The perception of crime in Ypsilanti – is it warranted, and, if so, what should we do about it?

Ypsilanti figures prominently on AnnArbor.com today.

I count four stories about Ypsilanti on the front page. Three are about violent crime, and one is about the mayoral debate I recently hosted at the Dreamland Theater in puppet form.

First, there was the murder in the Township yesterday. It took place at 4:00 PM, in front of the Washtenaw Avenue Kmart. A 20-year-old by the name of Michael Deshawn Crockett, according to witnesses, shot and killed 20-year-old Chris King. It would appear as though the two were engaged in an argument, when Crockett pulled a gun. Crockett was arrested this afternoon. The victim, Chris King, was apparently once a well known athlete at Saline High School.

The second story involves an attempted robbery in Riverside Park. According to the victim, he went to the park at 7:15 PM on Saturday to sell a video game that he’d put up for sale on Craigslist. It’s unclear as to whether he was set-up, or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the seller was soon approached by two men, one of whom showed a gun. Instead of handing over his belongings, the man says that he pretended to be an undercover cop, which caused his would-be assailants to run off.

The third story pertained to an earlier crime committed by a man named Jermain Shropshire, who had recently been released from jail on probation, after a number of theft convictions. Shropshire, according to the AnnArbor.com update, agreed to a plea deal in the case of a June 14 break-in on West Cross that culminated in the sexual assault of an EMU student at knifepoint.

So, with all that as background, is it any wonder that we’re seeing comments like this left on the AnnArbor.com site?

badypsi2

I know that some will take the opportunity to criticize AnnArbor.com for covering so much of the violence we see here, while covering so little of what’s going well. And I’d agree to some extent. I, however, understand that they’re resource constrained. And I understand that they need to cover crime, whereas positive stories about our community are perceived as “nice to have,” but not necessarily essential. I’d love to see that change, but I don’t blame them for what’s happening. The truth is, we’ve got a problem, and it’s not just one of perception. My hope is that someone with the statistics can prove me wrong, but my sense is that crime of this nature is on the rise, due in part to the economy, our clearly under-performing high school system, and the decreased police presence that comes along with severe budget cuts… Like I said, I hope the crime statistics prove me wrong, but I can’t recall another time when two handgun-related crimes took place in broad daylight, in a single weekend. (And, as if this weekend’s incidents weren’t enough, there was also an attempted armed robbery in the Township last Wednesday.)

One more thing… At the risk of being called either an ageist or a racist, I’d like to point out that the suspected perpetrators in each of these three crimes are African American males in their early 20s. And, no, I’m not suggesting that all violent crime is committed by young African American males. And I’m not suggesting that violence is in some way part of their genetic makeup. What I am saying, however, is that we’re fooling ourselves if we refuse to acknowledge that this is an issue and deal with the root causes.

I’m not much of one for task forces – as they rarely, in my experience, seem to result in real, substantive change – but I think we have an opportunity here to bring together the City and the Township, along with our historically black churches, the school districts, and any number of social service organizations, and at least acknowledge that this is a problem that demands our attention. I don’t know for certain that anything would come of it, but it sure as hell couldn’t hurt to initiate a respectful, thoughtful and sincere conversation on the subject.

And one last, quick aside on Sunday’s shooting…. The following comment, left by someone on the AnnArbor.com site calling himself Newsboy1, suggests that yesterday’s homicide victim, Chris King, had been mistreated by the Saline school system. My hope is that someone in the press follows up on it:

And, if the sorry coaches at Saline High School would have cared more about Chris King as a human being, and less about Chris King as an athlete, he may not have been near the “street thug hood” in the first place. But, after he was done helping them win on the football field and the track, they threw him in their alternative ed program at Union so he wouldn’t negatively contribute to their graduation rate. Way to go SHS. Yes, it does take a village.

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59 Comments

  1. Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Time to get that CCW. Fuck all the bullshit. It doesn’t matter who, or what color, or any of that if you die. Shotgun goes boo-yah. Night-Night, scumbags.
    By the way…this isn’t the first craiglist robbery to happen in Ypsi. One happened just a few months back at an apartment complex of Huron River Dr….it’s becoming quite the popular scam.

  2. mizzundastood
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I also believe that the economy is part of the makings of the crime now a days.it is so hard 2 get a job in ypsilanti michigan that young men and women both races get caught up in drugs theft and all of the above.the drug trade in ypsilanti is so small that people do get offended when you step on their toes.I have seen so much crime in my life.been around people trying 2 protect their property and their “HOOD”..YPSI DOES NOT EVEN HAV A HOOD.go to larger cities..young men and women BOTH RACES In YPSILANTI are so concerned with KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES.it is a shame.the media and the rappers are filling their heads up with a lifestyle that most will never see.its a bunch of WANKSTERS and ETC OUT HERE THE MOST BIGGEST CONCERN IS HOW SOMEONE ELSE SEES THEM,HOW POPULAR THEY ARE,PARTY PARTY PARTY LET’S ALL GET WASTED…SMH..WHAT HAPPENED TO HAVING YOUR OWN MIND .. YOUR OWN THOUGHTS??? OH YEA ..THATS RIGHT I FORGOT THAT WENT OUT THE WINDOW 9 YEARS AGO WHEN BUSH BECAME PRESIDENT..THANKS BUSH FOR THE GREAT ECONOMY.. SOON WELL BE JUST LIK A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY WHERE SOME1 GETTING MURDERED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT IS JUST A WAY OF LIFE.

  3. Bonnie
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    http://ypsicopac.org/

    http://geodata.acad.emich.edu/Crime/Main.htm

    Meeting’s tomorrow evening.

  4. lorie thom
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I have a couple comments and a history moment:

    Comment one: if you go to the homefair.com and look crime per capita you will find that violent crime in (48197) is about the same as in 48104 (Ann Arbor). Property crime in those two zip codes is BETTER in the Ypsi Zip code than the Ann Arbor one.

    My second comment is this: Kmart is not Ypsilanti City – it is Pittsfield Township. I think it is VERY important that the townships be held to the fire for their crime issues. The sheriff is not the same as a police force and the crime issues in Spice Tree, Glencoe Hills, Aspen Chase, West Willow, MacArthur Blvd and whatever those incredibly nasty ones are at the corner of Hewitt and Clark (across from the Bank and St. Joes) are OPEN – you can just drive through as see the dealers at work.

    Second Comment: I think it is very important to hold Ypsilanti city distinct from its townships. That means correcting the generalized “Ypsilanti” area to which exact place had the issue particularly in the papers. Ypsilanti City fares well with that kind of comparison.

    The sheriff patrols Ypsilanti and Superior townships, Pittsfield has its own police force. I think it needs to be very very clear who has what crime problem because in our City itself, we’re doing rather well by comparison.

    History moment: When I came to Ypsilanti for school (early80s), we were told in orientation that Ypsilanti had a violent crime problem and as students we were not to venture off campus and certainly not walk to downtown, down cross across the river and essentially we’d be killed if we went south of michigan ave. We were told that the neighborhoods were filled with group homes and 1/2 way houses. That the projects on the south side were filled with violent criminals and drug gangs. They showed us the crime reports to prove it.

    A whole bunch has improved since then. There are still problems but they are not confined to the south side, Depot town was just getting started then and is now clearly a wonderful place. South side crime is a shadow of what it formerly was. And the density of group homes has dropped a great deal and the management of those homes is much better. But it has been a very long haul. Long time beliefs and reputations are hard to change.

    We moved to Normal Park on Jan 1, it was all of three weeks later on a snowy day that I forgot to lock my van and left it in the driveway behind our home and it got trashed. Nothing taken because there wasn’t anything in it. I resent like hell that I have to keep every ground floor window locked and every bit of anything I care about behind a locked door that people are looking to take from others. I am thankful it is not like it was but…

  5. Michael
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    here’s the statistic I wonder about: do CCW applications increase following a spate of violent crime in one’s hometown? Just want to know if my neighbors might be newly packin’.

    And one other thing. It was HOT Sunday afternoon at 4pm. It takes commitment to lung around a weapon in your shorts, it would seem to me. Or a strong sense of purpose.

