Detroit mayor urges end to violence

Feb. 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM
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DETROIT, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Detroit is coping with a surge of gun violence with young people as assailants and victims, and the mayor has urged a halt.

"Let's stop the madness. Let's let these young people know we care about them and at the same time we are not going to allow them to create havoc here in this city," Mayor Dave Bing said Monday, after a 36-year-old woman was allegedly shot to death in her home by her 14-year-old son.

Her death was the 50th homicide in Detroit this year, a 25 percent increase over this time last year, the Detroit News reported Tuesday.

Attending the funeral of a 9-month-old who died when his house was sprayed with bullets from an assault rifle, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee lamented the culture of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officials Monday, saying, "Someone in this room has the missing piece we need to solve this case. Detroit, this has got to stop."

While the increase in youth violence is not unique to Detroit, the city has experienced a rash of incidents with children as accidental victims of gunfire, the newspaper reported.

A partial solution may come in strengthening existing laws. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy proposed legislation Monday to create a new felony crime, elevating indiscriminate shooting into a building, causing death, into an offense punishable by life imprisonment without parole.

"A change in the law is not the only solution to the problem of violent crime, but is certainly well warranted," she said.

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