As murder rates and other violent crimes surge in most major American cities, Detroit is no exception. And as Detroit and other cities have heard demands by far-left activists to “defund the police,” the results of a new poll show that the residents of Detroit care more about public safety.
And not just a little more.
The new USAToday/Suffolk University/Detroit Free Press poll show that by a massive 9-1 margin, citizens of Detroit say they would feel safer with more police officers patrolling the streets – not less.
Only one-third of those polled say they think that Detroit police use unnecessary force, compared to a margin of three to one who say they reject the progressive demand of defunding the police.
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Of the 500 people surveyed, some of the issues had more importance among racial groups than others. Among the many issues facing the city, 19% said that public safety was the number one issue, education was second, and police reform ranked last at only 4%.
For black citizens of Detroit, crime was the biggest concern. They put public safety first at 24% and reform at only 3%. It was white residents who were interested in police reform, but cited education as the most pressing concern, coming in at 31%.
The Detroit poll was the second in a series taken by the USAToday Network and the Suffolk University Political Research Center. The first was taken in Milwaukee in June. Residents there found broad dissatisfaction with police department practices.
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One of the more interesting aspects of the poll came from black Detroit residents about how they felt police conducted racial profiling. Black men were twice as likely to be stopped and questioned by police than were black women by a margin of 38% to 17%.
Most of the black residents polled said they felt they were treated worse because of their race by police.
And still, public safety was the top concern.
Of all those polled, 77% said that they agreed with the statement Detroit police, “generally do a good job and treat people fairly, even if there are a few bad apples on the force.”
Kenneth Wolfe, 74, put it very plainly, “I feel like they’re one of us; they’re not some invading force. This is a society that is based on law and order. If you don’t have people there to support law and order, then you don’t have a society. They’re the enforcement of law and order.”
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Recently, former Detroit police chief James Craig announced he will run for Governor of Michigan. Craig will run as a Republican to challenge current Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Craig, who is black, has been an outspoken opponent of defunding police.
He pointed out during an appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that during last summer’s nationwide unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, “Detroit did not burn.”
Craig is also not afraid to call out those on the far left, including Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who represents Detroit.
In April, after the shooting in a Minneapolis suburb of a 20-year old black man, Tlaib tweeted,“It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently [and] intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression [and] violence. I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.”
Craig was quick to respond. He called her comments “inherently racist,” and also said, “She’s reckless. I’d love to see her resign. I’d throw her a goodbye party.”
He continued, “Who is she speaking for? When you talk about abolishing police, incarceration, when you talk about safe cities – what do you think the residents in Detroit want?”
Craig added, “Is she truly representing the people, or is she representing a fringe group? She does not speak for Black and Brown people in our city.”
Detroit’s murder rate has increased by 16% over the same period last year, and a 22% increase in non-fatal shootings. The most populated cities report an increase of 33% rise in homicides between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2021.
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