  6. Knox
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Heat definitely plays a roll. Everyone’s on edge. And I agree that the solution is more guns. If everyone traveled with several, there would be no more crime. I also believe that every nation should have hundreds of nuclear weapons for the same reason. It only stands to reason that doing so would make us safer.

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    You are such a bigot, Mark. Just kidding. Instead of focusing on African American young men, how about worrying about poor, uneducated young men. Until Ypsi (and Michigan) can provide a future for poor young dude, we are going to see crime. Given the miserable state of the State, vast unemployment and a lack of entry level jobs, I can’t with any confidence say that things are going to get better in any Michigan city. Ypsi is not special (Fint??), but unfortunate that it is contrasted against neighboring Ann Arbor, who is always spared the economic problems of the rest of the area.

  8. Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Lorie: The dividing line between Pittsfield Twp and Ypsi Twp is Golfside; KMart is actually in Ypsi Twp.

    But other than that correction I do agree with you about the need to hold the townships to task for their willful failures in the regard.

  9. sdfsfsf
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Newsboy’s comment seems slightly skewed. I’m not entirely sure what caused CK to switch to Alternative, because I was younger at the time and only knew that he went there after his junior year…however, it was not the coaches that “dumped” him there…The saline coaches care about kids off the field or track just as much as on it, if not more. As for the rest of it, I’m cloudy on the details so I won’t go into blame shifting.

  10. Kim
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I’ll agree with Pete that it has to do with poverty, but it’s my understanding that there race specific issues that need to be dealt with as well, like the impact of racism on these young men, and the fact that they disproportionately grow up without the presence of a father. But a lot of it, as Pete suggests, applies to the poor, regardless of race.

  11. Bonnie
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I think Mark is trying to say that crime spans boundaries, and we need to work together to *prevent* it, not to point fingers or say that the Sheriff or Pittsfield Twp PD (or the twps themselves) need to step it up. Crime is a social & economic problem, and as such, it spans jurisdictions.

    The YPD, by the way, has a Friends of the YPD organization- if anyone wants to contribute time, money, or expertise, I’d be happy to put people in touch.

    It would be nice to get some cross-jurisdictional participation in CoPAC. Or heck, even just more people than the usual suspects. (meeting tonight! 6pm! Haab health building!)

    Mark, I don’t have (recent) stats handy, but can probably get them. I’ll check.

  12. loreine webber
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    My son was given no other option then to go to alternative or face a principal that would treat him unfairly. He also picked up bad habits but in turn also made some good friends. It wasn’t right or fair. But Chris king made some true friends in alternative as well. The choices our children make is their choices. All we can do is hope all we taught them will be instilled in them. But just like you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. The same goes true for our children. We do all we can to help them understand responsibility and what is the right path. But once they are adults it is out of our hands to some extent. Lets stop trying to put the blame on others and pass judgement. Lets look at the impact chris had on so many people and celebrate his life instead. I am sure that is how he would have wanted it to be. We can’t life with what ifs and buts.

  13. Stephen
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    This country has not been good to black men historically. It’s true. But at some point they need to step up and take responsibility for themselves. The million man march was a positive step, but what followed it? What have we done to mentor black youth? We need to demand more from them. In the post-Obama world, it’s no longer OK to just blame racism. Black men can succeed. They need to know that. And we as a nation need to expect more from them.

  14. lorie thom
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    @cmadler – thanks – its all 48197 (I think) and I link the Kmart, Spicetree, Golfside, Aspen Chase crime issue as all being linked. Thank you for the correction.

    @Bonnie, I agree with you but I think one of the elements in a comprehensive solution includes battling unfair perceptions and getting real about where crime is happening, who the enforcement entities are, and what kinds of crimes are happening. If nothing else it might be leverage for linking groups like CoPAC to others.

    I agree with Mark that for various reasons race, age, education and socioeconomic status play a role that I often don’t want to admit.

    I tend to vacillate between wanting everyone to sing kum ba yah and thinking that if they are doing damage, lock ’em up.

  15. Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Ypsi City: 34.5 police officers for 22,000 people in 4.5 sq mi = 1 officer per 638 people; 0.13 sq mi per officer.
    EMU: 29 police officers (plus 7 dispatchers/support staff) for 23,000 students in 1.25 sq mi = 1 officer per 793 students; .04 sq mi per officer
    Ypsi Twp: 31 sheriff’s deputies for 49,000 people in 31.8 sq mi = 1 deputy per 1580 people; 1 sq mi per deputy.

