DETROIT (WWJ) – Police plan a strong presence during the Ford fireworks in Detroit after large crowds during Detroit River Days and weekend reports of teens fighting.
A video showing what appeared to be several teens involved in an all-out brawl during the Detroit River Days surfaced and raised concerns about safety for those attending the fireworks downtown Monday night.
In fact, a “human blockade” by fans of Detroit rapper Trick Trick caused rival rapper Rick Ross not to take the River Days stage as planned. The Right Productions, which manages and operates entertainment events at Chene Park, released a statement saying Ross couldn’t get to the stage because it was blocked by 100-150 people, and “conditions were becoming threatening and posed a security risk.”
While Detroit police told Fox 2 that some of the teens involved in the River Days skirmish caught on video were detained, there are heightened concerns after rumblings online about possible gang related activity during the fireworks.
In addition, there have been some online rumblings about planned shootings and gang members engaging in the so-called “knockout game” at the Ford Fireworks.
“This is nothing new to us,” Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “We’ve seen these types of chatter and so forth on the Internet and through different…investigations throughout the years we’ve seen these types of things happen.”
“This whole knockout game nonsense is, again, nothing new to the city of Detroit or to us,” Woody added. “But what I can tell you is that we have been monitoring it, we are aware if it, and we’re just cautioning people…If you’re gonna come down to enjoy the fireworks, please know that we’re doing everything we can to make that you’re going to be safe.”
Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw says his department is working with Detroit police and federal partners to make the Ford Fireworks a safe event.
“I don’t want to get into, you know, a lot of innuendoes and rumors that always float around about these events that … happen every time that we have a large major event anywhere in the country. You always have somebody that’s online or saying something and then usually they don’t go to fruition,” said Lt. Shaw.
He cautions people attending any large event to be alert in their surroundings.
If you see something suspicious, then say something to an officer that’s down there in the area.
“There’ll be enough officers that are present down there, you’ll be able to walk up to either a trooper or an officer or somebody from the federal government and tell them what you see and we’ll check it out,” Shaw said.
Shaw says there’s no alcohol allowed on Hart Plaza and the setting off of one’s own fireworks is not allowed on the Plaza or on Belle Isle.
A notice from the City of Detroit states it will actively enforce a citywide curfew.
The curfew is requiring that all minors age 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with identification). Minors will be allowed to travel to and from work or organized sports.
The curfew is in effect from 6 p.m. on June 23 until 6 a.m. on June 24.
Minors in violation of the curfew will be taken to Southwestern District at 4700 W. Fort and issued a ticket.
Minors will be held there until picked up by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian also may receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.
[More information about the Ford Fireworks HERE].