We likely would not know about the killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge or Philando Castile in Minnesota if not for the video recordings.
In April, MLive published a story that dives into the question of whether police can order you to delete a recording on your phone after you've captured video of a police action.
The story refers to a case in which two of the officers who are accused of beating and falsely arresting the wrong person were undercover. A uniformed officer told people who'd recorded the scene to "delete it for the safety of the officers."
ACLU of Michigan Legal DirectorMichael Steinberg joined us today to talk generally about whether or not police can order you to delete a recording or seize your phone or camera.
Our conversation with Michael Matthews, a U.K. police constable assigned to Scotland Yard.
If you’re a police officer in the United Kingdom, chances are you don’t carry a gun.
In fact, you might go through your entire career and never fire a weapon, a stark contrast to police on this side of the Atlantic.
Michael Matthews is a police constable with the London Metropolitan Police and is now attached to Scotland Yard. He’s just spent time shadowing Detroit police officers, conducting research for a book Matthews is writing about the Detroit Police Department.
A judge says a trial is expected to last about two weeks for a police officer seen on video repeatedly punching a motorist in the head during a suburban Detroit traffic stop.
Jury selection begins Monday in the case of 47-year-old William Melendez and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans says that's expected to last two days. The Detroit News reports 90 prospective jurors will be impaneled. Opening statements are Wednesday.
A suburban Detroit police officer who repeatedly punched a driver in the head during a traffic stop has been ordered to stand trial on assault charges.
Inkster Judge Sabrina Johnson listened to the victim Thursday and watched police video of the bloody arrest, which occurred in January. The incident wasn't publicly known until WDIV-TV aired the video weeks later.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchardsays politicians in Lansing and Washington are not listening to the needs of law enforcement.
Bouchard says police officers are a popular political target.
“I’m frustrated by the constant peppering of law enforcement from both the Far Right and the Far Left,” says Bouchard. “The Far Right seems to think we’re part of the NSA, and the Far Left wants to disarm us.”
Two Inkster police officers have been suspended without pay for their alleged involvement in the beating of a black motorist during a traffic stop in January.
Union representative Al Lewis said Officer Chuck Randazzo was suspended for 15 days for excessive use of force and bringing the department disrepute. He said Sgt. Shawn Kritzer was suspended for 30 days for not providing immediate medical attention for Floyd Dent.
Listen to our conversation with William Terrill. He's a criminologist at Michigan State University.
How does having a college degree affect an officer's view of police work, the community, and commanding officers?
William Terrill is a Michigan State University criminologist and co-author of a new study on police attitudes. His research, including a survey of more than 2,100 officers in seven mid-to-large-sized departments across the U.S., is being credited with starting to give us a more comprehensive view of the effects of higher education on policing.
People in Michigan are protesting the death of Eric Garner. It's the second time protesters have come out in two weeks. Previous rallies took place after a grand jury decided not to charge a police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Missouri.
The Saginaw County Sheriff's Department received a "Maxx Pro" Mine Resistant Ambush Proof vehicle from the U.S. Army in order to "prepare for something disastrous," according to Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel.
Brad Devereaux wrote about the department's decision to acquire the MRAP for MLive:
The truck's passenger compartment is bulletproof and designed to withstand a mine blast with a v-shaped undercarriage.
"The V shape resists mine blasts away from the cab. It's very good at what it does," Undersheriff Robert Karl said, noting he found several videos online demonstrating the function.
At the time, Sheriff Federspiel said people shouldn't be concerned about "a military state" because he wouldn't let that happen.
But the giant MRAP makes an impression, and sends a message, whether intended or not.
Here's what these two dudes in Saginaw thought of it (language warning, these dudes are speaking candidly):
Devereaux now reports that the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department is planning to get rid of the vehicle. Federspiel said the plans were made prior to the department being criticized on HBO's Tonight with John Oliver.
This is just one military style vehicle transferred to police departments across the state.
LANSING – Policing will increase this spring at the Michigan Capitol, but officials say they have no plans to add metal detectors. The Detroit Free Press says state police will bring more personnel to the Capitol area and will enhance its technology as well. That includes making better use of video camera monitoring and introducing thermal imaging to spot intruders in parking lots and outside the Capitol after dark. Capt.
A group of police chiefs and district attorneys is asking Congress to invest $75 billion over the next ten years on early childhood programs with proven success. The group says the investment will more than pay for itself in terms of reducing crime and prison costs.
The group says it’ll save money on prison costs in the long run.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says the State of Michigan and the country is at a fork in the road; spend money now on early childhood development, or spend more money later in the corrections department.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to regulate the use of devices that photograph license plates.
Rep. Sam Singh says his upcoming bill would require police agencies to delete license plate records from data systems within 48 hours unless the record is evidence of specific criminal wrongdoing.
The East Lansing Democrat said last week that innovative law enforcement ideas are needed to keep the public safe. But Singh says "a vast, unbridled data collection system cannot be tolerated in this state."
Under a proposal in Lansing, schools would be forced to report when and how emergency safety drills are conducted. As Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports, state police officials say too many schools are ignoring laws meant to ensure school safety. The reports would have to be posted on schools’ web sites whenever they conduct a safety drill.
Tracking by cell phone GPS could become a felony
Another piece of legislation in Lansing would make it a felony for police officers to track someone by GPS in their cell phone without a warrant. The US Supreme Court ruled last year that the practice is unconstitutional. Democratic state Representative Jeff Irwin says the legislation is necessary to make sure law enforcement agencies are held accountable for such actions.
Fast food workers protesting in Detroit and Flint
Workers at some fast food chains in Detroit and Flint are expected to walk off the job as part of a protest for higher wages today. They want to be paid fifteen dollars an hour. Michigan’s current minimum wage is $7.40. The strike is expected to affect some McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy’s and other fast food restaurants.
Michigan lawmakers take up drone legislation this week.
The unmanned aircraft have proven effective in war, but some are concerned they may violate the rights of Michiganders.
Unmanned drones offer a new way to see the world. The drones can help police departments keep an eye on criminals, give state agencies a different way to survey state land and even help local school administrators watch students on the playground.
The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up a bill this week that would expand DNA testing in the state.
Senate Bill 105 would require people to provide a DNA sample when they are arrested for committing or attempting to commit a crime that is considered a felony or "for which the offender may be punished by imprisonment for more than one year."
The bill was introduced by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) last week.
Schuitmaker’s office says the bill would make DNA collection the same as fingerprint collection.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan has 16 percent fewer police officers on the street now than it did a decade ago, and communities around the state are trying to find more efficient ways to keep people safe.
The Detroit Free Press reports that state and local police agencies have an estimated 18,849 officers today, compared with 22,488 in 2001.