Psychopathology of Detroit

Photo by Danny Wilcox Frazier for Mother Jones

In May, seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was accidentally shot and killed during a police raid on her Detroit apartment. Trailed by a reality-TV crew, the SWAT team was the subject of an A&E reality show called 48 Hours. Beginning with the raid, Charlie LaDuff’s incredible essay backtracks through the muck and muddle of a dying city to try to understand, as his article from Mother Jones is titled, “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones.”

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“You might say that the homicide of Aiyana is the natural conclusion to the disease from which she suffered,” [Dr.] Schmidt told me.

“What disease was that?” I asked.

“The psychopathology of growing up in Detroit,” he said. “Some people are doomed from birth because their environment is so toxic.”

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A pass through the failing school system (35% High School graduation rate), police precincts closing due to dwindling budgets and fire houses receiving word of fires by way of fax (because the alarm system is broken), a judge nicknamed Half-Day Hathaway, clandestine affairs between the mayor and federal officials, and three separate reality shows in the works, LaDuff’s journey through the history and pathology of Detroit has all the makings of a trippy modern-day noir classic. Except that it’s true.

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2 Comments

Filed under Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

2 responses to “Psychopathology of Detroit

  1. Pingback: Kicking Ass, Taking Names | rosiesaysblog

  2. Pingback: “I Have Friends Who Are Black” | rosiesaysblog

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