FLINT, Michigan—Flint Police Chief Terence Green and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley are urging residents to protect themselves by avoiding house parties. House parties have been linked to deadly violence in the city, and they are inherently dangerous (and illegal) because of the high risk of spreading COVID-19.
The issue is of particular concern as New Year’s Eve approaches.
“After the horrible violence our city experienced last weekend, we felt compelled to warn residents as we head into another holiday weekend. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and each other from coronavirus and senseless violence,” Mayor Neeley said.
Violence has been increasingly associated with house parties, a continuation of the problems associated with pop-up parties in parking lots and parks in the City when the weather was warmer, Chief Terence Green said..
“This year has been incredibly challenging because of COVID-19 itself as well as the increase in violence it has sparked,” Chief Green said. “We need residents to know that house parties have in multiple cases turned violent, even deadly.”
And, they are illegal. Under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order of Dec. 18, 2020, gatherings in homes must be limited to 10 people or fewer from no more than two households. And, everyone attending must wear masks and people from different households must stay at least 6 feet away from each other.
Violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $200 fine.