89.1 WEMU

EMU Holds Second Community Forum on Football Player Death and Other Violence

Oct 22, 2013

Eastern Michigan University has held a second community forum to discuss the death of wide receiver Demarius Reed and other violence against Eastern students. 

The Demarius Reed homicide, three other attacks of Eastern Michigan University students off campus, and two reports of on-campus criminal sexual conduct with individuals that knew each other all in the last week led E-M-U and Ypsilanti officials to holding a community forum to talk about efforts to improve safety.  E-M-U and Ypsilanti officials met to talk about safety and then were on hand for the community forum.

E-M-U students expressed a variety of concerns including questions about what the university can do to improve safety just off of campus.  Second year student Elizabeth Lang says students want to see an improved link between Ypsilanti and the campus and don't feel like they are currently a priority for Ypsilanti police.  However She says reports that witnesses didn't call the police when hearing gun-shots and seeing Reed's body are also troubling.

E-M-U president Susan Martin agrees that it's haunting that people didn't immediately respond.
Martin says together the E-M-U and Ypsilanti family need to work to enhance safety on and off-campus.
She says they are having discussions with off-campus apartment complexes and working on a web-site to help students make safer living choices.

Officials with University Green apartments, where Reed's body was found and one of the other attacks occured, say increased security including a foot patrol of the complex will remain indefinitely.
They say the complex is also looking at adding security cameras.

Ypsilanti Police Department officials say students need to use their power as a consumer and choose housing options that have better security.  They say some students say apartment complex managers tell them not to call police or the complex will be charged.  Interim Police Chief Tony DiGiusti says this is false and it boarders on obstruction of justice.  DiGiusti says residents should call the police whenever they see something suspicious.

Some students raised concerns that these types of forums and meetings have taken place in the past following violence but the problems continue.