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Slow Burn presents: One Year - 1986: No Crime Day


Basketball star Isiah Thomas had an audacious plan to transform Detroit: asking criminals to stay on the good side of the law for 24 hours. Would “No Crime Day” set the city on a new path, or was it a recipe for failure?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
In eighteen, eighty six there were more violent crimes in the u s than had ever been recorded in the calendar year. The murder rates in chicago new year washington, DC and a bunch more places, all spiked by double digits, but in the papers and on the tv news it was Detroit the got branded the worst of the worst. There are some who called on friday murder, capital of the nation. This summer has been especially violent with more than five hundred shootings reported in two months. Look behind your back, a journalist who might, when somebody's on jump to suit your kill. You anything fraid had six hundred and forty eight homicides in eighteen, eighty, six, the highest per capita murder of any major american city. It say every time you turn around, someone was getting killed. That's fred bell is a patrol officer unto traits north west side. He saw a deep poverty.
In the destruction wrought by heroin and crack cocaine. They had teenagers young kid, fourteen and below shell in drugs. It they can go home to a meal. They don't do what they have to do. If you ve, never lived it. It's sort of hard to understand it, people getting better, invasions and the murders georgette. I'm your head was two traits director of public information. It was her job to build up the city when so many others were tearing it. And she thought the press. Sensationalist violence into trade and pathologies- did majority black residents, she didn't believe the crime wave was a media myth. It was impossible to live in detroit and not be touched by it, and I really
I felt violated when I came out of my house one day ready to go to work, and my car that was sitting in my driveway was sitting on on cedar blocks cedar blocks that they had taken from my backyard. It's all if my tires were gone. People had those kind of experiences all the time plenty of detroiters refused to accept the status quo
they did whatever they could to make the city safe and get drugs out of their neighborhoods. There was even a law enforcement phone bank at three one: three, no crack crack like an au pair. Three thousand calls have come in since July. Can you give me the description that hauser? But the truth was all those efforts felt like trying to empty the detroit river with a teaspoon, so it was easy to feel stuck doing. Nothing wasn't any kind of solution, but fixing detroit's problems felt totally impossible. It just seems so senseless and it just seemed that there was nothing you could do to even protest against it. You can talk until you're blue. In the face I mean it was a lost cause.
Then, all of a sudden, the conversation in detroit shifted the man who changed. It was one of the city's biggest celebrities veil of famagusta right I'll go left. I'm gone, oh well, go on guidelines, I say a thomas. was one of the world's greatest basketball players, a brilliant point guard with a famous smiled when he talked people and in the summer of eighty six he had a message for detroit. I asked. This day that we are to and make it a crime free city day when we can all feel safe crime root causes were tough to grapple with but the solution. I say I was proposing that was simple september. Twenty seventh is no crime day
I am asking the dope man on this day. Don't sell dough. I'm asking you who steals for living on this day, don't steal, I'm asking you who kills for living on this day. Let him live. It was a cry. The idea of a famous actually asking an entire city just stop committing crimes for one day on september, twenty seven, nineteen, eighty six detroit with fine If it works, This is one year a series about the people in struggles to changed america. One year at a time and josh living in our third season We're going to remind all the way back to nineteen eighty six, there has been an accident at the turn of atomic station. Just say no to drugs. There was an air
of swaggering access on wall street cineplex is, it was all what time of hardship and deprivation these all over the? U s, knowing linked hands to raise money for america's hungary and homeless? This season, you'll get new perspectives. the moments and scandals that defined nineteen. Eighty six, like the explosion of the space shuttle challenger and the opening of AL capone salt you'll, also hear forgotten stories about a school hostage situation way. Wyoming the took a miraculous turn in the unlikely american who became a soviet propaganda start, but first would Isaiah Thomas's vision of a crime free world set detroit on a new path, or was it a recipe for failure? No crime day
