Detroit community activists declare Greektown a 'No Beef Zone' to keep the peace
DETROIT (FOX 2) - "This is a No Beef Zone and that means the whole of Detroit, starting right here today," said Detroit Pastor Maurice Hardwick.
It is a promise made and kept by "Pastor Mo" standing on the Greektown corner where gun violence killed popular security guard Darryl Straughter earlier this month.
Pastor Mo’s new No Beef Zone effort is just one of many responses since, bringing together community groups to make a difference and restore a sense of safety.
"We're coming together to pray and to patrol and to let our young people know that you got a value and you are welcome here and a peaceful manner," Hardwick said. "We coming to put some skilled trade information in their hands, to love on them, let them know that you’re not locked out of here but you can’t come down here with any type of violence whatsoever. "
Greektown was ravaged by at least five shootings that left two people dead and several others hurt during the first warm weather period of the spring.
"I was down here in the midst of when all the shootings and killings happened and it was very scary - so I just wanted to be a part of this." said Kya Hardwick of the Live in Peace Movement.
"It was hot and young people just got to feeling themselves and came down," Hardwick said. "I think people just run into each other and people were intoxicated. Some people were just out here looking to start trouble."
Detroit police announced a massive security plan with partnering agencies and officers working undercover. Some Greektown businesses have even considered closing earlier while others want better oversight to regulate alcohol consumption.
In the meantime, The Live In Peace group is one of many doing their part amid widespread concerns of city violence spilling into the summer.
"I want to say keep calm," Hardwick said. "I want to say the police are here with a 12-step program. Activists are here. I see Detroit 300 is here already. I know Cease Fire is going to be here. Other activists like Pastor Mo and (Live In Peace) are here making our claim. We declared a No Beef Zone and we are sticking behind that word."