DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Police conducting raids, Thursday, in one area of northwest Detroit — as part of what they’re calling operation “Cherry Blossom.” They’ve recovered weapons and illegal drugs, and made at least one arrest. Detroit Police Chief James Craig also confronted a store owner over alleged criminal activity.
Owners of Bottoms Up Liquor Store — on 8 Mile, just east of Wyoming at Cherry Lawn — were taken by surprise when Chief Craig walked in the door to talk to them about complaints of drug dealing in and around the store. Craig says many in the community, including some elected officials, have complained about the drug dealers. The chief told the owner, this has to stop.
“You don’t get a free pass anymore. When activity occurs on this premise, I’m holding you accountable. And accountability means that you need to be on the phone with us, you should have a Bat Line in here,” said Craig.
“This is one of the more problematic locations in this neighborhood. I want it to stop,” said Craig.
“We’re trying,” replied the owner, who did not want to be identified.
“That’s not good enough. You work here, it’s like you live here,” said Craig.
The owner was a little upset by the chief’s surprise visit. He said that he’s called police before.
“The police, when they come in, they put us on the spot in front of the criminals. You know, it’s not safe for us either,” said the store owner.
“We want you to be safe,” said Craig.
Also during the exchange, Craig said, “But you’re going to have to work with us…”
“We do, we try,” said the owner.
“And you’re going to have to work with the neighbors. The neighbors want you to work with us to stop this… ,” said Craig, with the store owner interrupting, “We do work with them.”
Craig replied, “Well, it’s not working.”
“Well we also need help too,” said the owner.
Craig’s response, “We’re here. This is why I’m here.”
After the conversation, the two shook hands… and even hugged. The owner later told WWJ Newsradio 950 that Detroit Police rarely respond in a timely manner. Chief Craig says he will return to the store.