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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.  

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.

The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions

The sports world almost stopped on a dime as NBA teams, and even some baseball teams, followed the lead of the Milwaukee Bucks and declined to play in recognition of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot and paralyzed August, 23 by Kenosha, Wisconsin police.

The players have agreed to resume play tonight. But, it is an extraordinary moment in sports that brought attention to racial injustices and police brutality in America.

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.

The City of Harper Woods has fired two police officers because they allegedly changed a police report connected with the death of a Black woman held in custody.

Priscilla Slater was detained in the early morning hours of June 9th in connection with reports of a shooting. She died in a holding cell that afternoon.

officer in riot gear
Adobe Stock

President Trump says he’s preparing to send federal agents to Detroit. 

Earlier this month, the president sent federal agents to Portland, Oregon, to deal with what he called the city’s inability to stop nightly Black Lives Matter protests.

books, and apple, and ABC blocks on a desk
Element 5 Digital / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we discuss the many legal questions surrounding the president’s authority to send federal agents into a city like Portland, or Detroit. Plus, we talk to the superintendent of schools in Whitefish Township about the unique challenges rural districts face in reopening.

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

DPD Chief James Craig and screengrab from Twitter video
Detroit Police Department Facebook Live; Ethan Ketner / @DJEazyTwist

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is defending the officers who accelerated through a group of protesters Sunday night. In a press conference Monday, he said the officers may have believed they were under fire, and says the SUV’s back window was smashed out.

 

 

Protesters want big police reforms. Michigan lawmakers offer small changes.

Jun 22, 2020
protesters in lansing
Abigail Censky / WKAR

Protests in Michigan cities are still ongoing against racial injustice and police brutality in what is becoming one of the most sustained social movements in memory. After years of police killing African Americans at a disproportionate rate, protesters are calling for revolutionary change.

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.

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.”

Nathália Rosa / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’ll check in with former Michigan Radio reporter Bryce Huffman, who started working for BridgeDetroit—a newsroom made up entirely of people of color—just days before George Floyd was killed by police and Black Lives Matter protests took hold across the globe. Also, a conversation with a Detroit radio journalist about the music that made the city an indelible part of punk history.

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

a rainbow chalk covered sidewalk
Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

Like most things during this pandemic, Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Many of the normal gatherings and celebrations have been cancelled. Meanwhile, protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue to spread across the nation. Amid the unrest and uncertainty, some activists see this Pride Month as particularly poignant. Stateside spoke with Erin Knott, executive director at Equality Michigan, and Selma Tucker with Public Sector Consultants in Lansing about the connections between the fight for LGBTQ rights and the fight for racial justice. 

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. 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, more Michigan businesses reopen, including some bars and restaurants. A bartender weighs in on some service industry workers’ concerns. Also, two Black American journalists discuss covering protests against police brutality, during a pandemic, in a field dominated by white reporters and editors. Plus, an artist collective based up north relaunches.

Brian Jennings stands at the front of a crowd of protesters who marched through Grand Rapids Wednesday.
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids officials told residents the city is commited to implementing changes to make policing more accountable, and safer for residents, in an online update forum on Friday.

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:

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

Thursday the Michigan State Senate unanimously passed reforms for police training. While the bill in question, proposed by Ann Arbor-area Senator Jeff Irwin, pre-dated the death of George Floyd, the debate was undoubtedly informed by protests against police use of force in several Michigan cities. 

Discussion during a Black Lives Matter Lansing webinar Wednesday night was dominated by criticism over the city’s police budget and a call for Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s resignation.


Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters have marched in all 50 states to demand action against police brutality and mourn the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Stateside talked to two peaceful protest organizers in Grand Rapids and Detroit about what it was like demonstrating in their cities.

Zac A. Clark / Clark Camera

After days of protest, there are signs of progress in many parts of Michigan today.

Kent County law enforcement leaders, including Grand Rapids police chief Eric Payne, joined protesters in Grand Rapids Wednesday afternoon, kneeling and chanting “I can’t breathe.”

Doctor or nurse sitting down with hands clasped
Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, healthcare workers emerging from months of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic find themselves in need of mental health support. Two reporters discuss what they’ve heard from the medical frontlines. Also, a check-in on the status of Michigan’s summer camps. Plus, a conversation with a lawyer helping arrested protestors, and an essay about protesting by the poet laureate of Grand Rapids.

mary barra
The City of Detroit

The heads of nine of Detroit's largest corporations came together at a press conference on Wednesday to jointly condemn racism and injustice that they said have been inflicted for far too long on the black community - and to speak in support of the peaceful protests that have been sweeping the nation.

In a statement, the corporate leaders condemned the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, all of whom were black.

Marcel Fable Price sitting on a set of stairs in a hoodie and khakis
Courtesy of Marcel "Fable" Price

Marcel “Fable” Price is poet laureate of Grand Rapids. He’s also the executive director of The Diatribe, a youth-focused performing arts nonprofit in Grand Rapids. He recently put out a statement about the protests against excessive police force happening here in Michigan and beyond. It read to us more like an essay, or dare we say, poetry. Listen below to hear Marcel share his thoughts on this moment in America. 


Twitter user: @haylerss5 / https://bit.ly/305g6iH

Some Kalamazoo County commissioners are questioning the way police have responded to incidents this week.

Kalamazoo and neighboring Portage imposed a 7 p.m. curfew Tuesday night after vandalism in downtown Kalamazoo Monday.

Police dispersed a crowd in Kalamazoo Tuesday night with tear gas after protesters ignored the citywide curfew.

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.

an open sign in a shop window
Mike Petrucci / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we spoke with activists who organized some of this week's protests in Detroit and Grand Rapids. Plus, Governor Whitmer rolled back some significant restrictions on business and gatherings yesterday which was a huge relief for some, but left many with huge gray areas about how commerce and social life will go forward.

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

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

boarded up store
Courtesy of Chloe Miller / bit.ly/3gQi2Bl

Kalamazoo officials have imposed a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew this evening after violence flared Monday night. Vandals broke windows and started fires. Police used tear gas and other means to disperse the crowd.

Police Chief Karianne Thomas says it was not Kalamazoo’s “finest hour.”

Genesee County

Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson says law enforcement agencies must respect the constitutional rights of protesters.

wayne county sheriff headquarters exteriors
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Sheriffs' Association is condemning the Minneapolis Police Department for the death of George Floyd. In a statement posted on its Facebook Monday night, the board of directors for the MSA called the MPD’s actions “bad policing” and said those kinds of actions “will not be accepted or tolerated.”

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