we're not gonna get out then do a bank with a we're gonna be good detroit. When you are branded as the murder capital of the world you have to may be bold, its goal. It's an idea to thought to drink and its people, given it chance it may. This is one year, eighteen, eighty, since no crime This episode is brought to you by saying
when you are immersed in a story, you don't want any distractions, the new galaxy buds too. Pro intelligent, active noise cancellation, so you can get lost in your pockets and with a more secure and comfortable fit than ever. You can listen to So after episode, pre order. Samsung dot com and get a free wireless charger sing on us think conditions applied features require galaxy smartphone with android eight and one you I or later with one point, five gigabyte ram or more. Do you do the detroit basketball thing on demand? Can we go on I draw basket: amiss that made my wick John mason has been at a trait institution for almost forty years a morning, radio host in the history, Pierre, an answer,
in all those years there's never been a better player. The number eleven jose atomic this basketball game was only and wherever he went in whatever gave me put, he just carried the whole city waterman. All the. ass, the library, how old were you when you could tell that you had a gift fur basketball? I dont know what other people were. Thank. I just know. I had no idea my basketball player in were special. I say This was born on the west side of chicago in nineteen sixty one youngest of nine children. Everything felt stable,
whose father got laid off and left home. I say his mother Mary Thomas worked hard to support her family, but even so, there was never enough food to go round, and when you are hungry, you cannot think clearly those who have been hungry understand instantly one shall I say, as hunger drove him to steal, other kids lunches into dine and dash pizza, parlors three of his brothers fared much worse, getting addicted to heroin, cocaine and ending up in jail. As a kid I say, I spent his days tagging along with his older siblings. That's how he became an athlete back about. This cannot be every day creation in the neighborhood there was no babysitters or anything like that. How everywhere they went, I had to go. I say it was a hoops prodigy. He developed a half time stunt routine when he was stolen. Kindergarten.
by the fourth grade. He was starring on schools, eighth grade team. but on the west side of chicago sports, weren't, always a refuge. Conferred elementary schooler? Planet gladys play lot when the kid is poured up and they started shooting. I say I saw a man dropped to the ground with blood gushing out of his chest I remember rally champion. in hiding under a car. He tell it was safe to come out. His talent eventually earned him a ticket out of the neighborhood first to a prep school. In the suburbs and then to Indiana university as a sophomore. He led the users to the name. Maybe one initiated
a few months later, the pride of chicago got drafted by the detroit pistons, his first ba contract, paid him four hundred thousand dollars a year enough to buy his mother, a house, but it twenty years old. He didn't feel like a grown up living in another city for tie. made it. I mean I didn't know anything about living on your own. Some have nervous. I was afraid. How did you gonna get to know the trade? I was so fortunate to have my mom. She was just fearless, somehow she called the mayor's office and it always like take care. My tasty the mayor was comin young and he was happy to help the troll. It is a very generous city of anywhere people outcomes, I, with each other, that's young in an eighteen eighty, five interview
He was one of america's first prominent black mares and a fierce advocate for his home town. The thing that what is special about the city is the law of its people, but is not a wall of weakness, is a walk, the strength and the strength at the same time to persevere in the face of all incredible hardship. When Isaiah him to Detroit. That hardship was everywhere by the nineteen eighties. The city was a shell of it's former self. Then the nineteen fifties, my goodness we were the fifth largest city in the country. Herb Boyd is the author of black detroit, a people's history self determination. We gotta out high school by me. You need kid, get a job at ford, you a job at crisis, but then, when you get into the ninety, six is as a whole. Different character
Then the company's begin to leave the city white flight in court Disinvestment were already well under way when detroit exploded in civil unrest, replaces the drivers of fire and, as you after the area people shot from their homes watch out for the snipers. This is going to happen all of america's going to be a hot world, not a hot summer. Segregation, joblessness and police brutality all helped instigate. The nineteen sixty seven riot in it's aftermath Everything got worse. Hundreds of thousands of white residents fled the city, leaving black to traders, recently isolated and low income neighborhoods. How do you pay the rent How do you bad groceries, you're trying to make do that's why you had a proliferation of drug dealing going on in the city coleman young.
