By Charles Sercombe
The Hamtramck branch of the NAACP says it has some issues with the city’s police department.
The civil rights organization is holding a rally this Tuesday (March 23) to make public a host of concerns.
“We want the people to be able to respect the department and vice versa,” said Kamal Rahman, the president of the Hamtramck NAACP.
Those concerns include the recent arrest of a local minister who says he was assaulted by officers.
Police officials, speaking privately, say the minister interfered with officers during an investigation of a suspected house burglary and became unruly.
Rahman said other concerns include how a Bangladeshi man was treated after he claimed he was the victim of a theft, the lack of ethnic and racial diversity in the department and the department’s promise to generate $60,000 a month in revenue from traffic tickets, which was made to avoid layoffs.
Rahman said that drivers in the community with spotless records are suddenly getting tickets. Rahman stressed that the traffic program might be “illegal” because there appears to be a quota system for officers.
“This program puts undo pressure on officers,” he said.
Also of concern is the after-school violence near Hamtramck High School, which in recent weeks appears to have escalated and continues on for two to three hours with packs of kids running from one place to another to square off and fight.
School officials say most of the troublemakers don’t go to the school and are instigating the fights.