To say I’m pissed off, would be an understatement. Black women are being murdered back to back in Detroit with little to no outrage. In the past week, multiple Black women have been murdered in the same area: Detroit’s east side, many near the Downtown area. These stories are alarming. So why aren’t the police desperately searching for the killer? Why are these stories just being brushed off and buried?
Destiny Reed was twenty-three years old and murdered on Mother’s Day. An assailant shot her from a Black Chrysler 300. This crime took place near Chandler Park. This same vehicle was present when Nyree Henderson, twenty-four years old was shot and killed the very next day. This was on Van Dyke near Mack Avenue. A few days later, Elizabeth Laird, twenty-seven years old was found in a dumpster on Robert Bradbury Drive. She was kidnapped and tortured. Her alleged killer has been found. On Sunday, Stephanie Thomas, thirty-six years old was found on Coplin street near Waveney Street. She had been shot multiple times in the head. Channel 7 news, quickly reported that a woman was assaulted on camera in Black Chrysler 300 (same vehicle reported at the other crime scenes). This was on Conner and Jefferson. There is barely any information on this story from the media, even though there is footage of the crime.
Many Detroiters begin to worry that a serial killer is on the loose. Stories of bodies being found in dumpsters on the east side have been spread around Facebook. The only response from the Detroit Police Department is that there is no serial killer. But how would they know if they have not found the killer? And it seems they’re not too focused on it either. They suspect that the crimes are gang related. Because Black people plus violence equals gangs right? Even if it was a result of gang violence, does it matter?
In the same week, a police officer was shot in his torso after the suspect rammed into their cars when he was followed for speeding and driving the wrong way into an intersection. This set off a manhunt where he was quickly arrested. Chief Craig, of the Detroit Police Department, praised the officers for, “going through great danger to keep our communities safe.” The reason why I’m telling this story is to ask, where was this urgency to capture the killers of these Black women? Why hasn’t Chief Craig spoken about that yet? I feel the lack of focus on these stories is also to ease the anxiety of our downtown gentrifiers (not too far from the area where the women have been found). Police cars spend a lot of their time “maintaining” traffic downtown and making sure that there are no “unruly” people down there.
I don’t know if there is a serial killer on the loose, but there are many “coincidences”. This wouldn’t be the first time that a serial killer targeted Black women or Black LGBT ( ex. Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Buck, possible serial killer in Chicago). We are seen as easy targets because society does not value our lives the way others’ are valued. People do not see the urgency to save us. Hence why Detroit Police Department is dragging their feet to do something about this. Serial killer or not, I want Black women’s lives to be seen as valuable the same way white women’s are. Let that have been the bodies of white women found and this city would be on lock-down. There’s even little outrage from the Black community. We spend a lot of time focusing on issues that straight Black men deal with. But we don’t want to acknowledge the violence that Black women are facing in our community. Our bodies are continuously being treated with disrespect and as disposable. If no one is going to look out for Black, I will.