Alexis Wiley: When will the nightmare of crime in Detroit stop? - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Alexis Wiley: When will the nightmare of crime in Detroit stop?

Posted: Updated:

Opinion from Fox 2 reporter Alexis Wiley

DETROIT -- Reporters in Detroit see a lot. Typically, you develop a thick skin that allows you to go from one tragic story to the next, without losing sleep or skipping a beat.

I've got to admit. I've become pretty good at it. But, there's one thing that still gets under my skin. I guess that's why I found myself thinking about the 13 year old who was robbed while waiting for the school bus long after the story was done and the show was over.

I went to his Detroit home Wednesday afternoon.  Inside, I found three adorable boys sitting on a fuzzy blue couch, laughing and joking with each other, barely realizing a stranger had just walked into the room. I asked, "which one of you had that scary experience at the bus stop? ".

(see Alexis' report from February 27, click here>>)

The brown skinned boy on the end of the  couch reluctantly raised his hand. I said " I'm glad you're okay." He timidly smiled and said thanks.  With his mother's permission, he agreed to talk to me but I had to keep it quick because detectives wanted to meet with him.

Of course, my first question was the most obvious. "Tell me what happened," I said. He began his story.

The 6th grader whose favorite subject is math  told me that he was standing on the corner of 7 Mile and Eureka all alone, in the early morning darkness, waiting for his school bus which he says was late as usual. 

He said a car circled twice and then a man got out. In a calm voice, he told me the man pretended he'd missed his bus. But the kid saw his words for what they were: a sign that he was in danger.

He told me the strange man pulled out a gun and pointed it at him, demanding he give up his jacket, phones (yes, phones) and his brand new shoes. "When I saw the gun, I thought I'd been shot," the 13 year old quietly said. He gave the man what he wanted and ran home; grateful the gunman chose not to pull the trigger.

From the moment I started talking to this kid, I instantly knew he was like a lot of the kids I meet in Detroit's neighborhoods.

They're smart, talented and thoughtful enough to realize what's happening around them and what's happening to them just isn't right.

But, they're resigned to the reality that fear, violence and near death experiences are just a part of the world in which they live.  "I have a hard time sleeping," he admitted, "because I keep seeing that gun and thinking that he shot me."

He spoke those words calmly, timidly, yet, I felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me.  No child should close their eyes and picture being murdered. I wish I could make that nightmare go away. But I know that will only happen if things change in his community and so many others across the country.

Nothing will change until people take responsibility for themselves and each other.

As I left the 13 year old's home and got  into our live truck, headed to the next story, the woman next door yelled " you should report that we're angry and this has got to stop!" 

I hope she is angry. I hope she's angry enough  to wake up tomorrow morning and walk a group of kids to the bus stop and wait with them until they safely board.

Maybe,  she'll be so angry she'll convince her neighbors to do the same.  Maybe.

In the end, the only ones who can solve this are the people who are living through this.  All I can do is hope that somehow we find a way to make the nightmares stop.

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:18:29 GMT
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
  • Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Community comes together to support slain Armada teen's family

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:55:10 GMT
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
    Nearly a week after 14-year-old April Millsap was found murdered in the small town of Armada, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young girl gather for music in the park - this time hoping for justice.They were there to help raise money to ease the burden on April's heartbroken mother."We're as well as can be expected," said aunt Sarah Lichtenfelt. "They are just grateful for all the prayers and support, that's all we ask is to keep praying for strength."In the middle of it all...
  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:33:46 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
Powered by WorldNow

WFTC-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices