What do you do when even the police won’t respond fast enough to a rape case? For members of a Detroit community, the answer was simple: vigilante justice.
Residents of Hubbard Farms, Detroit, beat up a man accused of raping a 15-year-old girl with Down syndrome Thursday, WXYZ reports. The police have not made an arrest for 23 days since the victim said a man grabbed her on the way to work, took her to his apartment, and raped her.
Community members say the police took five days to interview the victim after she reported the rape, and 21 days to send a rape kit to the Michigan State Crime Lab.
The alleged rapist lives in the same neighborhood as the victim, and the community resorted to posting his face on flyers to warn others.
When frustrations finally boiled over, residents beat the man with a baseball bat so badly he had to be taken to the hospital.
Megan Herres, a family friend of the victim, told WXYZ she didn’t support vigilantism but that the situation was untenable.
“There was a lot of community response in asking the police for their assistance in apprehending the perpetrator and it wasn’t happening in a timely manner,” she said. “It’s not good to live in a community where people don’t feel safe.”
Police say they are “looking into” the delay in the case.
Detroit Police are infamous for their failure to deal with even serious crime efficiently. In Detroit, it takes almost an hour for police to respond to a 911 call. The national average is 11 minutes.