pained against racist policing, but also a strong message about law and order No pusher report on the one eight the mayor's rhetoric didn't do much to stamp out crime and by nature and eighty six a city that was already teetering found itself facing a new american epidemic. This is the typical in a bottle for the new illegal drug of choice in america. Cried we learn, people have gone to elementary school kids and offer them fifteen hundred dollars to run a crack house for a week. Drugs are also a new and growing crime problem in detroit, where children are murdering children. This you, through on someone who ask him to give up his shoes detroit. and got singled out, but the devastation of crack cocaine wasn't easily
to any one city. It was spreading all over the. U s and it wasn't just the violence of drug trade. There was destroying young lives the maryland medical examiner has now issued a report on the death of the college, basketball, starling, biased and confirms the worst suspicions he died of heart failure because he used cocaine, lynn bias had been touted is the next Michael Jordan. He was powerful graceful, an incredibly skilled, his death in june. Eighteen, eighty six shocked the nation at the time of his overdose by us had just been drafted, numb to overall by the boston celtics. That's the same line: where I say: atomic had been selected years earlier, Isaiah had seize that opportunity, making fives in being all star games and transforming the pistons into contenders about. I, they atomic
You re point dry label. Now, at twenty five years old I say I was hungry to accomplish something big off the court in the summer of eighteen. Eighty six. He was recovering from thumb surgery and he had a lot of time to think about what he'd witnessed. Child and what he was seeing on the news. Jerks be an empty talk as a community of folk. This was put here to destroy and recognising who I have become in Detroit. Understand in a platform that I had it was my responsibility and obligation to try to help uplift alchemy.
I say I needed a big idea away to convert that obligation into action. That July it came in a few years earlier in his home town of chicago, a black hair caretaker had launched what he called a black on black love campaign. Part of that was a plea to stop the violence for a twenty four hour period, a no crimes the concept pen really taken off in chicago, but I say I thought there was something their word salvaging that if it was done right a day without crime could become a reality. What I wanted to do in detroit was a low different, because I wanted to bring political force, able in eighteen eighty six. He was no longer a fearful rocky now
when he wanted an audience with mere common young, his mom and make the call to his credit. He said: let's do it as if not a lot of time on is almost full time for six weeks when you consider the salary that he makes a six weeks of ivy his time chunk of gene. on September. Fourth, nineteen. Eighty six mayor young called a new conference tissue. Arr Isaiah's plans with the world. So I'm going to let Isaiah talk to you about this whole, no crime, d development. As a thank all of you for coming, you may ask what is a no crime day? What do I hope to achieve? Basically, the goal is to have detroit free of all clients on that day and every other day,
as a community problem, and we all have to solve it to pull it off. Isaiah was going to need a lot of help, and so my job was to do that. Take their idea and come up with a plan that would that would work for the city of detroit and would meet their objectives. detroit director of public information georgette, I'm your had managed to staff of thirty three. She became the city's point person for no crime day. That meant working very closely with Isaiah Thomas. Actually, we begin friends and it was his personality. He was just so easy to get along with an It was one of the reasons the community felt that he had their back. They believed he was genuine, I say, as big event was set for september, twenty seventh no crime day start with a march in culminate in a big rally. Downtown
he would also ask to traders to turn on their ports lights that night as a symbol. City wide solidarity. Now they just need to get the word out to drum up publicity. I say I called on the most beloved parents of nineteen. Eighty six I say atomic has established september, twenty seventh as no crime. They know. What does it mean mean? She cares enough about detroit task for one day of peace, one day that the bad people, don't like bad and good people get involved and crime prevention. He didn't just get foolish or and bill and dull cosby to record no crime day. Pierre says he also enlisted his good friend magic johnson. As me told me, you wanted a no crime day. I say what then he me so I said what do you want me to do so here I am september. Twenty seven is no crime day, so it was a big thing.