    The voters of Ypsilanti Township have made it pretty clear that they don’t want to pay for policing.

  16. T Owens
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I read today that King was shot once, in the back.

    Also, I don’t know that it’s deliberate on the part of A2.com, but I do think that Ann Arborites get some kind of vicarious thrill when reading about violence in our community.

  17. Barfly
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the statistics, cmadler. It would appear as though our friends in the Township are willing to see a little bloodshed if it means lower taxes.

  18. lorie thom
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    cmadler -you rock – thank you for those stats.

    And meanwhile, west willow rots, spice tree is a contagion of crime AND they want to build a nice neat new downtown while continuing to ignore parts of their township that need help and attention.

    So how do we get Ypsi township to the table to deal with their crime problem especially because it is our crime problem?

  19. EOS
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Homicide is not a function of race, or poverty, or high temperatures. It is indicative of a lack of moral training and a low regard for human life – two issues that are pervasive in our culture.

    If there were an police officer standing at the scene of the crime, they still would have acted after the fact and would have been unable to stop it.

    Those who live in the city have no standing to dictate how the township handles its affairs. Maybe the township should change its name to avoid this habitual tendency.

  20. Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    soooo, what can we do to better feed stories about the good stuff in ypsi– city, twp, et al– to annarbor.com? if we– even as citizens– send over pretty thorough press releases, with quotes and facts and such– we can try to get more of what we want to see published, and make it easy for them. seems appropriate with their community contributions model. anyone know about the 3 on 3 weekly basketball tournaments derrick jackson runs in west willow and mcarthur boulevard? there’s a good news story engaging youth positively… did you know that in west willow, an amazing volunteer plans and runs a summer day camp for 40-60 kids (she has help and some support from the county for counselors), just because of her dedication to the neighborhood? we (Growing Hope) run a sub-summer camp of that where kids, led by teen mentors and VISTA volunteers, teach nutrition & gardening… then there’s lisa & the co-op and the ypsi honey project, which is way cool… and erica choberka’s new urban pioneer business… and so much else! i know i have a hard time getting around to writing press releases about the stuff we do, and definitely don’t have the time to write about other cool stuff being done in ypsi– but maybe if made our own crew of local people on a community beat, so to speak, to write up things about the good that’s going on and feed it regularly… maybe that could help?

  21. Posted July 28, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    EOS: “Maybe the township should change its name to avoid this habitual tendency.”

    Yes, please.

  22. lorie thom
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    oh stop with the name change baloney.

    nobody is either Ypsilanti can “dictate” to the other. Same with Superior township. My question was “how do we bring Either township to the table (“table” meaning sitting down with us to work together) to improve these situations”.

    @Amanada, I get your point and yes I knew about those things because of articles about them in the past. Those don’t send quite the message I think we’d like to send. Below is a link to an example. What is the perception you get from this article?

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/trey-roberson-recently-stood-at/index.php

  23. Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    My point, as Bonnie suggested, is that this might be an opportunity for us to work constructively with the Township and build bridges between our two communities. But, it looks like EOS and others would instead like to continue the historic pissing match instead. I think that’s unfortunate.

  24. lorie thom
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    @EOS,

    a) lack of moral training: well, maybe, but that lack of moral training gets concentrated into specific areas that are indicated by those things you just listed.

    b) police acting after the fact: not true. your supposition about the police as just report-takers and investigators just isn’t true anymore. they do wonderful work on the prevention-side of crime and Ypsilanti’s improvement in crime over the past 2 decades are proof of just that.

  25. fedupwithMI
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    EOS:
    If there were an police officer standing at the scene of the crime, they still would have acted after the fact and would have been unable to stop it.

    Those who live in the city have no standing to dictate how the township handles its affairs. Maybe the township should change its name to avoid this habitual tendency.
    ———

    Yes, EOS, we know you don’t want to pay any taxes, and we also know that you don’tlive anywhere near the scummyapartmentsthat your township refuses to clean up, as you hate sidewalks so much.

    that’s Ok, we’ll still continue to clean up your mess as best we can- since we have to. I myself would like to drop it on your front porch, but that’s me.

