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Detroit Police Department

Sara Habbo

As protests against police brutality toward Black Americans continue across the country and in Detroit, reports that Detroit Police Department officers are using excessive force on nonviolent demonstrators are increasing. And this violence isn’t solely directed at protest participants. A volunteer Legal Observer said police officers beat, pepper sprayed, and arrested some of her fellow Legal Observers at a protest Saturday, too.

police in downtown detroit on May 31, 2020
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, protests in Detroit over police brutality have been peaceful for weeks. That changed this past Sunday when police arrested protesters. Legal observers, there in a citizen oversight capacity, say they were assaulted by police. We'll hear from a legal observer who was there. Plus, a look at Michigan’s preparedness for the upcoming school year amid a profound decline in state revenue.

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

Protesters say they will file a lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department over its response to a Saturday protest.

Organizer Tristan Taylor says the protest was against Detroit's acceptance of help from federal agents to crack down on gun crimes.  

More than 40 people were arrested when police moved in to clear them from an intersection where they had established their protest.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Police Chief James Craig defended the actions of an officer who shot and killed a man in an incident last week.

 

Craig said the man was one of three suspects in an investigation into the shooting of four teens that took place on July 19.

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.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Detroit Police Department died Monday due to the new coronavirus. The man was 38 years old and had no underlying health conditions, according to Police Chief James Craig. The man was admitted to a hospital in the metro Detroit area with respiratory issues and was subsequently tested for COVID-19, but his test results didn’t come back as positive until after his death.

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.

Detroit Police Department

Update: Detroit Police Chief James Craig has identified the deceased officer as Rasheen McClain, 46, a 16-year DPD veteran working out of the city's 12th precinct.

Craig called McClain's death a "heartbreaking day" for the Detroit Police Department.

McClain was "a  leader. Very tactical, very much about doing a great job," said Craig, adding that the slain officer made a “conscious decision that it was time to go in and deal with a very dangerous situation.”

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

 

 


Today on Stateside, another attempt by the RTA to bring coordinated mass transit to Southeast Michigan. Plus, the Detroit Police Department’s attempts to fund facial recognition surveillance sparks criticism. 

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

  

U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Justin Amash raised questions this week in a hearing about the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies, including Detroit Police Department.

The hearing was held Wednesday by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Detroit Fire truck
Oliver / Adobe Stock

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has turned down a request to charge the head of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association with a crime for Facebook posts that highlighted slow police response to a crime scene.

The Detroit Police Department submitted the warrant request for Fire Captain Mike Nevin.

exterior of Detroit Public Safety Headquarters building
Mr. Granger / Wikimedia Commons

Violent crime in Detroit was down last year. Homicides and aggravated assaults fell by 2 percent from 2017. Robberies were down by 13 percent.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two Detroit police officers are under investigation for allegedly making racially demeaning comments during a traffic stop.

Officer Gary Steele and an unidentified officer stopped Ariel Moore last week for driving with an expired license plate. Moore's vehicle was seized by the officers.

Yumi Kimura / Wikimedia Commons

The murder rate in the city of Detroit continued to fall in 2018.

The city recorded 261 murders last year. That was a rate of about 39 per 100,000 residents.

That tally was down about 2 percent from 267 homicides in 2017. In 2016, there were 305 murders in the city.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in an interview with The Detroit News that he is happy homicides have “continually trended down.”

A white car with a sign atop it reading "driver education student driver."
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, General Motors announced that it will end production at several facilities across the nation, including two here in Michigan. Plus, the editor of a new collection of Joni Mitchell interviews talks about the singer-songwriter’s rise to fame and her musical debut in Detroit’s folk scene. 

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

Director David Van Wie and the films narrator Thomas Howell
Courtesy of David Van Wie


In 1971, the Detroit Police Department launched the S.T.R.E.S.S unit, an acronym for “Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets.”

The unit was eliminated by Mayor Young in 1974, but the stories of those three years are dark and violent.  They included tragedies of unchecked use of excessive force against the city’s African-American community. 

detroit police car
Facebook / Detroit Police Most Wanted Fugitives

Several police commissioners in Detroit are concerned that officers won't be able to get into the city fast enough in the event of an emergency.

That's because about 70 percent of Detroit police officers currently don't live in – or near – the city.

Police commission chair Willie Bell says he's known about the problem since he became a commissioner in 2014. It’s partially due to a 1999 state law that prevents cities from requiring municipal employees to live where they work.

The Caliber Collection

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is working to decrease shootings in the city by route of decreasing guns in the city.

