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Detroit Police

Demostrators in downtown Detroit protest police-involved shootings that have killed African-Americans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protests against police brutality have been a mainstay in the city throughout the summer. In the early morning hours of August 23, the flow of peaceful protest after peaceful protest came to a halt when police met protesters with tear gas and physical force.

Tristan Taylor is one of the organizers of Detroit Will Breathe, which has been leading the protests. He described the mood before the violence on August 23 as festive; a DJ played music as the protesters marched down Woodward Avenue, and the police response, he said, stood in stark contrast.

A young Black child with curly hair writes in a notebook while sitting in the grass
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, new data finds that colleges and universities are now Michigan's biggest COVID-19 hot spots. We talk to an epidemiologist about the challenges of containing campus outbreaks. Meanwhile, to make in-person learning safer, one Detroit school is moving all of its classrooms outside. Plus, one of the Detroit activists leading protests against police brutality talks about how the game changed this summer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge late Friday temporarily barred Detroit police from using tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, shields, chokeholds or sound cannons against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters after a group accused the city for excessive force.

Detroit Will Breathe / via Facebook

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is defending officers’ use of force to break up a protest on Saturday night.

Officers used batons, gas, and other aggressive means to remove protesters gathered in a downtown Detroit intersection. 44 people were arrested.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel should lead an independent investigation into the death of Hakim Littleton, a coalition of activists and members of Littleton’s family said Thursday.

Detroit police shot Littleton to death earlier this month. Police bodycam and dashcam footage appears to show Littleton firing at officers at close range before they shot him.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit police officer has been arraigned on charges for shooting rubber bullets at photojournalists during an anti-police brutality protest in Detroit.

Corporal Daniel Debono is charged with three counts of felonious assault. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said he fired rubber bullets at three photojournalists during a May 31 protest for “no explicable reasons.”

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update: Friday, July 10, 11:20 p.m.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says body and dash cam footage show that Hakim Littleton fired at officers before they killed him on Friday. But that came after protests erupted in the wake of Littleton’s death.

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.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners is considering changes to the department’s use of force policy.

This comes after the eruption of nationwide protests sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Detroit has now seen seven straight days of protests.

Police Commissioner Evette Griffie made the motion for the board to implement the following changes to the Detroit Police Department’s policy manual:

Protestors in Detroit got what they wanted Wednesday night when they were allowed to keep demonstrating past the city’s temporary 8 p.m. curfew, with the support of Police Chief James Craig.

It was a distinctly different attitude from police towards protestors than on Tuesday night, when 127 were arrested for being out too late. Protests against police brutality -- sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police -- have continued each day in Detroit for nearly a week. 

Ryan Patrick Hooper / WDET

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan praised protesters and the city’s police force for keeping the city relatively calm Monday night.

But Duggan cautioned on Tuesday that the city must remain on high alert—and will keep an 8 p.m. curfew throughout the week.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will continue an 8 p.m. curfew for the next week, after police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and other aggressive measures to break up groups of people violating the curfew in downtown Detroit on Sunday night.

The clashes came as Duggan, Police Chief James Craig, and some of the city’s African American pastors and neighborhood activists asked people to stay off the streets at night, and for people from outside the city to refrain from coming in for after-hours protests sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.

Ryan Patrick Hooper / WDET

Update: May 30, 2020 4:20 p.m.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says 60 people were arrested during Friday night’s melee. Thirty-seven of them were from outside the city of Detroit.

City of Detroit

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is back on the job full-time after recovering from COVID-19.

Craig appeared at a Thursday press conference alongside Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. He urged others with the disease to “fight to survive.”

City of Detroit

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has tested positive for COVID-19. Craig joins more than 3 dozen members of the department testing positive for the disease.  

Mayor Mike Duggan says the chief’s case is mild.  

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The hard-hit Detroit Police Department is taking new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the new protocols should start this week.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Five Detroit police officers have tested positive for COVID-19, and a total of 152 are quarantined, Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced Friday.

The 152 officers represent around 7% of the roughly 2200 Detroit police officers.

U.S. Marshals Service

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he’s ending a joint task force with the Drug Enforcement Administration over its refusal to admit it used an alleged spree killer as an informant.

