The area is counted as a ‘No-go Zone’, and has a crime rate five times higher than other American states.
The documentary, ‘No-go Zones, America’s Toughest Areas’, is based on the area around Seven Mile Road. The area is a violent place, where gangs run mainly unchecked as Police don’t want to enter for fear of their lives. Previously host to one of the most thriving auto-mobile industries in America, Seven Mile Road has more recently fallen victim to major issues of poverty and crime.
Gangs are a major product of these issues, and the documentary meets the leader of the most notorious gang, the Seven Mile Bloods. Clad in an intimidating mask, the gang’s leader ‘money’ happily chats to the camera about his life in the area and the gang rivalry that pervades the place. IN an explanation of why he became a gangster, he simply replies “It was more of a family thing, I come from a long line of Bloods.”
The main export of the gang is one of the main contributors to the area’s issues, crack. By selling 1kg each month, the kingpin makes a whopping $40,000 a month, the equivalent of £28,938.32 in the United Kingdom.
Money acknowledges the danger he puts himself in, implying that he trusts no one: “The drug game here is extremely dangerous, your best friend will kill you in this game.” According to the documentary, the ‘lack of prospects’ leads one in six people from the area to drug addiction. That’s not just crack cocaine, but also other drugs like heroin and other opioids.
Many lives are also lost to the territory war that wages surrounding the gangs in Detroit. Money said if somebody from the rival side comes, there are automatic problems, either a fight could break out, a shooting could break out, stabbing – anything. But it’s most definite, definite problems coming across the territorial line.” Police don’t patrol the area at night because it’s so dangerous, instead of hiring bounty hunters to deal with the gangsters. The influence the gang has on the area is reminiscent of El Chapo’s gang, who recently strong-armed their city into obeying coronavirus curfew.
The bounty hunters don’t go in alone. The documentary meets a special team made up of mercenaries, bounty hunters, ex-police officers, and elite special forces who risk their lives to help tackle crime in the area. The leader of the team is Tommy Depung, who has arrested more than 2500 criminals in Detroit alone. He commented on helping the police out “there’s been a lot of drug-related, gang-related shootings, and so Detroit PD has been doing their best to be proactive with their gang units, but you can’t get ahead of it fast enough.”
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