  26. Cash
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    As this is a subject that has caused me to get many posts removed from A2.com…….
    This is my opinion:

    “Reporting” at A2.com is non existent. They take police reports and publish them.
    That said, AAPD admins really work for the Chamber of Commerce. LOL
    Their crime reports are “stats” given in a non-descript monthly report.
    Ever read them? Probably not. They don’t make the front page at A2.com…they are posted in the “Crime” section.

    And so, the driving force for front page coverage? What kind of article or report will get the most viewer hits? Because Ypsi City and WCSD seem to report single incidents to the media, they get the big headlines.

    This I know for an absolute fact. A certain “reporter” calls AAPD and asks “Anything to report?” and the media spinners there say “Nope, all’s well”
    And thus, nothing is reported. This happens daily.

    Call Ypsi PD and ask that question and you get ” 3 apt break ins last night”…and that gets reported. Same for WCSD.

    A simple truth…AAPD controls the flow of all information to the media.
    YPD and WCSD are not as political.

  27. kjc
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “@Amanada, I get your point and yes I knew about those things because of articles about them in the past. Those don’t send quite the message I think we’d like to send.”

    i don’t get it.

    but i loved your post, Amanda.

  28. Fred
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    It’s simple. As long as it’s black people dying, there’s no reason to raise taxes.

  29. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    @ Lorie… the article’s okay– but I agree with the point a commenter made about it being in the CRIME section… even though the sheriff sponsors it, I don’t think it should be categorized with crime.

  30. fedupwithMI
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    from http://www.homefair.com

    Compare Ypsilanti, Michigan
    with Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Crime Details Ypsilanti 48198 Ann Arbor 48104 Michigan
    Total Crime Risk 75 111 95
    Personal Crime Risk 90 103 112
    Property Crime Risk 71 133 93

    but wait, there are other zip codes for the area.

    Crime Details Ypsilanti 48197 Ann Arbor 48105 Michigan
    Total Crime Risk 117 92 95
    Personal Crime Risk 155 107 112
    Property Crime Risk 99 91 93

    AA is not as great as they like to pretend in this stat, and Ypsi is not as bad as they want us to think.

  31. Posted July 29, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    fedupwithMI: ZIP codes don’t necessarily map to municipalities. 48197 includes part of Ypsi and part of Ypsi Twp. 48198 includes part of Ypsi, part of Ypsi Twp, and (part of? all of?) Superior Twp.

  32. lorie thom
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    @Amanda,

    I liked your post as well.

    A little background – this subject has been an on-going conversation with several of my friends for a long time. Many of whom would not even venture into downtown Ypsi because of the perception of crime and predation they admitted where township issues.

    That article got our attention because it highlighted the perception issue. Non-Scientific poll came back to:
    a) these kids would be committing crimes and “scamming for money” outside of this program because they have nothing better to do at any time. But clearly they are already have had training those activities and take a break from that to play basketball with the sheriff.

    b) Even the good stories about that area are in the Crime Section because its the sheriff that will do those programs there to try a prevent some crimes.

    The article was OK however, the perception gained from it was not.

    @Cmadler: right – so imagine how well the city is doing if the 197 zip is better than Ann Arbor with the nasty stuff at those apartments in the township included.

    This is one of the reasons I appreciate the crime maps and the work done by the EMU/City partnership because it pinpoints what issues are happening where in pretty fine detail.

  33. Peter larson
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    In those crime risk stats, what exactly is risk? Are these raw numbers? Or are they adjusted for population?

  34. EOS
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear that the city has solved all its crime problems. No more problems at the bus station, no more prostitution on Miles, no more drug sales in Prospect Park, no more thefts on campus and kids can play in Riverside Park without any adult supervision! Congrats.

