Michaelangelo Jackson, 6, and his younger sister, Makiah Jackson, 3, were struck and killed by a vehicle being chased through a residential neighborhood by Detroit police, USA Today reports.
Lorenzo Harris, 29, was allegedly on the run on Wednesday, June 24, due to a parole violation. As he was being chased through Detroit’s East Side, the Chevy Camaro he was driving was allegedly clipped by police, causing it to fly into the air.
A family friend who was on the scene described the horrific incident to the Voice of Detroit:
“I’m the last one they talked to. They looked at me, they were here, I saw their faces. L’il Mama (Makiah) thought I was going to take them to the park, so she came with me to the sidewalk. I told her I promise I’ll take you to the park tomorrow.”
“[The police] were right on their rear, the police car bumped their tail a little bit, and the car flew up in the air,” the friend said. “There was no need for the police to be that close. I yelled ‘WATCH OUT’ but it was too late. When the car hit them, both of them just looked at me. They screamed. It just keeps re-playing in my head. … I ran down there, I yelled out their names, but they were gone. Makiah’s eyes were wide open, they died on impact.”
Even after Harris allegedly dragged the children for a few feet, the police did not stop the chase. Instead, they chased the vehicle as it careened into other front lawns before ultimately crashing into the driveway of another home. That’s where Harris struck Darius Andrews, Jr., 3, Isaiah Williams, 5, and Zyaire Gardner, 7. All the children suffered serious injuries and Zyaire’s lungs collapsed. He was airlifted to the hospital.
Darius Andrews, Sr. says that the boy is a hero.
“[Zyaire] is the real hero,” Andrews told the Detroit News. “He saved my son’s life. He grabbed him and tried to hold him.”
The Detroit Police Department hasn’t been exactly forthcoming on the deaths of the two children, but by all accounts it appears as if they violated their own procedures.
The entire chase lasted just 75 seconds.
Read more from USA Today:
A police supervisor reported that he tried to call off the Wednesday night pursuit but was unsuccessful, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. He said the officers never got the message.
“Officers,” the policy says, “must place the protection of human life over all other considerations.”
The officers reported that, before the pursuit, they saw someone in the car with a gun.
But no gun has been found, Craig said.
Read the full story here.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the children. To donate, click here.