DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit religious leaders are making an appeal to local residents, asking them to “stand up and speak out” to help bring an end to violence in the city.
What they’re calling “Project Good Samaritan” is in response to a wave of violent crime in recent weeks.READ MORE: MDHHS Updates COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance For Michigan Schools
Dr. Eddie Connor was among the few dozen Detroiters who gathered Wednesday at Greater Quinn A.M.E. Church to urge local residents to ditch the “no snitch” policy.
“The whole aspect of the no snitching is really incriminating us to a certain degree,” Conner said. “And, really, I think we have to (re)define the word snitch as someone who has information that can help — and that’s what it has to be.”
“…It’s not a new issue; it’s not like violence just started to spike, right?” added Corey Chavez, Pastor of Victory Community Church on Detroit’s west side. “Again, I lost my best friend when I was 16. These deaths have been going on for years in Detroit.”
Pastor E.L. Branch of Third New Hope Church says police can’t do it all.READ MORE: More Than 100 Michigan Schools Close Due To Copycat Threats After Oxford High Shooting
“Crime Stoppers (1-800-SPEAK-UP) is 100 percent anonymous,” Branch stressed, “and we want you to know that; know that you’re not putting yourself at risk to make that call and to give information that you may have that may lead to the arrest of those who are penetrating crimes against this community.”
“And if you can’t make that call for your own sake, make it for the victims’ families that are still suffering,” Branch said.
Chavez is calling on his peers to step up as well.
“We have to stop turning a deaf ear to the violence and say, you know what? Enough is enough, you know. We’re tired of burying our young men, young women and we’re gonna do something besides go back into the pulpit to preach,” he said. “We need to get out into the community. We need boots on the sidewalk.”
After 12 people were shot last month at neighborhood block party, Police Chief James Craig called on members of the community to share tips with police to help fight what he calls “urban terrorism” in the city. Craig said there were two dozen shootings in Detroit that weekend alone, including two in Greektown — considered one of the safest areas of the city.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Oxford Shooting Suspect Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter, Authroities Searching For Them
Arrests were made this week in both Greektown shootings, with Craig in part crediting and tipsters from the community who helped to identify the alleged perpetrators.