The Murder of a 7-year-old Michigan Girl Calls For Emergency Meeting In Pontiac

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The Pontiac mayor gave an urgent message of change at an emergency town hall on Wednesday night. Dozens of community members came to the Robert Bowens center to discuss a rise in violence.

“It’s got to stop, it’s got to stop now, and it must stop here,” said Mayor Tim Greimel. 

The urgent concerns come after 7-year-old Ariah Jackson was fatally shot last week as she was coming home from school. Ariah was always known as a kid who loved to learn.

“Her life was taken without a chance, her memory will live forever, we will never forget,” said Pastor Douglas James. “Every March in reading month we will remember this child.”

While the community continues to mourn, they also demand action. Activists and organization leaders have talked about the importance of building a community center for kids, along with having de-escalation and anti-violence classes. 

“I believe that everyone should first look in the mirror when we think about how we can resolve the violent crimes that are taking place in our community,” said Dr. Samino Scott. “And when we do, we have to think about what each one of us can do.”

According to the city of Pontiac, there were fourteen homicides in 2021.

Mayor Greimel says that their plan to reduce crime is different from what Pontiac has seen in the past.

“There’s new leadership in the city,” he said. “As a result, there’s new hope. But more importantly, we have a collaborative approach not with just the mayor and city council, but with community organizations that are so key to make sure this positive change actually happens.”

One family stated that the rise in violence made them rethink living in Pontiac.

“I raised my kids here and now I have my grandkids,” said Lottie Parker. “And with little Ariah’s death, that was the last for me. I’m getting two of my kids out of here we’re moving to the UP.”

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office was commended by Community leaders in appreciation for their response when crimes happen. The leaders state its time for the community to be proactive.



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