Jury continues deliberations in trial between Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard
A seven-person jury is resuming deliberations in actor Johnny Depp's defamation case against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. With the jury's decision looming, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman takes us through the case.news.yahoo.com
Montana not following transgender birth certificate ruling
It's been a month since a Montana judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a state law that required transgender people to undergo surgery before they could change their gender on their birth certificate, and the state still isn't in compliance with the court order, the ACLU of Montana said. Jon Ebelt, spokesperson for the state health department, said the agency is still working with the Department of Justice to review the April 21 ruling and its implications. “We have continued to be patient in allowing the state time to comply with the court ordered preliminary injunction," the ACLU of Montana said in a recent statement.news.yahoo.com
‘The number of killings continues to increase’: Group calls for federal oversight of Detroit Police Department
On Malcolm X’s birthday, the Coalition of Police Transparency and Accountability announced that they wanted the federal government to step in and investigate the Detroit Police Department for misconduct and excessive force.
10,000 flock to help Michigan abortion-rights petition drive after Supreme Court leak
In the hours after news leaked that the U.S. Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, more than 10,000 people signed up to volunteer for a Michigan petition drive that would put abortion rights on the November ballot. RELATED: Abortion-rights supporters rally at Michigan Capitol, collect signatures for ballot initiativeWithin 24 hours of the Supreme Court leak, abortion-rights advocates hosted a rally at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. “But (the Supreme Court news) definitely made me come off the couch and come do it.”Loren Khogali, the ACLU of Michigan executive director, was also at Tuesday’s rally. Gretchen Whitmer has filed a lawsuit in hopes of getting the Michigan Supreme Court to rule that the ban is unconstitutional, saying it violates the due process clause and equal protection clause of the state’s constitution. Whitmer’s lawsuit is no “slam dunk” either, Pohutsky said, despite a Democratic majority on the Michigan Supreme Court.mlive.com
Abortion-rights supporters rally at Michigan Capitol, collect signatures for ballot initiative
With raincoats, umbrellas and vivid pink signs, a couple hundred people gathered at the Michigan Capitol Tuesday to energize an effort to legalize abortion in Michigan. “Our fate is now in our hands.”Several efforts could keep legalized abortion in Michigan despite the expected Supreme Court decision. The rally, however, focused on a ballot initiative that would amend Michigan’s constitution to guarantee abortion rights. For others, they attended the rally to show their support for abortion rights. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” said one abortion-rights demonstrator, Audrey Whipple, about the Supreme Court draft opinion.mlive.com
Amber Heard donated just $1.3 million of the $3.5 million she pledged to the ACLU from her Johnny Depp divorce settlement, and $500,000 of that likely came from Elon Musk, non-profit says
The ACLU expected Amber Heard to pay the $3.5 million donation over 10 years, but she never filled out a pledge form prepared for her.news.yahoo.com
Texas Supreme Court rules against providers in abortion ban case
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that state officials do not have the ability to enforce the state's six-week abortion ban, effectively ending providers' case challenging the law.Driving the news: Because the law was written so private citizens could enforce it, the court wrote, "Texas law does not grant the state-agency executives named as defendants in this case any authority to enforce the Act’s requirements, either directly or indirectly." Stay on top of the latest market trends and enews.yahoo.com
Florida putting an end to its standardized testing system
Florida will replace its current end-of-the-year exam known as "FSA" with three smaller tests throughout the year, a move Governor Ren DeSantis will help schools better track students' progress. Former state senator and current CEO of the Florida Association of District Superintendents Bill Montford speaks with CBSN's Tanya Rivero about what they change will mean for students and teachers.news.yahoo.com
Tlaib wants Border Patrol to address allegations of discrimination, racial profiling in Michigan
Members of a U.S. House oversight committee are pushing the Department of Homeland Security to address allegations of racial profiling by border agents in Michigan. Because the agency has jurisdiction within 100 miles of an international border, CBP agents have wide authority to operate anywhere in Michigan. A map released in the ACLU of Michigan' report analyzing Michigan Border Patrol enforcement data that shows the agency's jurisdiction in the state. Ninety-six percent of people detained or arrested by Border Patrol in Michigan are not white. The ACLU suggested police detain drivers to allow Border Patrol agents to investigate the immigration status of passengers.mlive.com
ACLU files suit against CPD seeking records on beefed-up social media monitoring following protests and looting last year
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Chicago Police Department asking a judge to order the department to release records related to its social media monitoring programs, which were expanded after protests and looting last year.chicagotribune.com
ACLU asks Michigan Department of Civil Rights to step in after racist incidents reported at Brighton schools
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) is asking the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to intervene in a “potentially racially hostile education environment” in Brighton schools.