It sets a kind of instilled in the kids know, shooting no killing, no robbing. There was supposed to be a day of home. In this city nine year old, alto, edwards heard about no crime day at an elementary school assembly, a group of Detroit police officers came and brought along musical instruments, so they had all of us little guys and their sittin cross legged watching them perform guy. Remember them play You dropped the bomb on me. So did you know who I say: thomas was yes, everybody living on this earth. member, knowing that he was short and for me anybody that was short was probably the best parts of the world so, like I remember in Jim Glasgow and I'm just gonna be eyes. It is obvious that the make this word september, twenty seventh drew closer I say I tried to reach as many young people as he could, so we would just be dry
through a neighborhood idea, might see some kids play basketball. He would hop out the car and start this conversation Isaiah told those kids that neither to straighten up on no crime day. He said that important people would be paying attention that if everyone behave themselves for Britain, erica might finally see the city's potential and that's what he wanted to break through and use a celebrity to do is an opportunity for everyone. You just don't have to choose a life of cry. I say I didn't just give that speech in friendly venues a couple of weeks before no crime day, a reporter, followed him to the intersection of mac and gray. When he got out of his car. A drug dealer told them the seabed corner man you shouldn't be here, but as air stayed there was no share,
Interacting with any of these in because fish, where I come from, I felt that I was we see by everyone as a family relatives. I don't remember any negativity from any individual. I think there were some kids who were just kind of cynical that I would work just feeling kind of been down. You know yeah, and I understand that the two harshness sometimes comes with it that no one or nobody cares about me. I see you here today, but in an american, listen to you, those doubts from kids around the trade did
the father Isaiah, but the ones from the press did so, and critics of the idea is unrealistic. Response was harshly criticized. The detroit news dismissed no crime day is nothing but glitz and hype with no realistic strategy for making the streets safer. Let let me say this kind of disappointed before We have even started you kind of shooting down as a knowledge that no crime, they wouldn't fix everything that ailed to try the long term. problems required long range solutions, but no crime day was not a ten year plan. It was a vision of a twenty four hour utopia and some people that vision felt extra We shallow, oh, no crime day how nice eve there, but there were a lot of things that chain
from somebody, starting with the naive idea, you ve lost already, if you simply give up, hope and threw up your hands and say until drugs are resolved, that we're not gonna do anything by the last week of september the debris and speculation were almost over Isaiah magic were ready for no crime day where the people have to train their promise me detroit. We always burn dont. Let my ran down. I must beg cod and next day is a magic word september. Twenty seven it's time for no we'll be back in a minute Calling all ancient history funds- this is the ancients, podcast dedicated to all things, ancient history,
from great masses of antiquity. They get killed off one by one and the roman slaughter, a great number and even kill the women and the animals that full there wagons who are watching from the sidelines new discoveries that are radically reshaping our knowledge of the ancient world, a bulldozer builders. And reveals the opening to a tomb, and some other names on the ash worries are very interesting. So there's a joseph there's, a Jesus there's a merry. So it's an interesting constellation of names by all of those names were extremely common. Among the jewish population of jerusalem check out Ancient on history hit wherever you get your pulse costs. This episode of one year is brought to you by season. Three of the relentless upon podcast from sleet studios century twenty one realistic, if you're an entrepreneur, just how challenging a computer run a business it can feel like there are in. mandible hurdles at every turn. So how can you.
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The The road to Pierre september, twenty seventh night and eighty cents, a huge mass of detroiters, took to the streets downtown. There was a lot of excitement because it was really the first time Thing like that had taken place when George m, your looked out of the crowd, she saw block and civic groups parents and grandparents shouted for more police protection. Kids held signs with the names of children who have lived to see no crime that a high school marching played. Things can only get there. There are a lot of young people. There were involved, but modern students. It wasn't exciting day when the marchers interred hard plaza by the river,
they heard motown heads from the same detroit police department, ban, replaited, edward Edwards is the Dnc. Of the no crime day rally was mister detroit basketball, John mason. People key because they care people. came because we wanted to hear that they were going to be protected and we were there to not only talk it it with a couple of hours, How does it feel that day, rule magic, literally
I know we had met jobs and there, but that that was met young people. Remember three It was the man who is exciting to see magic johnson back in his home state of michigan, but the young people in hard plaza come to hear a detroit here. The point guard for the pistons number eleven. We all, We will maybe we One right you just stay deal
If you want Don't make near the end of his speech, waved over magic johnson. Both men raised, her arms about their women. Can Isaiah held hands. All the people, in our plaza, followed their lead, that was a moment which he tried had come together. It was a kind of a harmonious unity historian. Boyd says. Isaiah speech was what the city needs. To hear in eighteen. Eighty cents here is actually stepping into views the city with a sense of optimism and hope that something can be done.
