at half staff in Steil's honor. Community groups Detroit 300 and Mothers of Murdered Children helped organize the vigil.

"I know their pain," said Andrea Clark  and I just wanted them to know we support them and there's no them versus us. We're in this together."

Steil died Saturday of complications from his injuries after being shot September 12 while in pursuit of 21-year-old Marquise Cromer. Police said Cromer had carjacked several people and also shot and wounded his own father.

Now he will face first degree murder charges for taking the life of the respected and well-liked officer. 
"DPD is not Ferguson," said Teferi Brent of the group, Man Up Guns Down. "DPD is not somebody's other police department where you have rogue, racist cops taking the lives of innocent black men. That's not Detroit Police Department and that wasn't this particular sergeant," he said.

Badges of DPD officers all have a black band on them in honor of Steil, a husband and father of two young boys. 

"We need support at this time," said Charles Mahone, the precinct commander.  "Our family is hurting, we lost a member of our family and it's good to see our community unite and come to show us some love."