Treating people with this level of disdain will lead to no good end
[Photo by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]
Last week on Wednesday, September 11th, during a 90+ degree heat wave and just two days after an escaped prisoner terrorized the city, Detroit Chief Compliance Officer Gary Brown intentionally and without notice cut power to major buildings in downtown Detroit to avoid cascading blackouts. According to Brown, seen in the video below gleefully and derisively recounting his decision, he had asked the buildings to reduce their energy consumption but, when they didn’t do so quickly enough, he cut power to “send a strong message”.
That message was heard loud and clear by the people trapped in elevators without air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year so far. It was also heard by the woman on an upper floor of one of the affected buildings and in her 8th month of pregnancy who couldn’t use the stairs and had to be rescued by EMTs.
Watch Brown. His laughing and derision is offensive:
Fox 2 reporter Alexis Wiley: Did any of the customers get any notice that the power would be cut?
Gary Brown: We did start calling our customers prior to taking them down and asking them to turn off air conditioners, but they weren’t responding as fast as we would like them to so we had to send them a strong message by turning the power off.
The ‘message’ has Judge Craig Strong fuming. Strong works at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, which was shut down on Monday after a prisoner knifed a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy to escape. The event started a man hunt that left many people in the downtown area stressed. Strong says,”We’re in a building that’s already on high alert after what happened on Monday, we don’t need any more mistakes. If they we’re going to do this they should have given us notice so we could plan around it.”
Wiley to Brown: What do you say to the people who were stuck in elevators in 90-degrees?
Brown: I say we’re working very hard to get them out of the elevators. I’ve turned the power on the building we’re standing in front of (City County Building) to get people out of the elevator. I made sure people got out of the City County Building, turning the power back on.
Of course, they wouldn’t have had to work so hard to get the people out of the elevators if they had given them notice the power was being cut ahead of time so they could have avoided using them in the first place.
Gary Brown is a former Detroit City Council meeting who resigned when Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr offered him a job as Chief Compliance Officer and an increase in salary from $73,000 as a Council member to $225,000 as a member of Orr’s staff. His patronizing attitude fits in perfectly with the attitude that has been displayed toward Detroit by the Snyder administration from Day One. Patriarchal officials treat Detroiters as if they are naughty children who deserve everything they have coming to them. That includes, it appears, the completely innocent citizens who were trapped when the power went off without any warning whatsoever.
I see no good coming from this approach. If Snyder, Orr, and Brown are trying to push Detroiters to and then over the edge, this is exactly the right approach. I’m just not so sure they should be hoping for that. It may come back to bite them.