With Flint at “an intersection of crisis” amid a pandemic and social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Mayor Sheldon Neeley addressed the uptick of violence in the city, including 12 shootings across the city last weekend, six of which occurred at a pop-up party at Hallwood Plaza.
When a fight began between a group of girls, police who were already on hand attempted to break up the party when shots were fired, and according to reports, a witness in the crowd claimed to hear at least 100.
Under executive orders by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the size of all outdoor events are to be limited to no more than 100 people and requires social distancing and wearing masks. Neeley announced earlier this month about the threat of COVID-19 and that illegal pop-up parties in the city would not be tolerated and handled with additional enforcement.
In a press conference this past Sunday, Neely reminded the community that gatherings of that capacity were negligent as there is still a “silent killer” among us in the form of COVID-19. As of July 28, there are 2,669 confirmed cases and 269 deaths in Genesee County.
“The City of Flint has not and will not tolerate irresponsible gatherings of people nor should the residents of Flint,” Neeley said. “We have a responsibility to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. Those who knowingly break the law and bring lawlessness into our community will face consequences.”
"We remain at an intersection of crisis and I ask all residents of Flint to be our partners in stopping the spread of this deadly virus and for ending the senseless violence on our streets. Please also join my family and I in praying for all of the victims in the city and in the county."
Police have worked with organizers of large events that would be in violation of the governor’s orders to have the events canceled — at Brennan Park, a club on Clio road, the Flat Lot, the Rutherford Parking Ramp and the former Flint Central High School — and, if protocol isn’t followed, to shut down events.
The weekend shootings follow Neeley’s announcement last week of a three-point plan to curtail gun violence, including a new investigative unit focusing on guns; an officer recruitment effort in partnership with religious leaders; and a gun buyback program.
Enjoy this story? Sign up
for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.