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by Peter Moskos

August 25, 2009

"People have got to get indignant"

[Detroit Police Chief] Evans reiterated his sense that people feel Detroit is supposed to have crime. He said he goes out two nights a week and works the streets, stopping motorists who rarely have driver's license, registration, insurance.

"What I say is: 'Do you drive north of 8 Mile like this?' And they say, 'Hell no! They'll lock you up.' Your conduct can be whatever you want it to be in the city of Detroit. It's a safe haven for BS. When people feel that way about minor things, that's the way they'll feel about bigger things."
Evans cites a consent decree that has governed Detroit for six years. The decree, designed to curtail police misconduct, has led to reluctance to arrest.
"Over 1,100 people being shot is getting kind of Third World to me."
Of course, comparing Detroit to the third world isn't really doing justice to the third world. Third-world cities tend to have far less violence.

The column by Rochelle Riley in the Detroit Free Press.

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