By Detroit Fighting Words Staff
There has been a series of incidents over the last several months in the city where unscrupulous landlords engaging in sexual harassment against women are utilizing Detroit police officers to illegally evict these same people and their families.
Hundreds took to the streets for the second time surrounding the 10th Precinct in the Livernois and Elmhurst area on Saturday, February 20, 2021.
Members of Detroit Will Breathe (DWB), Detroit Eviction Defense (DED), Moratorium NOW! Coalition, and others, gathered to express their support for tenants amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a worsening economic crisis.
In Detroit and other cities across the United States, a federally-imposed Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium on evictions is still in place until the end of March. Many landlords and property management firms are routinely ignoring the CDC moratorium or finding loopholes to continue evictions.
In Albany, New York, the local newspaper reported that a landlord, frustrated by the CDC mandate, kidnapped two sleeping tenants, bound them with zip ties, and dumped them in a snow-covered cemetery. Fortunately, both survived.
What makes these actions even more outrageous is that some members of the Detroit Police Department (DPD) are physically carrying out these illegal evictions under the guise that tenants are occupying the homes as squatters. Landlords are engaging in sexual harassment of women and when they reject these advances, an eviction is carried out placing the women and their children at grave risk due to the inclement weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the Feb. 20 rally and march, activists demanded that the police cease their assistance to slumlords, saying all evictions in Detroit should be halted.