DETROIT, May 20 (UPI) -- Detroit residents should not blame police for the violence in the city but should instead look for solutions to crime, Mayor Dave Bing said Thursday.
Bing spoke at a Pancakes & Politics forum sponsored by the Michigan Chronicle at a Birmingham hotel, The Detroit News reported. Criticism of police has been heavy this week since a 7-year-old girl was shot and killed early Sunday during a raid by officers looking for a homicide suspect.
While Bing said he does not have an answer to the upsurge in violence, he rejected a call by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., for intervention by the U.S. Justice Department. Conyers said Wednesday the federal government should investigate the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the Detroit Free Press reported.
The mayor described crime in the city as demoralizing.
"And I don't know how to stop it, quite frankly," he said. "I'd rather keep it local."
But Bing said he does not believe police are the problem.
Aiyana's death is being investigated by Michigan state police. The Detroit Special Response Team found and arrested the murder suspect in the house where the girl was asleep on the couch.