Border Patrol Profiling Includes Local Law Enforcement
A new report released by the ACLU of Michigan has exposed a pattern of overreach and racial profiling within the Border Patrol agency. While the Canada border doesn’t garner as much attention as the southern border, the ACLU report indicates that Border Patrol operations for the northern border employ racial profiling to target people throughout Michigan. The gathered data also shows a strong merger between police and Border Patrol. “What we learned … is that our local, state and county law enforcement agencies are deeply entangled with Border Patrol,” says Andrade. The ACLU report also reveals Border Patrol’s issue with racial profiling.wdet.org
Every inch of Michigan is under Border Patrol jurisdiction; the ACLU wants that to change
It was a Border Patrol agent. The ACLU used the incident to highlight what it believes is abusive and unaccountable encroachment of Border Patrol agents throughout the state. Michigan cities located far from the Canadian border are focal points for Border Patrol immigration enforcement, and they shouldn’t be, says the ACLU. The number of Michigan Border Patrol agents increased from 35 in 2000 to 404 by 2019. A map released in the ACLU of Michigan' report analyzing Michigan Border Patrol enforcement data that shows the agency's jurisdiction in the state.mlive.com
Michigan company aims to make cannabis industry more fair for all
Cannabis has become a multi-million dollar business in Michigan, but there is still a double standard when it comes to social equity in the industry. The Michigan company Pleasantrees is known for its cannabis products, but they’re also working to make the marijuana industry more equitable for everyone. “Social equity has basically become a term of art in the cannabis industry,” said Jerome Crawford with Pleasantrees. The Michigan company is hiring more minorities like Crawford, an attorney who now oversees legal operations and social equity for Pleasantrees. AdYou can learn more about Pleasantrees’ social equity plan on their website here.
Washtenaw prosecutor launches effort to review thousands of past cases for racial bias
ANN ARBOR, MI – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has announced a new initiative aimed at uncovering potential racial inequities in how criminal cases have been prosecuted locally going back to the beginning of 2018. His office is launching the “Prosecutor Transparency Project” in partnership with the ACLU of Michigan and University of Michigan Law School, Savit said Tuesday, Jan. 5. “I’m thrilled to have this incredible partnership in place to drill down into the data in an effort to identify and eliminate racial inequities in the prosecutor’s office,” Savit said in a statement. If the review shows a conviction was wrongfully obtained, Savit said his office will act swiftly to rectify it. It follows a recommendation from Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw, which released a report last August indicating Black residents in Washtenaw County are more likely to be charged with crimes than white residents.mlive.com
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit launches transparency project with U-M, ACLU
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Tuesday the launch of the “Prosecutor Transparency Project” in partnership with University of Michigan’s Law School and the ACLU of Michigan. The project, which begins immediately, aims to uncover possible racial inequities by analyzing data surrounding decision-making by the prosecutor’s office. “We know systemic racism exists in all facets of society, and the Prosecutor’s Office is no exception. Finally, in consultation with researchers, the Prosecutor’s Office will identify metrics to track to ensure equitable treatment. He has spent years compiling and analyzing data from Michigan’s criminal justice system, was the data consultant for the CREW report and has served as Data Administrator for Michigan’s Criminal Justice Policy Commission.
ACLU calls on Michigan gov. to veto Senate’s approval of changes to sex offender registry rules
LANSING, Mich. – The Legislature approved changes last week to Michigan’s sex offender registry after federal courts declared the current policy unconstitutional. In 2006, the state prohibited those on the registry from living or loitering within 1,000 feet of school property. In 2011, the state approved a requirement for registrants to immediately report changes in addresses, vehicles and phone numbers. Since the judge's February decision, officers were advised not to take enforcement action for certain violations involving the registry and school safety zones, said Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner. The legislation would require offenders to report changes in phone numbers and vehicles to authorities.
ACLU calls for Whitmer veto on Legislature-approved changes to Sex Offender Registration Act
DETROIT - Approved changes to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act are unconstitutional and ineffective at stopping offenders, argues the state’s ACLU chapter in an appeal for Gov. State lawmakers approved altering registration protocols for sex offenders during the Legislature’s Wednesday, Dec. 16 session, fulfilling a 4-year-old mandate from the U.S. Court of Appeals. Read more: Michigan Senate approves tightened restrictions in Sex Offender Registration ActThe federal court ruled in 2016 that it was unconstitutional to impose new restrictions on people convicted before the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act was updated with added rules in 2006 and 2011. “This legislation ignores the judicial rulings, rejects the science and makes Michigan communities and families less safe,” said Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for ACLU Michigan, in a release. Allowing email addresses, social media usernames and other identifiers to be published on a public sex offender registry.mlive.com
2 detained for speaking Spanish settle border patrol lawsuit
– Two women who were detained in northern Montana by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents for speaking Spanish while shopping at a convenience store have reached an undisclosed monetary settlement in their lawsuit against the agency, the ACLU of Montana announced Tuesday. “Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here,” O’Neill said in the video. “We stood up to the government because speaking Spanish is not a reason to be racially profile and harassed,” Suda said in a statement provided by the ACLU. In gathering information for the lawsuit, the ACLU said Customs and Border Protection agents in northern Montana acknowledged they routinely profiled non-white people. “If there's somebody speaking Spanish down there it's like all of a sudden you've got five agents swarming in, ‘What’s going on?'
