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detroit will breathe

Mercedes Mejia

Today on Stateside, COVID-19 and the threat to schools as many districts approach the remaining weeks of the school year. Then, a new PBS documentary about Ernest Hemingway highlights how summers in northern Michigan influenced his writing. And, while transcribing letters about Hemingway, students uncover the unfortunate story of Marjorie Bump.

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

A federal judge has dismissed the city of Detroit’s counterclaim against a group of protesters. Members of Detroit Will Breathe have been marching in the city since George Floyd’s death last May.

Some of them sued the city over alleged police brutality and mistreatment during protests last summer. The city counter-sued, saying protesters were part of a civil conspiracy to injure police officers and cause property destruction.

police officers brandish weapons at a protest in Detroit this summer
Lester Graham

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday narrowly approved a controversial contract increase for a law firm helping the city counter-sue anti-police brutality protesters.

Protesters stand in downtown Detroit the night of May 31, 2020.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit.

protests, black lives matter, police, police force, police training
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

 

This time last year, the world as we knew it looked quite different than it does today. And although issues like police violence against people of color aren’t new, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other Black Americans jolted our country in new ways last summer.

 

Stateside wanted to spend some time thinking about the activism that has shaped the past few decades, and the many parallels and differences between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today’s movement for Black lives. 

 

Picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
WMU Archives

Today on Stateside, it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We spoke with a historian about King’s work in Detroit and the legacy it's left behind. Plus, a conversation about the parallels between the civil rights movement of King's era and the continued fight for racial justice today. 

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.

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.

people marching with a banner in Hamtramck
Simon Albaugh / Yemeni American News

Southeast Michigan – specifically cities like Hamtramck and Dearborn – is known as a hub of Arab American culture. But that group is not a monolith. Individual ethnic groups have their own cultures, cuisines, and stories about how they settled down in Michigan. That includes the more than 30,000 Yemeni Americans living in the region.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists are taking the city of Detroit to court over the tactics used by the police department in breaking up Black Lives Matter protests in recent months.

The protests in Detroit started after the death of George Floyd. Floyd died while being restrained by several Minneapolis police officers during an arrest. 

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.

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.

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.