No, we, the fifteen thousand people who showed up at her plaza, filed out in great spirits. the official no crime day. Events had gone as well as anyone could have hoped yea, but that was great, only five, honest people now just for the people there wasn't deck of making grand anyway fred bell grew up in Detroit and he'd been a police officer for eleven years. He knew the real thing would come far away from the march and the rally out of earshot of all those inspirational speeches in their people that lives banish street dating
about as tat. I mean to be honest. They may have watched in place a basketball, but they you're gonna do what they had to do in order to get that fakes from his beat and trades tenth precinct fred should have been positioned to see if no crime day lived up to its name, but two months earlier, he and his partner, everett Williams, had tried to run after a couple of drug dealers at twisted. Anko my go ashore all up, but the size of a football fred got put on sick leave. It was strange to be off the job and not spend all day with his partner everett. I mean for eight hours you care to each other. You watch on his back and he's watching your back so it was a partnership. It was a friendship, although Fred was off duty. Every checked in the morning of no crime day to see how his friend was doing we're chit chat.
and yet I ha ha lapierre. He can have you wanted to be a comedian, it was patrolling their regular, be on Detroit's west side, as Fred had suspected police officers were still hearing reports about the usual stuff, cocaine, possession, car theft breaking and entering then in the early afternoon, Fred's phone rang. It was about every officer from the tenth precinct and Call me and asked me if I knew how to get in touch with his girlfriend. and ass. I was wrong She told me that tommy, dare my partner been killed.
I told you lie in no, she said. No, I wouldn't go with you about that. Every williams had gone to check out a burglary, seen in a second floor apartment when he headed back downstairs The man who lived on the ground level fired his hand god he claimed that ever it seem like an intruder even though he was an uniform that single bullet struck ever it in the chest. He was rushed to the hospital. And so, even though I was opposed to jumped at my car and
I drove down there by the time I got there, they had done whatever they could do. They took me in there, so you got the chance to see him one. Last time yeah, I did look like he was just laying there sleep last man. Every williams died just after one pm on september, twenty seventh, about an hour before the no crime day march, there were still eleven hours to go. The day itself was just a regular day, but the night was different. Nine year old, alto edwards felt relatively safe at home. On the north.
West side of Detroit alto was raised by her grandmother, but she saw her mother regularly. Her mom lived about fifteen minutes away where my mother stayed at was probably a little bit more sketchy than where we live that and it still is yeah. Well, I guess you have to pay attention to your surroundings. Altos older sister cleo lived at their mom's house with their other siblings. You could just be walking past people and they just decide they want to pick on. You know what I'm saying, so you have to choose your battle that day, cleo was thirteen and nineteen. Eighty six her protector and best Friend was her: fifteen year old brother, the oldest of edward kids. His name was required three in somebody shortly to risky he added jerry. Curl
Would you so my mother really the whole river stylish guy very, like a ball charismatic, smart for no reason assistant liking leaders were discovered me a effortlessly In nineteen eighty six cleo started to notice some changes and her older brother. He he did some things. He was skip school. I started smoking weed things like that, but we had just had a conversation about him, straightening things out because he had dropped out of school to the end of his and great year. Were you worried about him? I was not worried about him like that. We had a conversation. I knew things that my mother didn't know. You know what I'm saying about some of the things that he was doing. That was probably to the left, based on what she was saying: clio suspected that receipt had gotten involved in selling drugs.
just certain things that came into the house: the gold necklace. Oh my, what you're doing the conversation with our mother was that he worked at a corner store and I'm looking, I'm looking at school like the corner store and paying you to do. This is how we talk to each other what did you do? What you can do that you gotta go back to school, but in a bid to lay on the night of September twenty seven clear was at home. Her brother receive had gone out. I heard his france running to my house. I hurried down probably a block away in a day. Mac go my door to say that here was it a house laying face down Clio sister alto was asleep in her bed across town now remember My grandmother come in the wake me up and tell him you
We had to go because we see had been shot. They drove frantically to be with clio in the rest of the family. There tears on their screaming and there's just chaos and let me try to just really figure out how to process it. All their mother had rushed to the hospital to seriously. I don't know what time she came back, he he definitely came in. She just hold this all at once and just started screamer. That's how you found out that he was done. Yes, we see, edwards was shot in the head neck and chest it wasn't clear who did it. He died around eleven p m an hour before the end of no crime. Day ratio
words and every Williams were two of three people shot and killed on september. Twenty seventh another was stabbed to death for killings in twenty four hours was an unprecedented for detroit, but it was a brutal day even by the standards of the so called murderer capital of the united states, its almost dead Those people just said to hell with his day. You know we don't care no crime, they wouldn't do we want you. Could it have one day you know one day of peace, you didn't want that you wanted to raise hell on the one day that there shouldn't have been any. Let's take a quick break.