  35. Heidi
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Agree with Cash. I too have had some posts removed because of the same thing.
    If your looking for Ann Arbor Crime that doesn’t get reported on that horrid blog you can check these sites, even though they don’t update them very well (see below).
    The Ann Arbor news print version was famous for making sure Ypsi crime was reported and that Ann Arbor crime is downplayed as well. I was hoping that a2.com would change that, but they seem to have some sort of agenda there. For awhile they used to print crime maps for Ann Arbor and Ypsi in the paper..turned out that Ann Arbor would have more crime, so surprise! the crime map wasn’t published in the paper anymore.
    On a side note, (not that this makes me an expert..) I grew up in Ypsi 70’s through the 90’s. My family still lives there and has lived there since the 1920’s and really have not had an issue, couple of car breakins by kids taking change, but other then that..knock on wood, nothing major. My Dad taught at Ann Arbor schools for over 30 years and went through race riots, daily bomb threats, drugs etc. It got to the point that when I was a teen and wanted to hang out downtown Ann Arbor, he wouldn’t let me, citing there was too much crime there! He would get so pissed at the Ann Arbor newspaper because not much of what was going on in the schools would have been published, but if something like that happened in Ypsi, it would make front page news and be talked about for weeks in the paper. So really nothing has changed with the paper in that regard.

    ArborWeb..lastest stats are from the month of May 2010, which include 78 burglaries, 6 sexual assults, 16 vehicle breakins, and 9 robberies :
    http://www.arborweb.com/articles/crime_maps/

    Weekly Crime Stats from Ann Arbor News, 39 crimes (which if any of this happened in Ypsi would be a news article written by someone)
    http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-crime-statistics-for-the-week-of-july-11-17/

    Daily/Monthly incident log from the U of M Police
    http://police.umich.edu/?s=crime_log

    I also agree with one of the other posters, how do we get more of the positive news stories to appear on the a2 blog? But then again, bad news gets more publicity then good news for the most part.

    Anyway, getting off my soapbox now. Sorry for the vent.

  36. Knox
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Yeah, the Township just has murder and men beating small animals with hammers. Bravo.

  37. Air Mattress
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Regardless of the bias at Ann Arbor Dot Com, these things did happen, and we need to deal with the violence in our community. I think that was Mark’s point. It’s not enough to beat up on AADC for their shitty reporting.

  38. Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    @EOS: um… I live on Miles Street and the prostitution has been rather sparse this summer. Almost nonexistent.

  39. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Now that you mention it, there really haven’t been all that many prostitutes around Ypsi at all this year compared to normal. Another unexpected casualty of the housing market collapse?

  40. Oliva
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Some of us who’ve lived here a long while really do notice our neighborhoods getting safer, cleaner, friendlier–with even less broken glass on the streets and sidewalks (a miracle?). I agree with others that the paper (and Detroit local news stations) could take better care to shine a light on the many positive changes happening in Ypsilanti and to distinguish this town from surrounding communities.

    Also, Stephen’s comment about the “post-Obama world” might have been meant to encourage reflection and open eyes, so pardon me if I took them literally when they were really meant to shake things up. Tim Wise, at his blog (http://www.redroom.com/blog/tim-wise/this-your-nation-white-privilege) and in talks and his latest book (Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity), does a wonderful job pointing out the dangers of the “post-Obama” notion in regards to matters about race in this country.

    Here’s one of the book’s blurbs just to give a sense of what Wise is trying to do:

    “Tim Wise’s Colorblind brilliantly challenges the idea that the election of Obama has ushered in a post-racial era. In clear, engaging, and accessible prose, Wise explains that ignoring problems does not make them go away, that race-bound problems require race-conscious remedies. Perhaps most important, Colorblind proposes practical solutions to our problems and promotes new ways of thinking that encourage us to both recognize differences and to transcend them.” –George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
    –http://www.amazon.com/Colorblind-Post-Racial-Politics-Retreat-Racial/dp/0872865088/ref=pd_sim_b_4

  41. Posted July 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    OK. Let’s talk about root causes. In the typical workplace: how does it make a person feel to accomplish boring, tedious tasks day in and day out? Pretty shitty.

    How does it make the same person feel to read and hear from the likes of some of your ‘readers’ and Glenn Beck fans that when they lose their jobs, it is their own damn fault and should be left for dead if ‘gainful employment’ is not acquired in a timely manner? Pretty shitty.

    How does it feel to see your own neighborhood rot from the inside due to unemployment, loss of residents, and likewise lack of personal fufillment; and to travel several blocks to see active and carefree people with disposable income for days, beautiful homes and gardens, and a growing artists’ community? Pretty damn shitty.

