State Rep. Graham Filler, right, talks with Henry Williams, whose 3-year-old son Messiah was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting last year. Williams joined Filler and other state legislators for a press conference at Flint City Hall advocating for stricter penalties for drive-by shootings, including those targeting homes or vehicles with children inside.
New plan toughens penalties for shooting into homes, vehicles
State Rep. Graham Filler is leading a bipartisan effort to take a tougher stance against drive-by shootings that put Michigan families in danger.
Filler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, joined other legislators in Flint Tuesday to discuss the legislation and meet with the family of Messiah Williams, a 3-year-old Flint boy who was killed in a drive-by shooting in October 2020.
“Anyone who shoots into a home or car while a family is inside should face serious consequences,” Filler said. “Our goal is to deter criminals who might be considering taking part in one of these violent acts that destroy families and tear apart communities.”
Over the past few years, numerous children have been shot and several killed in drive-by shootings in Flint.
In response, Filler and Reps. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), Mike Mueller (R-Linden) and Stephanie Young (D-Detroit) have introduced House Bills 5027-30. The legislation would increase penalties for anyone shooting into a building or a vehicle.
Following the press conference, Filler met with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and toured the city with other local officials while discussing efforts to rebuild and revitalize neighborhoods.
“It was encouraging to see many signs of hope for the community, like cleaned up blocks, successful neighborhood initiatives, and investment by developers and businesses small and large,” Filler said. “Ultimately, if Flint is a safe, strong community, people are going to want to move there – and that’s good for the surrounding communities and our entire state.”
Rep. Filler speaks on the House floor Thursday, prior to passage of a nearly $370 million appropriations bill to support public safety. Rep. Filler says government needs to renew its effort to recruit and retain law enforcement officers.
State Rep. Graham Filler of DeWitt recently presented Chaplain Carl Hyzer with a flag flown over the state Capitol to thank Hyzer for running the Reach the Forgotten jail ministry program in Clinton County. The program focuses on helping incarcerated people develop healthy family church, and community relationships.