Kenyel Brown was a repeat felon who was released from federal supervision in October, despite violating his probation multiple times. That apparently happened at the behest of a federal law enforcement agency.

Hands gripping jail cell bars
maxpixel

Ramon Ward walked out of a Detroit courtroom a free man on Thursday, after serving 25 years in prison for two murders he didn’t commit.

Ward was just 18 in 1994, when he was accused of killing two women in Detroit. His 1995 conviction was based on a supposed confession. Ward never signed that confession, and insisted it was false.

close up of two doors on a car  that say Detroit Police
Sean Davis / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit Police Chief James Craig tried to reassure the public Tuesday that the department is equipped and committed to rooting out corruption within its own ranks.

The move comes after a coalition of grassroots organizations publicly questioned the DPD’s willingness and ability to do that in the midst of an ongoing investigation into the department’s narcotics unit, also known as the Major Violators Section.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Violent crime is still trending down in Detroit, according to preliminary numbers issued by the Detroit Police Department on Friday.

Police Chief James Craig says that in 2019, violent crime was down 4% from the previous year, and 16% from 2015.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is investigating a sergeant who allegedly didn't respond to an incident last week where a fellow officer was fatally shot.

Craig says video shows the sergeant sat in a squad car when a call came in that two officers were shot during a home invasion investigation.

“I'm struggling with that decision,” Craig told reporters. “Now again he was in the area, but he was not managing the scene.”

Craig spoke to reporters after a vigil last night for officer Rasheen McClain that was held at Detroit's 12th precinct.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After months of debate and public protest, Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners approved a policy for police use of facial recognition software by an 8-3 vote on Thursday.

The vote came after Detroit Police submitted a revised proposal that addressed some of the concerns that commissioners and activists had with facial recognition.

Detroit Police Department

Detroit Police and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy say they have enough evidence to prosecute an alleged serial killer.

Worthy charged Deangelo Martin with the murders of four women in Detroit. They are Annetta Nelson, 57, Nancy Harrison, 52, Trevesene Ellis, 55, and Tamara Jones, 55.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

As Detroit Police commissioners are scheduled to vote on a policy governing police use of facial recognition technology this week, the ACLU of Michigan and other civil rights groups are urging them to reject it.

The groups also sent a Freedom of Information Act request for records on how Detroit Police have used facial recognition software. The department has used the software to help identify criminal suspects for nearly two years, without a formal oversight policy.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Ten years ago this month, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor found more than 11,000 untested rape kits in an abandoned evidence warehouse.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Kym Worthy celebrated the decade-long effort that followed to test those kits, investigate cases, and prosecute offenders.

All the kits have now been tested, thanks to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and a multitude of partners that helped fund and facilitate that process.

Worthy’s office has now investigated and closed more than 3,000 cases, winning 197 convictions so far. Another 588 cases are still either being investigated, or have yet to be tackled.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

One of two men convicted of a 1999 murder is suing two ex-Detroit Police investigators for allegedly fabricating the case against him.

Justly Johnson alleges the now-retired homicide detectives, Catherine Adams and Barbara Simon, coerced teenagers into falsely testifying that Johnson and Kendrick Scott shot and killed Lisa Steinberg Kindred in a robbery gone wrong.

African American man with facial recognition scan
Pro-stock Studio / Adobe Stock

New technology brings with it new powers and questions. Since Detroit police began using facial recognition technology, there have been questions about how if it should be used, if it should be used at all.

Update: Tuesday, July 30, 7:40 a.m. The debate about police use of facial recognition software continues in Detroit.

Experts and activists shared their concerns about the technology at a forum Monday. Some experts say their fears about the technology extend beyond its current use in Detroit.

John Seung-Hwan Shin / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan publicly clarified his stance on police use of facial recognition technology Thursday, as his police chief tried to quell some skepticism from members Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners about the controversial technology.

“The Detroit Police Department has not and will not use facial recognition technology for surveillance,” Duggan said in a statement put out on social media. “No one is watching you on any camera in this city with facial recognition software. I will not support the software ever being used in that way.”

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

As Detroit expands its network of surveillance cameras, Detroit police are looking to expand their capability to monitor and process the footage.

The police department is asking the Detroit City Council to approve a $4 million contract to expand its existing real-time crime center at police headquarters. It would also add two mini-centers at the eighth and ninth precincts.

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