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City of Warren Police Department / via Facebook

Effective Tuesday, a Warren police officer was fired for making racist comments on social media.

The Warren Police Department confirmed that Anwar Khan's Facebook comments reflected racist stereotypes about Black people. Khan also wrote, "Glad I wasn't born b&@ck, I would kill myself."

Khan was put on administrative leave last week after another Facebook commenter filed a complaint with the police department.

police offices stand at a protest in Detroit
Lester Graham

Some state House Democrats are proposing a bill package they say would bring transformational change to policing in Michigan.

Members of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and the House’s Detroit Caucus introduced the sixteen-bill package on Tuesday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A twelve bill police reform package goes before a state legislative committee this week.

The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety committee is expected to take up the package Thursday morning.

The bills address a wide-range of issues, from use of excessive force to search warrants.

Tuesday, May 25 marks the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. 

There are protests and memorial events planned in several Michigan cities to mark the occasion and continue calls to fight racism and police brutality. 

Courtesy of Detroit Under Fire

Digital tools, which allow people to show one another what’s going on in their lives in real time, have shifted how Americans talk about police brutality and other police misconduct. Members of the public can now record and share law enforcement abuses more often than they could back before the advent of smartphones.

But the pattern of police violence toward Black Americans existed long before the digital age, and now, a new exhibition called Detroit Under Fire: Police Violence, Crime Politics, and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Civil Rights Era documents a portion of that history in an online setting, cataloging Detroit Police Department abuses from 1957 to 1973.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the Ford F-150 Lightning marks the company's first foray into the electric truck market. What should consumers expect? Plus, a new exhibition tracks the killing of Black Detroiters by police during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. And, how a Michigan GOP plan to change higher education funding would impact state colleges and universities. 

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard fears a wave of civil lawsuits if qualified immunity was taken away.Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

A group of top law enforcement officials in Southeast Michigan are coming out against a push in Congress to do away with “qualified immunity.”

“Qualified immunity” is a legal doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable for damages so long as the officials did not violate clearly established law.

The prospect of changes to the law is raising concerns among law enforcement officials, who fear a wave of civil lawsuits if “qualified immunity” protections are stripped away.  They predict the litigation could bankrupt local governments. 

Photo taken from a BLM protest in Detroit this summer
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, how activists who took to the streets after the death of Geroge Floyd are feeling after the police officer who killed Floyd was found guilty of murder. Also, how much that verdict changes about the future of policing and criminal justice in America. And, the cross-cultural exchange between Detroit and Berlin that helped shape the sound of techno music. 

Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police says it is working to improve transparency, racial equity, and its relationship with the public, with three new actions.  

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.

The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions canceled their practice Tuesday to protest police brutality, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday.

Blake was shot in the back multiple times by officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is now paralyzed.

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

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.”

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
U.S. House of Representatives

Today on Stateside, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell discusses the string of arrests of protestors by heavily armed agents in Portland, Oregon, and what it could mean for Michigan. Also, a conversation about how systemic racism reaches easily into the housing sector. Plus, the history behind the integration of Boblo Island ferries and the Rosa Parks-like woman behind it.

Adobe Stock

Traverse City will buy body cameras for its police officers.

The final price tag, make and model is still being researched, but the City Commission approved a plan to spend up to $100,000 dollars on the cameras at a virtual meeting Monday night.

kid on swing
Myles Tan / Unsplash

School's out for summer, though that change may seem less significant when your kids have already been home from school for months. With many camps and vacation plans on the scrap heap this year, keeping your kids' mental health – and your own – in check may take some extra work this summer.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan has experienced a drop in COVID-19 cases these past few weeks, but over the weekend, case numbers slightly increased again. We check in with an epidemiologist on how to pace yourself for a pandemic. Also, two law professors explain how legal precedents make it tough to prosecute police misconduct. Plus, the founders of a new bilingual media outlet discuss the need for more local news in Spanish.

person holding a "no qualified immunity" sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Over the past few weeks, the Black Lives Matter protests have kept the issue of police brutality at the top of mind for many Americans. While police conduct may be informed by hundreds of years of systemic racism, it's also guided by a specific federal court cases. So how does change happen within the context of that legal framework? 

Some people facedown on the cement while a crowd including heavily armed people stand around and above them.
Tyler Scott

A political rally supporting gun rights was interrupted Thursday evening by counter protesters speaking out against police brutality and racism. A few tense, confrontational moments at the state Capitol building ended peacefully, but without any resolution of the differences in opinion between the two groups.

Jason Howland, one of the organizers of the “American Patriot Rally,” says he’s not a member of any group calling itself a militia, but that the rally was meant to urge people to learn more about militias across Michigan.

dumpster on fire with protesters gathered around it
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted large protests in Grand Rapids. But Grand Rapids has its own history of troubling interactions between police and residents. Now the city is having tough conversations about the future of policing there.

Sydney James stands in front of a mural of Malice Green
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

  

When Detroit artist Sydney James set out to create a mural of Malice Green, a Detroit man killed by police in 1992, she wanted to represent him not as a man, but "as a monument."

In James' mural, titled "Way Too Many," a black-and-white Green is pictured holding a long makeshift scroll. On it are the names of other Black Americans who have died at the hands of police. The list, too long for one piece of paper, spans multiple sheets that wind around Green and the entire 3,500 square foot wall. Written in bold at the bottom of the final page is the phrase “& Countless Unnamed." 

the album cover of Nadir Omowale's single "Run"
Original Artwork by Jabarr Harper

Like many artists and activists right now, artist and producer Nadir Omowale has been reflecting on and reacting to the protests against police brutality happening in Michigan and across the country. It inspired Omowale to finally release a song he's been working on for years. It’s dropping on Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the end of slavery in America. He’s been working on the song since 1998. It’s called “Run.”

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, a conversation with a community activist in Grand Rapids looking to defund the police and what that would entail. Plus, four nurses have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of DMC and Sinai-Grace over what they say was negligence and mismanagement that led to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

woman holding a sign that says "black lives matter"
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The political will for police reform has made a big leap forward this year. But once we get to the point of acting on proposed changes, it will be important to have data that tells us what's happening. 

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

The protests against the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police continue across the country. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is having a hugely disparate impact on black communities, including in Detroit. For black journalists, the demands of covering these stories are both professional and personal. Stateside spoke with Kat Stafford, national race & ethnicity writer for the Associated Press, and Ken Coleman, reporter for the Michigan Advance about what it's like to be a black journalist at this moment in American history. 

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

“Black lives matter to public defenders!”

That was the rallying cry in front of Detroit’s Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on Monday, as a group of well over 100 public defenders and allies came out to protest against the justice system they see every day—and say is fundamentally unjust.

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

A small group of mostly Arab-American organizers led a march of more than 200 people through the streets of Dearborn Sunday afternoon, in support of the Black Lives Matter rallies held across the country in the past week and a half. Calling for the formation of a citizen’s police oversight committee and other reforms, activist Nasreen Ezzeddine told the crowd, “The reality is, we do not need to look beyond Dearborn’s borders to find cases of police brutality and anti-blackness, left unaccountable.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Say his name...Milton Hall!”

This week, George Floyd’s name has been heard in cities across Michigan. But in Saginaw, marchers chanted a different name.  

Milton Hall was killed by six Saginaw police officers in a parking lot eight years ago. Combined, the officers fired 47 shots. 11 struck Hall. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of the Grosse Pointe communities on Friday to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

The peaceful march up and down Kercheval Avenue was racially mixed. It was organized by youth activists, but included people of all ages.

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:

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