*Some Detroit City Council members say they’re concerned that an upcoming ABC Network drama will propagate a negative image of the city as dangerous and crime-ridden, and has asked the show’s producers to attend an upcoming council meeting to discuss it.
“Detroit 1-8-7” – the title uses a former California police code for homicide – is set to begin airing in September. The show is shot from the perspective of a documentary film crew tasked with shadowing Detroit homicide detectives. The pilot episode was shot in Atlanta, but producers plan to shoot future episodes in and around Detroit.
“The title, itself is very negative – Detroit murder,” Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said Monday. “What they are using as a hook is Detroit as a murder capitol, where we manufacture murder as part of an assembly line.”
Cathy Rehl, a publicist for the show, did not immediately respond to phone messages Monday seeking comment.
Detroit earned the nickname “Murder City” after more than 700 homicides were committed there in 1974, and the city’s homicide and violent crime rates are routinely among the nation’s highest among large cities. During the 1970s and 1980s, the nation watched each year as arson fires lit up the night skies during the 3-day Halloween period known as “Devils’ Night.”
Under Mayor Dave Bing, the city has pushed hard to bring down its rate of violent crimes, and last year the rate dipped slightly.
But city leaders have a long way to go in reshaping Detroit’s image, and they weren’t helped by a May shooting in which a sleeping 7-year-old girl was killed by an officer’s bullet during a police raid on her home. That raid was captured by a camera crew filming for the A&E crime reality show, “The First 48.”
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