A published report says dozens of suspected killers, rapists and others who were arrested by Detroit police over the past four years have been released because of a backlog of unsigned warrants.
Among the unsigned warrants at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office are 21 for murder, including one going back to 2010, according to a report in the Detroit News. The newspaper says there are 105 for sexual assault and 126 for child abuse.
In most cases, police were forced to release the suspects, since the law requires that they can’t be held beyond 72 hours without being arraigned.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says many of the releases are a result of too few employees in her office. She says the office has “lost half of our staff and it is no surprise that we are not able to fulfill our mandated functions with such drastic staff reductions.”
“It certainly is not surprising that this has impacted our ability to review and charge warrant requests presented to us,” Worthy said.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he sympathizes with issues at the prosecutor’s office, but he has staffing challenges of his own.
“I can’t and won’t say I don’t have enough officers to do the job,” Craig said. “I don’t have the luxury of saying that. I have fewer officers today than when I got started, but I can’t say, ‘We don’t have enough people.’ That’s not an option.”
Meanwhile, Craig says, all his officers can do is continue to arrest suspects.
“Once we arrest them and submit a warrant request, it’s out of our hands,” he said.
In 1950, Detroit was America’s fifth largest city and one of the most prosperous on the back of its booming motor industry.
It prompted the construction of skyscrapers on the banks of the river and the development of vast suburban housing projects in the surrounding areas.
But almost 55 years on, a dwindling motor industry and a dramatic fall in blue collar jobs has caused people to leave the Michigan city, abandoning their homes and businesses.
These aerial photos reveal the tiny urban island that is left – a clutter of high-rises surrounded by empty housing plots now covered in grass.
Detroit, once the industrial capital of the nation, was voted the most dangerous city in the country in 2012, for the fourth year in a row.
The city, left ravaged by dwindling blue-collar jobs, the decline of the auto industry and rising unemployment.
And corrupt, incompetent one-party rule, don’t forget!
With all that open space, many have suggested Detroit turn from cars to cows.
David and Sky Brown do not seem like the type of people who would be targeted by Detroit’s law enforcement. This summer the couple moved into the Motor City’s dangerous northwest area to help with revival efforts. After fixing an abandoned home, they opened a backyard pen with goats and chickens and began hosting neighborhood dinners, using the animals’ eggs and milk. They hoped to transform their decrepit block into a community farm.
But the city squelched the Browns. Without warning, animal-control officials entered their home on the afternoon of Oct. 22 and, citing a city law banning farm animals, confiscated their pets. In a phone interview, Mrs. Brown described this as “the most traumatic experience of my life.”
While housing livestock was technically illegal, the decision to target the Browns was odd. The couple had good neighborhood rapport, epitomizing the sort of urban pioneers that Detroit wishes to attract. The animals should have been a minor concern amid the city’s rampant crime. But the crackdown was one example of a broader regulatory sweep that has spread across Detroit and may kill its newfound entrepreneurial spirit.
Detroit is lawless, so it seems unfair to complain about them enforcing the law. But when murderers, rapists, and child molesters go free while goats remain in the can, that is a backward world in more ways than one.
Admitting she was ignorant of the law, Sky Brown, 34, said her initial goal was to get permission from the city to transfer the goats to a farm where they are legal so they wouldn’t e killed.
She said the animal control worker who itook them told her she’d never see the goats again.
Since, she’s heard varying stories from the Detroit Law Department about the disposition of the animals. At one point she was ensured they’d avoid the lethal needle and be moved to a farm.
But the latest she says comes from Doug Baker of the Legal Department.
Baker told her, to comply with federal law, the goats would have to be transferred to a USDA facility for scabies testing. After that, he indicated they might be euthanized.
Brown, who has a law degree and is scheduled to take the Michigan Bar exam this weekend, scoured the law books but couldn’t find anything referencing goat scabies testing.
The state was just issuing an “executive action”, like Obama. If the goats had been truly illegal, they’d be free to come out of the shadows now.