Community protest at gas station where Detroit officer was fatally shot

- Detroit Sgt. Ken Steil's death is a tragic reminder of the dangers our police officers face --every day. 

Tuesday night a rally was held at the gas station at Seven Mile and Hayes where he was shot, with a call for changes -- to make our city safer.

"A police officer was shot here and they changed nothing," said Brenda Hill, who lost her son to violence, standing at the Sunoco gas station that Steil was shot at.

Nine days after Detroit police Sgt. Kenneth Steil was shot and ultimately died from his injury, a community stands at the scene of the crime in outrage.

"If this place isn't concerned about safety. It shouldn't be in my community," said Julius Austin of the Rosemary Street Block Club.

They are outraged that no one is watching but offering a way to change that, by joining with the Detroit police in a program called Project Green Light.

"That tool kit has to be rolled out in areas where there is high crime," said Rev. David Bullock, of the Change Agent Consortium.

With Project Green Light, business owners buy high definition cameras that police can tap into and also install lights and signs. About 42 businesses have currently signed up.

"When folks see cameras it deters crime - that's the bottom line," said Austin.

"We would like them to join the Green Light initiative," said Officer Brad Hawkins. "That way police can monitor what's going on  24/7."

So will joining Project Green Light really make any difference? Well two miles away from where that Steil was shot and killed, at another Sunoco station, which was one of the first  to join Project Green Light.

FOX 2 spoke with the clerk who said it is night and day. Before joining Green Light, there was loitering, carjacking, drug dealing - and now that they joined, none of that is happening anymore.

This group of activists are not just asking for change, they are actively seeking it out, speaking with a clerk at the station at Seven Mile and Hayes, who has worked there just a couple weeks.

"Even the folks working here say they don't feel safe, but that is just the way it is," Bullock said. "I think that's a big problem. Why do we have to accept that it is just the way it is?"

Both Bullock and FOX 2 reached out the owner,  Farhan Najar, who said he would be open to joining Project Green Light.

"We will spend as much as the city wants us to secure everybody who is coming to the gas station," he said. "Including the people who always spend the whole day to secure our lives."

Najar says he plans to meet with the city and community leaders on Monday to iron out the details.


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