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one year to get fifteen percent off click. Ups, massive unlimited plan for a year, meaning you can start reclaiming your time for under five dollars a month sign up today at click up dot, com and use code. One year hurry, this offer ensued. Do you remember sharing about us williams getting killed. Yes, I do. That was tragic. All the way around this. Detroit lost their great officer a great the sudden and I lost a great friend the man who killed fred bells partner. Every williams maintain the shooting was an accident. He was charged with manslaughter and acquitted by a jury. Fred is still,
angry about that verdict and he still misses the man he worked alongside for eight hours, a day people all realize you don't spend that much time which a wife he had kids, nobody gets a gauge deep down there. The new york times published a story about the march and rally- and I say a thomas's visits to local schools, but that article focused on the death of every williams, the headline once the trade killing mars no crime day. It was never our effort to try to gloss over what was happening in Detroit George Elam. Your head had
hoping to trade, might get some good pr for a change, but she says every Williams, a story needed to be told if it had not been no crime day, knowing what I heard about his murder or anything else that happened in the city of Detroit that day, because it became so expected. So ordinary the shouldn't be ordinary guinea city, any american city, and it certainly shouldn't be ordinary in detroit for we live ever it's killing did get more coverage because it happened on no crime day, but police officers, or never seen as typical victims, the three other people who got killed on september, twenty seventh- they were treated like they were ordinary, at least by everyone who didn't know them the police. He wrote it up as another key idea, just a casualty of living in the city. I get an unsolved murders, clio edwards,
doesn't believe there was ever a real investigation into her brother receives killing. When I sent a records request to the city of Detroit, they said they'd get back to me by mid april, but that's now been pushed back until at least october. To the best of my knowledge, no one was ever arrested or charged in connection therese's death. This guy was everything to me, my best friend my brother them like doing that. First year, I wasn't able to agree that all thirteen I was, I didn't turn fourteen tendo them The thing that I keep hearing was beast arm for your mother. What was it like in your house after he died quiet? close. Younger sister alto lived in that quiet too. never really gone away to lose, not just your order,
brother, but one of the only man in the family before him and became a man in such a tragic way. You carry it. Alto Edwards is forty. Five now her brother receive would have turned fifty two Here I think he would have figured it out. We were able to give that chance to make mistakes to hang out with the wrong people, but we live to tell the tale, and I really think that if he had been given, I opportunity, I think I think give would have done something good. When I spoke with anxiety, thomas, I told him racy story. seems like the kind of person that you are trying to reach smart but he loved him had sort of let it go on the wrong path, little bed and then in one instant
somebody makes a decision, and he has no opportunity to live the rest of his life that still a daily story in all community that we do have the power to stop we as a community, we do have the collective power to come together and stop killing each other. We can make that decision. One way to think about no crime day is that it failed. Isaiah Thomas had gone all over to trade
and ask everyone he meant to lay off for one day as a show of good faith that didn't happen, and so no crime day felt like a broken promise is always going to be critics and by the way, the critic they're not always wrong. Now, when you say, fell or failure to some people. They will laugh at that because I know from going up in that environment one night of sleep You don't have to worry about someone hurting you or taken something from you are killing. You. if that only happen in one household, it was a huge success. Judging it on those terms, no crime day, probably was a success, and that's how I say a thomas and reject them your head say it should be judged that the name was aspirational, not a guarantee that what we ask
But at the end of the day, none of us thought that there would be. You know no cry to me. If some miracle happened and there was no crime, I would be both surprised and grateful, but the reality was That was not likely to happen, calling it no crime day and having Isaiah fronted. They got a huge amount of coverage, so it seems like, as somebody who and public information. It's got like all of the kind of ingredients they would want. On the other hand, Just in the name, it's big den that people are gonna think that it's a failure. If there's com. right and so you're setting yourself up to fail. I feel like so I stand. What you're saying the whole idea is a set up. Almost by
sort of no crime day. We'd like to have less crime day. The statement has to be simple enough. So people understand it, and so it was over the top. It really was the thought was gopher broke. There was another critique of no crime day. One must focused on the name than the approach. All the speeches and p s is focused more on personal responsibility than social policy. They were putting the burden on individuals to shape up, not demanding solutions to structural problems, but in nineteen. Eighty six, you know this solutions which has so far removed. One man decided that he would try to make a difference and he came up with a plan and there were thousands of people that thought his idea was good enough to support. Is that worth not doing because we get a bad headline in the new york times?
