Mugging Victim Emily Doerr Prompts Online Dialogue About Living in Detroit

February 18, 2013, 7:09 AM by  Alan Stamm

The ingredients were ideal for impassioned web discussions: A young Detroiter, a gunpoint holdup, an online essay about it, a winter Sunday with time to pop off.

Deadline's Facebook page. 

Inspired by Emily: Whether Emily stays in Detroit or not, she will still have made an impact on it becoming a more positive and welcoming place. I lived there when I was her age, then left to raise kids, and partly because of her, I have returned as a volunteer, cheerleader, and landlord. -- Pam Murray, Detroit

"Don't give up:" I can understand the fear, but don't give up your optimism to people that do not have any. -- Kimberly Fucci

"Gun in your face:" If you've never had a gun in your face, perhaps you don't realize how it can scramble your psyche." -- Jason Harder, Okemos, Mich.

Grateful Detroiter: Emily . . . thank you for your dedication and service to our city. Thank you for continuing to dedicate yourself to change and to something that you believe in. -- Megan Warzecha, Detroit

"A great role model:" Em is being a great role model for being realistic about the environment you are in and the problem Detroit faces, but not giving up on the city after something like this happens. . . . I hope my little girls enjoy and have the same optimism for the D that Em does, and I also am committed to making sure that Detroit is safer for their future. -- Frank Houston, Royal Oak

"More people like Emily:" We can either work to make our cities better or we can sit back and say it is someone else's job. We need more people like Emily, not fewer. -- Joshua Raymond, Rochester Hills

"Don't give up:" Bad things happen in other cities too such as NYC, but there the people fight the good fight and don't give up and move elsewhere. -- Paul Martinsky, Detroit

Longtime Detroiter: I feel bad for her and hope this doesn't discourage her from staying here. . . . I have not experienced violent crime in the 30 years I have been here (knocking wood furiously), but I've certainly experienced petty crime like thefts from my car, my phone getting stolen, etc. And most of the time we don't even bother to have the cops take a report because it's going to be more trouble than it's worth.-- Amy Kuras, Detroit

"Commitment to basic services:" I live in the city and worked to change the decline without much success. I know what the city has been, what it is and what it can become, but first there must be a commitment to basic services for those that live here -- not to just to those who profit here by accumulating properties and pandering to the entertainment industry. No commitment, no quality of life, no city.

Suburban pessimist: Anyone is a fool if they think anything is going to get better in Detroit, the criminals will go away if street lights ever do work, which is highly unlikely. Even if the city did know how to manage money and could fix the lights, it wouldn't matter. Once fixed, everything will be stolen again. -- Mike Corey, St. Clair Shores             

"Ignorant suburbanites:" We as a region need to work together to make Detroit better. I've done a lot of work in Brightmoor and there were a lot of really nice people that care about their neighborhood and value human life. The ignorant suburbanites need to open their eyes and lose the mentality of their parents. Instead of shrugging your shoulders and leaving Detroit to fall apart, you should be fighting for it; joining those decent people that live there to make the region better. -- Mike Ondercin, Livonia

"I got out of Detroit:"  I have had a gun stuck in my face in Detroit, where I lived over half my life. In fact, 3 times! One was in broad daylight, and the other 2, the streetlights were working just fine. I did what most of the posters are suggesting. I got out of Detroit and never looked back. -- Richard Oldenburg, Waters, Mich.

"Quite shaken:" It appears that Emily feels quite shaken by her assault. I can only imagine how difficult this is for her and hope that she feels stronger soon. -- Joe Uhl

"More people like her:" I'm glad she's OK! Detroit needs people like her! -- Lindsey Malta, Ferndale

"Do not let this deter you:" Staying hyper-aware of your surroundings and the potential danger of the city is not a form of disloyalty to Detroit. You are not buying into the negative imagery of Detroit by recognizing the hazards of city life in a community that does not offer the proper level of public safety services. . .  Do not let this deter you from your mission! -- Jessica Winward

"Emily, don't wait:" I left after there was a murder on my front lawn, and I was unfortunate enough to be a witness. When the police left the bad guys came back. Emily, don't wait for the bad guys to come back. Move to someplace safer. -- John Morgan, Mio, Mich.

Flee or be armed: The only thing that residents can do, besides fleeing the city, is to get trained and gun up. -- Stu Chisholm, Roseville

"Not a television show:" Move. Detroit is not a television show. This is what urban living is all about. You could be gone at any given minute. That's just the reality of it. -- Mike Willi

Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day