    How does it feel to have no proper place for your own culture to express itself?

    How does it feel to know that the near-indiscriminate use of your body by numerous men is your only source of sustenance?

  42. Posted July 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Matter of fact, I’m perfectly happy to name the root causes here: capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and authoritarianism.

  43. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    You Marxists-to-whatever-degree are so cute. Fools trying to force the world to suffer them.

  44. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    …and failing at that, too, might I add.

  45. Posted July 31, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    ba: Don’t condescend to me. You know damn well it ain’t “marxists-to-whatever-degree” that own and control things. You either want to change things for the better or you don’t. And if you don’t, I’m guessing you take the “move along now, nothing to see here” approach.

    And don’t pretend to know who I am and what I do. Hint: I work to make ends meet like anyone else. And as a human being with compassion and critical thought, I want alternatives to the world presented to me.

    I can only hope you’re willing to be as honest in public with the people you hate as you are on a damn blog.

  46. Tom Perkins
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Hello all. I freelance for AnnArbor.com, The Ypsi Courier and worked briefly at The Citizen. Among other topics, I’ve reported on crime at all three papers. At The Citizen and Courier I wrote the police blotter, which involved going to the Ypsi Police Department several days a week to read the crime logs. Unfortunately, there is crime in Ypsilanti. And more than gets reported in any news source. In my opinion, crime is an issue.

    That said, great things are going on in Ypsilanti – more than gets reported on by any news source. That, too, is an issue. But to think that right now, in a cigarette smoke-filled office high atop some building in downtown Ann Arbor, there are a group of editors and publishers rubbing their hands together while laughing maniacally over their dastardly plans to make Ypsilanti look bad through crime reporting is beyond bizarre. I don’t even know how to respond.

    To the contrary, when AnnArbor.com recently launched their Ypsilanti page, they purposely left out most crime stories. Crime stories go on the crime page. Right now, on the site’s Ypsi page (3:55 p.m. Saturday), there are five stories. None of them have to do with crime. But there are Ypsi crime stories in the crime section. That indicates there is less of an effort to make Ypsi look bad than some might want to believe.

    I should mention I’m not speaking for AnnArbor.com or any other paper. I’m speaking for myself, and I cannot stress that enough. I freelance, meaning I have little decision making power and no hand in crafting anybody’s policies. These are my own thoughts after reporting on crime in Ypsi for three news outlets.

  47. Peter Larson
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    My impression has always been that Ypsilantians way overestimate their importance in the minds of non-Ypsilantians. That’s just my impression, however.

  48. Marlene
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    http://ypsilanti.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=Ypsilanti&s1=MI&c2=ann+arbor&s2=MI

    Compare City Crime Rates

    Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Comparative Crime Ratios per 100,000 People

    Latest 2006 Crimes per 100,000 People:

    Ypsilanti, MI Ann Arbor, MI National
    Murder: 18.4 0 0 7
    Forcible Rape: 59.69 28.32 32.2
    Robbery: 349 75.2 205.8
    Aggravated Assault: 849.5 200.9 336.5
    Burglary: 1639.3 558.5 813.2
    Larceny Theft: 3733.1 1875.4 2601.7
    Vehicle Theft: 578.6 153.1 501.5

    Actual Reported Population and Crimes:
    Ypsilanti, MI Ann Arbor, MI
    Population: 21,778 112,989
    Murder: 4 0
    Forcible Rape: 13 32
    Robbery: 76 85
    Aggravated Assault: 185 227
    Burglary: 357 631
    Larceny Theft: 813 2119
    Vehicle Theft: 126 173
    Notes:

    Formula used for chart: ((Crimes Reported) / (Population)) X 100,000)
    Chart shown is a statistical comparison of the crime rates per 100,000 people.
    A blank value in the above data means there is no available data for that crime.
    Based on the final 2006 FBI Crime Statistics.
    National arson statistics are not available. Therefore, no arson statistics are used in a comparitive manner.
    Crime rate results are tabulated using the crime collection area population of each city.
    Crime collection population may not match US Census data. Population is based on the agencies participating in the reporting.
    2007 crime stats will be available October 2008.

