One crime-ridden city’s school security officer is dead following a violent fight among students.
Detroit, like many other large cities across the nation, has suffered from increased violence counts, especially inside schools. The Motor City, however, is arguably the most violent big city in America, according to FBI statistics. Amid reports regarding the recent Oxford High School shooting that claimed the lives of four students, concerns for the growing school violence issues throughout Michigan remain steadfast. Now, a Detroit school is reeling after violent events recently claimed the life of a Detroit schools’ security officer.
Freddie Wilson reportedly worked in the Detroit Public Schools Community District for more than two decades. He was currently a security officer at Henry Ford High School. After a fight broke out last Thursday after school, Wilson intervened. The student fight happened a few blocks away from the school. Several hours later, Wilson passed away. As the investigation that finds both the school district and local authorities involved continues, it remains unclear whether or not Wilson’s death was related to the fight-but some witness reports suggest the altercation may be the cause.
According to reports from Law Officer, initial witness accounts have varied. Some reports suggest that he “simply collapsed”. One student, however, claims the officer was hit in the head during the fight. The site also obtained security footage showing a large group of students involved in the fight. The security officer can be seen intervening before collapsing to the ground. Officers quickly surrounded Wilson, who was then transported to a hospital in critical condition.
In official statements regarding the violent fight and death of the security officer, Detroit Superintendant Nikolai Vitti spoke out on the matter. After affirming that Wilson had in fact intervened, Vitti said, “Our thoughts and prayers go to the Wilson Family.” She also reported that the district is “actively investigating” the incident with a request that everyone wait to “pass judgment” until a thorough investigation has been completed. So far, there have been no reports of any weapons being used.
The tragic death of the security officer at the Detroit school sheds light on a massive issue that plagues not only Detroit as a city but its school system. The district recently rebranded there school safety guidelines that led to the school district implementing its own police force this fall as part of the Department of Public Safety efforts. And according to Fox News Detroit, the school violence issues are dire.
Before the death of the security officer, it was reported in December that 24 students in Detroit Public Schools were charged with threats, one of which brought a weapon to school. In another instance, threats from students around Wayne County have continuously grown following this fall’s deadly shooting at Oxford High School. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released a statement regarding the flurry of school threats in Michigan like this one regarding security officers. “Much has been written about these types of cases lately yet still these serious events continue to happen,” Worthy said. Furthermore, Worthy explained that her office has attempted to “reach and educate” parents with the district’s school threat letters.
Students attending school in Detroit face violence, trauma, and instability at an alarming rate. According to the Detroit Free Press, nearly 14 children are victims of crime in Detroit every day. The Detroit public schools community district police department seeks to bring that number way down. But now that the district finds itself amid another controversial death surrounding a security officer, the taxpayers and lawmakers will likely look to amend policies combating school violence within Detroit.