I don't think so, and I don't think the people in detroit felt that way either. So I am glad that we had no crime day from where I say: Atomic stood no crime day was a naive. He was realistic. He knew from experience how cruel the world could be any understood that the only people who cared enough to save to train were detroiters themselves. I guess delay part of me being said there will be a collective we that will come together to stop hurting Even before the first no crime day, Isaiah was already dreaming about the next phase, Maybe the nba can adopt a programme and you can take a guy like larry bird in boston and let him do you can take magic johnson
los angeles, and let him do it. You can take dominique wilkins in atlanta and let him do it no crime. They didn't make it's way to Boston or los angeles or atlanta, and in Detroit it barely survived internet and eighty seven. In its second year, there was no marcher rally downtown just a televised forum with his aunt before high school students by nineteen. Eighty eight the whole project was over lap and change. Nothing changed. It was the same people still doing the same thing. You know after nineteen, eighty six it was hard to.
and the audacious optimism that had made a crime free day seem possible. Congress imposed mandatory minimum sentences for crack possession detroit instituted a curfew for teenagers and began jailing parents. If their children broke the law in the nineteen eighty, seven, a sci fi thriller imagined a not too distant future in which the city devolved into a police state security concept were projecting the end of crime in all detroit within forty days, there's a new guy in town, snakes, robocop one bright spot for the city was the detroit pistons in eighteen, eighty I say: atomic led the team to the first of two straight nba titles. I always tell you strive to be the best convey this. What amazes me that I got the best out of my sight.
This guy in ITALY, and I thought I can ask a month before he won that second championship Isaiah hold a reporter. That fame had made him a more private person. That story said: he'd, stop playing basketball with kids, a playgrounds and then he'd been ridiculed for no crime day which inspired parity, tee shirts, with guns and dead bodies. It also claimed that some critics believed he only did community. To boost his image. Isaiah is not a perfect person and two thousand seven a jury ruled that he'd sexually harassed a colleague when he was coaching the new york knicks, though he's always maintained. He did nothing wrong in the case of no crime day. I have no doubts about his sincerity that an eighteen eighty six when he could have just focused on playing basketball and selling products. He took it upon himself to try to help as community those are the things tat I was taught in grey
in still speak from today. The impact that you have on an individual's twice just by showing up his more important and powerful than any basket you can ever score. no crime day may not have lasted into trade. Still in alluring fantasy. Just this year in august, a baptist church- and I say as hometown of chicago staged, its own version, complete with no crime day, posters and t shirts, and we want to have a safe environment for our kids and if we can start with one day that everybody is canada, calm down, this enjoys a day, and maybe we can build on this no crime. The real important, because these are important, I think a challenge to america- is no crime day. Let it. They know less added america. for one day of no cry what would it
Without crime actually look and feel like I don't know, but we in america should try it. We might like it. Next time on one year, nineteen, eighty six, a competition among the nations teachers to win the ultimate field trip a seed aboard the space shuttle challenger everything I had done, and my life so far had prepared me for this, and I was ready and it was a dream for all of us Well, I think when you want something badly enough, you're willing to take whatever riskier is
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one year, is written by me: josh living our senior producer, seven, china. This episode was produced by sam, can Sophie summer ground, madeleine duchamp, Evan Chung, and me it was edited by Evan, Chung and Derek john sleet senior supervising producer of narrative podcast. Our technical directive is marriage. Jacob holly Alan created the artwork for the season, some of the audio You heard in this episode comes from the detroit historical society. You can send us feedback and ideas and memories from eighteen. Eighty, six at one year at slate icon, can call us on the one you're hot one, two or three three for three
zero, seven, seven, seven we'd love to hear from you special thanks to beverly jackson, teresa edwards, brittany, carlson love, sean townsend, kelsey heartened williamsburg year, Rendon, roadie, hillary fry Joel anderson, Susan matthews sober then bill, carrey, kb, rayford ben richmond, caitlyn, schneider, cleo, Levin, seth brown, rachel, strum and alicia, montgomery slates vp of aria, thanks for listening, we'll be back next week with more from nineteen. Eighty six, the.
Transcript generated on 2022-08-19.