  49. Cash
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Tom Perkins,
    Thanks for commenting. I do disagree with you, however.
    I have seen almost daily Ypsilanti crime on the front page of A2.com. Four times last week it was on the front page.
    Ann Arbor crime is for the most part put out in a list of statistics furnished by AAPD. I have surmised that the reports from YPD and WCSD may bring more attention than the rather boring stat report from AAPD because they are written individually and it’s easy to pop them into an article.
    But, I read AA.com since day 1 and I can tell you that Ypsi crime gets the most front page attention. I have chastised them for this multiple times.
    I think in its blog format of today, it’s looking for more “attention grabbers” and less substance.
    That’s my opinion.

  50. Peter Larson
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Clearly, according to these numbers, Ypsi does in fact have more crime that Ann Arbor. That has always been true. Ann Arbor may have more crime in raw numbers, but relative to it’s population, Ypsi can be considered to have probably the highest crime rates in Washtenaw County. I don’t think there’s any running away from that.

    Ypsilanti, MI Ann Arbor, MI National
    Murder: 18.4 0 0 7
    Forcible Rape: 59.69 28.32 32.2
    Robbery: 349 75.2 205.8
    Aggravated Assault: 849.5 200.9 336.5
    Burglary: 1639.3 558.5 813.2
    Larceny Theft: 3733.1 1875.4 2601.7
    Vehicle Theft: 578.6 153.1 501.5

  51. amused1
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    The event: Two children, one in Ann Arbor, one in Ypsilanti, are potty training.

    Headlines that follow:

    Study shows Ann Arbor children are in the top percentile for developmental accomplishment.

    Ypsilanti residents struggle with incontinence.

  52. lorie thom
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    looks like there is conflicting data…might have something to do with the zip code references what ever Area Connect uses as its statistical model AND what their guess is for resident numbers in Ann Arbor v Ypsilanti City (not twp).

    just to clarify – there is crime in Ypsilanti. I don’t refute that. What I have been saying that crime by zip code data, some parts of Ypsilanti do better than some parts of Ann Arbor. It goes to the point of Mark’s post: perception of where crime happens and how much and the disparity (Ypsilanti to the negative, Ann Arbor to the positive) when data doesn’t agree (or does).

    One thing I am sure of: Ann Arbor does not report its crime as openly and honestly as Ypsi City does. Maps, yes, raw data and articles on the front page of the paper? No – Goes through their PR department first.

  53. Stephen
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    More gun crime in the township. This time, however, there’s a twist. The 20 year old black me have what appears to be a musket!

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/couple-robbed-while-out-for-a-walk-in-ypsilanti-township/

  54. whatsupwithMi
    Posted August 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    @ Peter Larson, at this late date:

    What is interesting as I hobnob with the high-brow AA crowd (the people who fund Big Business Stuff) is: how often their measure of AA’s accomplishments relies on Ypsi as a benchmark.

    I really try hard not to talk about the % of AA-owned properties that are the source of what they portray/see as bad examples.

  55. Robert
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    11 ways to prevent home invasion:

    http://www.homesecuritysource.com/blogs/11-ways-to-prevent-home-invasion.aspx

  56. мойка
    Posted December 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Sexy elfs to post pictures, yes?

  57. anonymous
    Posted January 8, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Between Wed and Fri of last week there were 3 shootings in the city and 1 near the city/township line. There is no (public) information yet as to whether or not the shootings are related, and the YPD is not releasing any suspect information. Please talk to your friends and neighbors and encourage them to come forward with any information they may have. They can reach the Sergeant on duty at 734-483-9510.

  58. Elf
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Interesting article on Ypsi crime. A man shot in the face on Grove Street last night. He had surgery to remove the bullet from his tongue.

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/crime/man-shot-in-face-on-south-grove-street-in-ypsilanti/

  59. Eel
    Posted July 18, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The Detroit TV stations are talking about the serial attacks against women in Ann Arbor. There have been three in four days.

    http://annarbor.com/news/worry-spreads-as-ann-arbor-police-investigate-three-assaults-in-four-days-near-u-m-central-campus/?cmpid=NL_33_block_headline

5 Trackbacks

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