Dearborn, Michigan– 2/10/2016: Last night New Era Detroit a grass-roots social movement visited a Dearborn city council meeting to protest inequality, police brutality, and to seek a resolution in the recent fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by an unnamed Dearborn police officer on Detroit’s west-side. Kevin Mathews was a 35-year-old man who friends and family described as troubled mentally, but who they say “would never harm anyone“. Kevin Mathews was on medication for schizophrenia, a mental heath condition that combined with what the Detroit free press calls “an emotionally charged atmosphere nationwide over a series of highly publicized police shootings involving black men” could potentially of incited enough fear to trigger a biological fight or flight response, causing him to panic. Detroit has a long history of prejudice, discrimination, and police brutality against minorities. In the summer of 1967, The Detroit Race Riot, was one of the most violent urban revolts of the 20th century. It too came as response to police brutality, but also included other underlying conditions of the period such as segregated housing, businesses, and schools. In the year 2000 Detroit police officers killed citizens at a higher rate than police in any other American city. One of the worst instances of police brutality in the history of the United States was Robert Mitchell, a 16-year-old boy from Detroit who was tragically killed by police who said “the teen was resisting arrest after a traffic stop”. Police then used a Taser gun on Mitchell who was was reportedly running from his cousin’s car and into an abandoned house. The Taser gun that killed Mitchell sent 50,000 volts of electricity into him for 5 seconds. At the time the Detroit Police defended their use of the non-lethal weapon was “because the teen was resisting an arrest.”
In a press release, on the officer involved shooting Death of Kevin Mathews, Dearborn police said the suspect was”known to be wanted on a probation violation warrant, and who escaped from officers earlier in the day after committing a larceny in Dearborn.”
Dearborn police said the officer was patrolling the area of Tireman and Greenfield at the Dearborn-Detroit border when he saw the man, who ran when the officer approached.
“The officer chased the subject and encountered him several houses away in Detroit, where a struggle ensued,” the news release said. “Subsequently, the officer fired his department-issued weapon, striking the subject.”
Detroit Police Chief James Craig, whose department is investigating the shooting, said the man was wanted on a $2,500 misdemeanor warrant from Redford Township. Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad said the suspect had a probation violation warrant from Redford Township.
Craig said the officer saw a man who “was known to him,” exited his police vehicle and there was a short foot pursuit. The pursuit “ended in the backyard of a residence, where there was an obvious struggle” and then shots were fired. He said the officer’s uniform was torn, equipment off of his belt was in disarray at the scene and he sustained minor injuries.
Haddad declined to show information about the officer, including how long he has worked for the department. He said: “It’s an ongoing investigation.”
In the press release, Haddad was quoted saying: “This is extremely tragic, and while we are grateful that the officer involved did not sustain serious injuries, our condolences go out to the family of the deceased” The unknown officer in question is now on paid administrative leave.
All this comes on the heels of Detroit filing for bankruptcy in 2013, rumors of a United Nations emergency resolution, and the recent Flint water crisis where city officials switched the city’s water supply from Lake Huron to the flint river, and in the process poisoned a large percentage of the majority African-American population with dangerous levels of lead contamination due to old pipes combined with corrosive elements in the flint river left over from the glory days of American auto manufacturing industry.
WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY, WE WANT THIS FIXED WE WANT JUSTICE !
In a Facebook video published today by. Keith Horton, Zeek, a spokesman for New Era Detroit (NED), tells the Dearborn city council “I’m here to figure out what the city of Dearborn is doing about the murders of black people in the city” NED brought 100 people to the council meeting, promising to bring more if their voices were not heard. The ‘council woman, in a scene straight out of the hunger games, was noticeably uncomfortable, faced with the notion of black power, and the inevitable decline of her cultural supremacy.
“We are running out of patience” “I’m pretty Sure that The Black issue may not come up in here, Mr. Mayor, the city council, but we are trying to figure out what is going on around here” ✊
“We want the Officer who Shot and killed Kevin Mathews Fired”
“We want this Fixed We want Justice” Zeek Said.
The message is clear, Detroit’s Majority, minority population will no longer accept being treated as second class citizens, “a badge is not a license to kill”, “the spirit of Baltimore, and Ferguson, will come to Detroit if there is no Justice for the continued unjustifiable murder of unarmed minorities. This is not The new Jim Crow”, “the city council cannot be complicit in racial killings”,”Dearborn cannot be an island of white privilege and racist mistreatment of black and Latino and immigrant communities” The words of an empowered and well spoken young man as he Voices his concerns to the Dearborn city council.