We were all saddened by the death of Aiyana Jones, a 7-year old girl who was accidentally shot during a police raid in Detroit this week. I have written about Aiyana’s death, and as a father of three girls myself, my heart goes out to the family. There are a multitude of painful and detailed angles that must be addressed in the shooting of little Aiyana, including whether or not there was a police cover-up and why officers used flash bang grenades to get into the house when there were children around. But one question that anyone across the nation would ask is why neither the mayor of the city nor the Chief of Police have issued any statements in public.
As of Tuesday afternoon, I hadn’t heard a peep from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. Dave is a legend in my town of Syracuse for his contributions on the basketball court. I also took him to be a remarkable improvement over the questionable leadership skills of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. So, when I heard that Dave was a no-show after a racially-charged shooting that has received nation-wide news coverage, I couldn’t help but wonder what in the heck is going on in Detroit.
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Even if the city was in the wrong, Bing should have been one of the first officials to make a statement. I searched for Dave all over the Internet, googling him in ways that no man should be googling another, only to find that he was giving a speech to the Dearborn, Michigan Chamber of Commerce during a time when the entire nation was waiting to hear him offer words of comfort during one of the city’s most heart-felt tragedies. Now, I’m no political strategist, but I’d love for someone in the Detroit Mayor’s office to give me a call to explain this one. This no-show reminds me of President Bush’s decision to spend several minutes listening to a children’s story after hearing that our nation was under attack on September 11, 2001.
Dave Bing needs to make this right. He can’t continue to appear to be non-existent during a situation that is escalating by the second. Millions of Americans are concerned about what happened to Aiyana Jones, and I am sure Bing would rather tell his story before people get the rest of the story on YouTube.