police brutality

U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is co-chairing a working group that will discuss violence against law enforcement and police brutality.
Photo courtesy of www.conyers.house.gov

With the past weeks marred by the murder of five police officers in Dallas and controversy surrounding the officer-involved killings of two black men days earlier, U.S. Rep. John Conyers is taking action. 

Conyers, who represents Michigan's 13th Congressional District (including most of Wayne County), will partner with U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to lead a working  group "to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues." 

More than 300 people came to Ypsilanti High School to participate in a meeting on police-community relations.
Daniel Rayzel / Michigan Radio

Ypsilanti residents are calling for action to improve police-community relations following related nationwide events over the past week.

a police squad car
Flickr user Scott Davidson/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The lawyer for a suburban Minnesota police officer who killed a black driver during a traffic stop last week says the officer was reacting to Philando Castile's gun, not his race. The attorney  did not elaborate on how Castile presented the weapon or what led up to the fatal traffic stop and shooting. The video Castile's fiance took of the aftermath of his shooting has Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders asking themselves: What are the do's and don'ts if you are stopped by police?

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

A nationwide wave of protest against recent police-involved killings hit Detroit Friday night.

A rally dubbed “Black Friday” grew from a gathering in Campus Martius park to a large march through traffic in the surrounding streets.

Detroit police had a heavy presence, but the protest remained peaceful until the end.

Participant Lee Qualls said the murder of police officers at a similar event in Dallas was on everyone’s mind, even as they expressed anger and frustration over police treatment of African-Americans.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After 13 years, the Detroit police department is now officially free of U.S. Justice Department oversight.

The department had been under two federal consent decrees since 2003.

Those decrees stemmed from a host of unconstitutional policing practices, ranging from excessive use of force, to illegally detaining witnesses.

Federal judge Avern Cohn signed off on a full return to local control this week, after an 18-month transition period.

Police Chief James Craig says 13 years of federal oversight helped create a “constitutional” police department.

Daymon J. Hartley / Facebook

Ron Scott’s lifetime of community activism in Detroit ended recently when he died at age 68.

His quest for peace and justice led him to found the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, but his activism goes all the way back to when he met Grace and James Boggs. He was 16 years old.

His friend and longtime Detroit activist Rich Feldman tells us that everything Scott did, from his early involvement in the Detroit chapter of the Black Panthers to DCAPB, came from a place of love for his home and the people who live there.

William Melendez in court.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A jury is now considering the fate of former Inkster police officer William Melendez.

Melendez faces assault and misconduct charges for beating motorist Floyd Dent during a traffic stop in January.

Melendez is accused of “abusing his power” when he put Dent in a chokehold and struck him 16 times during a violent arrest, which was captured on police dashcam video.

The trial of former Inkster police officer William Melendez got underway in Wayne County Circuit Court Wednesday.

Melendez faces charges, including assault and misconduct in office, for beating motorist Floyd Dent during a violent arrest that was captured on dashcam video.

From a Ferguson protest in New York City.
user The All-Nite Images / Flickr

Some Detroiters are taking part in a national day of action on Saturday to protest police brutality, especially against people of color.

Mahogany Dixon says she will be there. Dixon just graduated from high school. She and her friends found out about the event on social media, and they're using social media to encourage others to attend.

http://www.waynecounty.com/prosecutor/

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office says it's still investigating the death of Terrance Kellom, a 20-year-old man fatally shot by a federal agent in April.

“We are waiting for a report that we expect to receive in the near future,” said spokesperson Maria Miller on Thursday afternoon. “We must have that before a decision can be made in this matter. We do not expect to release anything at this time.”

But Friday morning a group of activists plan to hold a silent vigil outside the courthouse, saying the prosecutor promised the investigation would be released by tomorrow.

Kate Wells

Two months after 20-year-old Terrance Kellom was shot by an Immigration and Customs officer in Detroit during a police raid, his family says the investigation into his death is taking too long.

“Had this been the other way around, my son would have been charged, doing time already,” Kevin Kellom told reporters after a rally at a neighborhood church.  

Earlier in the evening the family’s attorney told supporters he believes the Wayne County prosecutor’s investigation should be wrapped up in a week to 10 days.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

A group of about a dozen activists rallied in front of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Detroit today.

Last month,an ICE agent fatally shot a 20-year-old black man in Detroit during a police raid.