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Detroit sues McDonald's franchise owner for allegedly lying about Project Green Light involvement

DETROIT – The owner of several Metro Detroit McDonald's restaurants is being sued by the city of Detroit for false advertising.

The 34-page lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims four restaurants lied about participating in Project Green Light, the city's crime-fighting program in which cameras live-stream surveillance video to officers.

The green light shining from businesses gives customers a sense of extra peace of mind that it's safe, or at least that police are watching, but Detroit police said the owner kept the green light illuminated and kept signs posted despite opting out of the program.

Since the Green Light Project started in Detroit about three years ago, the high-definition video has captured clear images of those committing crimes -- often leading to quick arrests of those involved, according to police.

The four McDonald's restaurants, located on the west side of Grand River Avenue, off Woodward Avenue on Eight Mile Road and two east-side locations on Gratiot Avenue, all deliberately misled the public by having the Green Light signs and the flashing green light at the restaurants, claiming they were a part of the program. The lawsuit said this undermines the public safety initiative. 

The lawsuit claims these McDonald's restaurants at one point tried to become Green Light partners, but the city claims none of them maintained the proper lighting and equipment, so they were terminated.

Despite the city sending several notices to owners to take down all the signage, the lawsuit claims McDonald's failed to comply, forcing this legal action.