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Urban War

Detroit often seems numb to violence. But the last few days have been particularly chilling: Shortly after midnight Sunday, Detroit police officers raided a home here in search of a man believed to have killed a 17-year-old high school student two days earlier. During the raid, however, the police fatally shot a 7-year-old girl.

Aiyana Stanley Jones' death comes days after a 69-year-old grandmother cooking dinner was killed by a stray bullet apparently intended for a carjacker. Earlier this month, five Detroit police officers were shot, one fatally, while investigating a reported break-in at one of the city's many abandoned buildings.

The top prosecutor of Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit, has asked the state police to investigate the killing of Aiyana Stanley Jones. But the ultimate question is, what will it take to stem the war unraveling on the streets of Detroit, and other U.S. cities? Crime is one of the main barriers to Detroit's turnaround aspirations: People will continue to flee if they don't feel it's safe to cook in their own kitchens.

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