DETROIT (WWJ) – State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, is calling on state and city officials to look into reports that EMS didn’t show up when a 9-year-old Detroit boy jumped to his death from the ninth floor of his apartment building Wednesday.

“When it comes to the lives of the people that live in the city, when it comes to children in this case , there needs to be much more leadership in dispensing resources toward those priorities,”  Talib told reporters on Thursday.

But, Detroit EMS Chief Jerald James said EMS did respond to the apartment building where the boy had jumped or fell.

“We did have a unit dispatched to that call within one minute and 20 seconds after they called 9-1-1 and obviously police beat us to the location,” James said.

James said that, by the time EMS arrived, police had already transported the boy to the hospital. He said EMS then transported his mother since she needed medical attention.

Tlaib maintains that James’ time table doesn’t match witness reports, and she still wants state officials to investigate the boy’s death.

James said the uncertainty in city government causing staffing problems. He said with budget cuts, they are having trouble maintaining and recruiting employees leading to excessive overtime.

“We’ve gotten 15-to 20 employees that have resigned here  within the past 30 to 40 days,” James said.

James says six private ambulances have been helping Detroit for free for two months.

Meantime, police continue to investigate boy’s death Wednesday night on West Grand Boulevard near Henry Ford Hospital.

Investigators are into the possibility that Jerod Barnett might have committed suicide following reports that said he was worried about getting punished for stealing.


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