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Detroit

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Protesters who have taken to Detroit’s streets in the weeks since George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police say Detroit police have brutalized them. Some recounted their stories at a self-styled tribunal on Saturday night.

Person after person gave testimony alleging that Detroit police taunted, pepper sprayed, and assaulted them at marches earlier this month – mostly for violating Detroit’s then-8 p.m. curfew.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit ended its week-long celebration of Juneteenth with a rally at the city’s Spirit Plaza on Friday.

Juneteenth—June 19—commemorates the day in 1865 that enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Activists took to the streets of Eight Mile Road again Wednesday evening to draw attention to the Detroit area’s racial divisions. Eight Mile has long served as a dividing line between predominantly-Black Detroit, and its predominantly-white suburbs.

Organizers say that Black people often fear crossing Eight Mile because it can lead to negative encounters with police. And they say suburban residents often fear crossing Eight Mile because they associate Detroit with violence.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Tuesday's rally to inform protesters about what happened in a meeting with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan got off to a rocky start.

Joanna Underwood, an activist who helped organize the first Detroit protest against police brutality, screamed at, ranted, and angrily lectured the protesters, along with two other activists she accused of "hijacking," the movement she was leading.

Underwood said Tristan Taylor and Nakia Wallace, who'd met with Duggan, were not legitimate leaders of the movement, because they were relatively new to the protest scene, while she'd been working for justice in the city for 15 years.  

City of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the creation of a health corps to help Detroiters during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deputy mayor, Conrad Mallett, Jr., says various municipal departments will meet over the next thirty days and develop a plan for what the corps will look like.

Duggan says Detroit residents have expressed concerns about water shutoffs, evictions, job losses, and access to medical care during the pandemic.

“I really envision a corps of folks who work for the health department who can reach out to those of low income and say we will be there to help you on these issues,” says Duggan.

State of Michigan

More marches and rallies are scheduled for this weekend to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

And that concerns local public health officials who fear large gatherings may spread the virus that causes COVID-19.

Denise Fair is Detroit’s Chief Public Health Officer. She says she doesn’t want to discourage people from speaking out.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit city officials expect an 8 p.m. curfew will remain in place for a couple more days.

The curfew was put in place this week in response to confrontations between large groups of protesters and police.   

Dozens of protesters have been detained for violating the curfew. Although on Wednesday night, police did not enforce the curfew and protesters continued to march peacefully well after the curfew.

Detroit Free Press, used with permission

Day five of George Floyd protests in Detroit ended with a mass arrest of protesters.

In the week since Floyd died, as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest, protests have spread across Michigan and the United States.

Chanting “We don’t back down to bullies in shields,” hundreds of protesters linked arms and continued marching past Detroit’s curfew.

Ryan Patrick Hooper / WDET

Protesters marched for a fourth straight day in Detroit. But for the first time, there were no clashes with police.

Hundreds of demonstrators walked for miles on Monday, holding signs and chanting against police brutality.

Over weekend, similar protests ended with tear gas and arrests.

But Monday, protest organizers, including Stefan Perez, worked to reduce tensions within the group of protesters.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Following a weekend of protests in Detroit over the police killing of George Floyd, downtown businesses along Woodward Avenue took proactive measures to protect themselves against possible vandalism and looting. Storefronts, including H&M and Madewell, were seen being boarded up. Black-owned businesses on the stretch donned signs in their windows with writings including “Black owned. Please don’t loot.” and “As a black and women own [sic] business, we support the protestors.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Following two nights of protests in Detroit over the police killing of George Floyd, where police released tear gas on protesters in attempts to divide and separate the crowd, a mandated curfew seemed to help quell activity in the city on Sunday evening.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Two Michigan cities are imposing curfews after clashes between police and protesters this weekend.

Detroit and Grand Rapids have been rocked by vandalism and violence after rallies against police brutality against black people.

Detroit's curfew will begin at 8 p.m., and lift at 5 a.m.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

What started out as a large peaceful protest in Grand Rapids against police violence during the day on Saturday turned chaotic at night and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Police fired tear gas at the protesters, trying to break up the group. The group broke up into many smaller groups, but then went throughout downtown smashing windows, looting stores and setting many police cruisers on fire.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel talks about plans to restart on-campus instruction in the fall. Plus, an epidemiologist's advice for navigating reopened public spaces.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

City of Detroit

Starting Wednesday, any Detroit resident will be able to make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19.

