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Detroit City Council votes to postpone ShotSpotter expansion vote again

Detroit City Council votes to postpone ShotSpotter expansion vote again
Detroit City Council votes to postpone ShotSpotter expansion vote again 01:49

City council passed a motion to once again postpone the vote to expand ShotSpotter in Detroit, but council members did vote to renew the contracts for the technology to stay in the eighth and ninth precincts.

Nearly a hundred people spoke either in person or virtually during Tuesday's city council meeting to give their take on if the city should expand the ShotSpotter program.

There were mixed, but strong reactions throughout.              

"I would be surprised if any of you in the room today would rank ShotSpotter over better housing, better public transit, better education, school supplies for kids, grants for small businesses," said one of the public commenters.

Another added, "I do support ShotSpotter because we need to figure out how to do something to stop all these violent crimes that we have going on."

"If they could recognize where the shots being fired and get there soon enough, then they can probably arrest the people doing it so they won't do it again," a supporter of the technology said.

"People have asked for funding and housing. People have asked for funding and transportation. People have asked for the solutions that would actually deter crime from being happening," said one public commenter.  "And what we're asking for is prevention measures, not reactionary measures.

The meeting lasted over three hours with passionate responses from both sides. Councilmembers were also torn.

"You've got folks scared to death in this city. They believe that ShotSpotter is going to keep them safe. Lord knows it's not going to happen when people want to shoot or kill, they're going to do that. And most of them don't even care about getting caught…I don't want to give my people false hope. I just don't want to do that. So if we vote today, I'm a no," said councilwoman Mary Waters.

"I don't think it's an end all be all to stop crime. I really don't. But I think that it is an important tool that we utilize," said councilman Fred Durhall.

It was emotional, but disappointing council meeting that ended with a motion passing by a 6-3 vote to once again postponte the vote to expand ShotSpotter.

Not everyone was on board to delay.

"For us to have this motion for us not to even vote on it today. That's what I'm saying, is playing games. That's what I think is wrong," said councilman Coleman A. Young.

A disappointing outcome for Detroiters who showed up to have their voices heard.

"It's unacceptable And like I said, the last person we will remember when the municipals," said Rai Lanier, the executive director of Michigan Liberation.

The vote to expand Shotspotter is expected to take place next week. 

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