Chief Craig & community activist in war of words

Posted at 10:49 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 22:49:31-04

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says marches against violence don't work and it will take more action from police and neighborhood groups to make a difference in the city.

"Criminals be warned," Craig stated during a press conference Monday after a weekend shooting that injured another young child. "The Detroit Police Department is sworn to be indebted in the right against crime."

The Chief's tough talk follows a series of recent shootings in the city that have claimed young children as victims. Craig called for a stepped up police presence, starting on the city's west side, as well as more community involvement.

"We, the police, cannot do it alone," Craig said.  "Our community partners can't do it alone. And so the people who live in these areas are going to have to be willing participants."

Over the weekend, on AM 910 radio, Craig called out the group, National Action Network, during an interview segment.

"If the National Action Network is about changing the community, they've been noticeably silent on this issue involving children and the level of violence," Craig said. "If we're going to get this done, we need to be on the same sheet of music, we need to do it in unison and we can't have some of these politically driven efforts that, frankly, are not working." 

Rev. Charles Williams, pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church, is also president of the Detroit chapter of the civil rights organization. Williams said the root of the violence is poverty and other social ills that impact the community.  He responded to Craig's criticism with a question.

"What do you want," Williams asked. "What else could we do? What I would suggest is that the Chief needs to join us in working together to get more police and more state revenue funds coming to Detroit so that we can hire more police. Me and the Chief can march up and down the street all day long on that one."