A gun buyback program is being offered in Detroit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit. For every unloaded gun brought, a $50 gift card will be exchanged. No questions will be asked about the gun, although there is a three weapon limit per person.

detroit police car
Facebook / Detroit Police Most Wanted Fugitives

Detroit police are trying to curb overtime costs that have increased in recent years. The Detroit News reports the city paid $40 million in overtime for Detroit officers during the 2017-18 fiscal year, up from $28.3 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year. The newspaper says that's also up from $16.9 million paid in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Detroit police Chief James Craig says: "There are valid reasons why officers need to work overtime, but we need to better manage it." Union officials say overtime costs will increase if Detroit doesn't do more to retain officers.

New DPD police officers receiving their badges.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Despite some recent, high-profile deaths in the line of duty, the Detroit Police Department is graduating plenty of new officers.

Twenty-three new recruits graduated from the police academy this past week. It’s the second class of graduating officers so far this year.

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit police officer has pleaded guilty in a scheme to take bribes in exchange for sending abandoned or stolen vehicles to a collision shop.

Charles Wills was accused of getting $4,000. He pleaded guilty to extortion Thursday in federal court, the fifth guilty plea in the investigation.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Update: 2:20 p.m.

Officer Glenn Doss died at Detroit Receiving Hospital shortly after 1:00 this afternoon, according to Detroit Police Chief James Craig. 

Original post: 1:50 p.m.

A man has been charged in the shooting of a 25-year-old Detroit police officer who had responded to a domestic violence complaint on the city's east side.

The Wayne County prosecutor's office says 43-year-old Decharlos Brooks was arraigned Saturday on eight counts of assault with intent to murder, resisting and obstructing and carrying a dangerous weapon.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Six Detroit police officers are being charged with extortion.

The FBI says they took bribes from collision shop owners, in exchange for sending stolen cars their way.

A federal grand jury just indicted two of the officers, who are still employed by the department.

The other four have since retired, and pleaded guilty to extortion.

And if you ever had your car stolen in Detroit, you may have unknowingly been part of this scam.

veterans on bikes
Courtesy of Project Peace Peddlers

They served and protected the United States while in the military. Now, as veterans, they’re volunteering to serve and protect Detroit — and they're doing it on bicycles.

Project Peace Peddlers brings together all ages of veterans, from those who served in Vietnam to those who've just returned from Afghanistan. 

Desmond Ricks and members of the Michigan Innocence Clinic pose outside the prison where Ricks had been held since 1992
Photo courtesy of Michigan Innocence Clinic

It was a day 25 years in coming.

A Wayne County judge threw out Desmond Ricks' murder conviction after it came to light that his 1992 conviction may have been based on faulty evidence produced by the Detroit police crime lab.

Desmond Ricks was finally exonerated.

prison bars
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The online publication Jalopnik has released an investigative report which looks at whether the Detroit Police Department, back in the 1990s, used false statements from jailhouse snitches to close murder cases.

user jennuine captures / Flickr

The Detroit Police Department is moving forward on plans to equip officers with stun guns following years of debate on the issue.

WDIV-TV reports the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday gave the OK to a proposal by police Chief James Craig to use stun guns. Craig says they're a tool for officers that can help save lives, since they offer an alternative to an officer using a gun.

Detroit police chief James Craig giving an update about the condition of an officer who was shot last night
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A Detroit police officer remains in critical condition after being shot in the forehead last night. 

The officer was responding to a domestic violence call on the city's west side when the suspect began opening fire. The suspect is believed to be unrelated to that call. 

The officer's name was not given, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig gave remarks today at the hospital where the officer is being treated.

"It’s just a sobering reminder of the danger our officers face each and every day," Craig said. 

Hands gripping jail cell bars
maxpixel

The Detroit Police Department will cooperate with the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, helping find evidence for the clinic  to investigate possible cases of wrongful conviction.

The agreement was the result of a meeting between Police Chief James Craig and Innocence Clinic staff. 

Craig asked for the meeting after reading about one of the clinic's cases in the newspaper.  That particular case may involve evidence that was falsified by police.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An activist group in Detroit has filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department.

The community-focused New Era Detroit group is suing the Detroit Police Department for allegedly abusing and harassing some of its members. A June 7 incident is the example stressed most in the 87-page complaint.

The group alleges that on that day, Mikera Manning, the secretary for New Era Detroit, and four other members were assaulted by officers before being arrested following a traffic stop. The car, which had a green light on it, was doing a community patrol when it was stopped.

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