Previously, free testing in Detroit was restricted to people with a doctor’s note, symptoms, essential workers and people over the age of 60.

wood gavel in front of book
sergign / Adobe Stock

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged a Detroit man for allegedly making death threats against Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Robert Sinclair Tesh was arrested in April after allegedly using a social media messaging app to make the threats. He was charged with "false report or a threat of terrorism," a felony with a maximum 20 year prison sentence.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is ramping up COVID-19 testing, with a focus on testing ‘at-risk’ seniors. Since May 1, 84% of Detroiters who've died from the disease have been over the age of 60.

Because of that, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city wants more senior citizens tested for the coronavirus.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Revenues are down sharply at Detroit’s casinos, due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit’s three casinos shut their doors March 16th as part of the state's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mike Duggan
detroitmi.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday he’s confident that it’s now safe enough to start bringing more city employees back to work, but that’s only because of health and safety measures the city has implemented.

Duggan said the evidence for that lies in recent test results for frontline workers, such as first responders and bus drivers.

A chain link fence open to show two people walking away
John McGuire

Today on Stateside, Michigan's counties are playing a critical role in the public health response to COVID-19, but the costs of the outbreak are straining already tight county budgets. Plus, we’ll hear from a man serving time at a state correctional facility in Coldwater about what it’s like to watch the outbreak unfold from inside the prison's walls.

City of Detroit

The city of Detroit says it’s now tested all residents at its 26 nursing homes for COVID-19, and the next step is to test all nursing home staff.

Staff testing will be available for free at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds drive-thru testing site. That will become mandatory on May 11.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, the city of Detroit will issue a public health order mandating grocery store workers be tested for coronavirus by May 11.

Courtesy photo / City of Detroit

On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a partnership with CVS Health to roll out rapid COVID-19 testing in Dearborn. The Abbott ID NOW™ COVID-19 test offers super-fast results, under 15 minutes.

Detroit was one of the first cities to deploy the rapid test, particularly to screen first responders and health care workers in quarantine, so healthy people could return to work. Mayor Mike Duggan suggested on Monday a deal for more machines was coming. But NPR reports some health care systems have stopped using it because of questions about its reliability.

Many in Michigan are mourning the death of five-year-old Skylar Herbert, the state’s youngest victim of COVID-19. She died on Sunday. 

Her parents are a Detroit city police officer and a city firefighter. 

Mayor Mike Duggan called her “a true daughter of the city of Detroit.”

woman testing driver for coronavirus
Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater / U.S. Air Force

Starting Monday, the city of Detroit is offering COVID-19 testing for essential workers who do not have symptoms of the disease.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the state fairgrounds drive-thru testing site has more capacity now that surrounding counties have expanded their own testing. 

City of Detroit

Plummeting casino, property and income tax revenues are forcing Detroit’s mayor to raid the city’s savings accounts and trim its workforce.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is facing a $348 million budget gap over the next 16 months because of the loss tax revenue tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Duggan says nearly every trend is heading in an “encouraging direction” in the city’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan’s largest city has been at the epicenter of the state’s fight with the coronavirus.

To date, Detroit has recorded 395 deaths and 6,781 people testing positive for the coronavirus.  

But Mayor Duggan says there are signs the city’s struggles are easing.

sign in detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said on Friday that the city’s rate of COVID-19 infections and deaths are rising more slowly—but that’s “nothing to celebrate.”

On Friday, Detroit reported 6,218 COVID-19 cases and 327 deaths. While it saw its biggest single-day spike in deaths on Friday, Duggan said the doubling rate of deaths has been stretched from 3-4 days to 7-8 days.

The city of Detroit is stepping up its COVID-19 testing of the homeless.

As of Thursday, 13 Detroit homeless men and women have tested positive for the disease, with more than a dozen others awaiting test results.

Workers set up hospital beds at the TCF Center field hospital in Detroit.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city may not need all of the 1,000 beds set up at the TCF Center

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has been transforming the former Cobo Center into a COVID-19 field hospital. The center is expected to start accepting patients this week.    

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