Michigan groups unite to urge passage of criminal justice reforms before year’s end
LANSING, Mich. – “We are, so excited about this coalition, and we’re excited about these reforms. They prove that when people work together, they make genuine real process in Lansing,” said Kimberly Buddin. Thursday, several organizations -- like Americans for Prosperity, the ACLU of Michigan, Safe and Just Michigan and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy -- presented the Justice Reform Package to the State House and Senate. They addressed key and important issues like driver’s license suspensions, mandatory minimum sentencing, case initiation, sentencing, probation, racial justice and fairness. The State House approved the package, now they move on to the Senate.
West Bloomfield Iraqi man becomes US citizen after long deportation battle
DETROIT – After a long and hard fought deportation battle West Bloomfield resident Sam Hamama became a US citizen on Friday. When the deportations of Iraqi nationals started the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan fought in defense of those who were detained including Hamama. After a long legal battle, Sam is here to stay as a US citizen!”Hamama’s wife and children were at the forefront of the fight. On Friday they witnessed him being sworn in as a US citizen at the Detroit based Department of Homeland Security immigration offices. Previous coverage on deportations of Iraqi nationals
Proposal N would save 8,000 Detroit homes, demolish 8,000 others if passed in Nov. election
Proposal N -- on the Nov. General Election ballot for Detroit voters -- aims to eradicate blight and dilapidation across the city. Proposal N would allow the city of Detroit to sell $250 million in “Neighborhood Improvement Bonds” that will be used to save 8,000 vacant homes and demolish 8,000 others that can’t be saved. Those behind Proposal N are hoping to make real headway without hurting Detroiters. The fight against Prop N isn’t about money, but rather how the city has previously spent money. Election Day for the U.S. presidential election is on Nov. 3.
Proposition 2 to bar warrantless searches, seizures of electronic data if passed in Michigan Nov. election
In addition to the races for office in the November election, Michigan voters should prepare to vote on a few proposals that would change the state’s constitution. Proposition 2, also known as Prop 2, would prohibit unreasonable searches or seizures of electronic data and communication by law enforcement. For years police have used technology, such as Stingray or Hailstorm, to collect broad data from cell phones. The measure has also been backed by the Michigan State Police, but some are concerned that the proposal could impede the work of law enforcement. If the proposal is passed this election, it would...Election Day for the U.S. presidential election is on November 3.
ClickOnDetroit NIGHTSIDE REPORT -- Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Before Wednesday’s update, the seven-day moving average for new cases in Michigan was at 1,670 -- the highest ever. WATCH Local 4 News at 11Metro Detroit weather: 2 more rounds of rain before weekendOur pattern of getting wet after sunset continues. For the last 11 years the Detroit Public Schools Community District has been under the auspices of some type of state supervision -- but in five days that will change. For the first time since 2009, the Detroit public schools system is poised to be released from state supervision.
ACLU pushes for Wayne County to extend protections from foreclosure
DETROIT – The battle over foreclosures in Wayne County took a new turn Thursday in Detroit. The American Civil Liberties Union wants the county to protect many from foreclosure for years to come. The county has taken action to protect those struggling by suspending all foreclosures through the end of the year. Now the ACLU wants to take it a step further protecting those from foreclosure for years to come. Local 4 reached out to the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office but calls have not been returned.
Restaurant Opportunities Center, ACLU , Detroit Bus Company, & Others Offering Rides To the Polls
The Best 2021 Private High Schools In MichiganNiche is a website that rates schools across the country on a variety of criteria. In their recent list, they analyzed and came back with a list of the best private high schools in Michigan. Niche Releases A List Of The Best High Schools in MichiganNiche is a website that rates schools across the country on a variety of criteria. In their recent list, they analyzed and came back with a list of the best high schools in Michigan. Niche Rates UofM As Top Public University In The U.S.The website Niche.com has named the University of Michigan the top public university in the U.S.detroit.cbslocal.com
Southwest Detroit artist creates murals to encourage minorities to vote
DETROIT – This Hispanic Heritage Month, one Detroit artist is using his talent to urge minorities to vote ahead of the November election. The young artist from southwest Detroit has an impressive following on social media, but his mural projects are about more than garnering likes. “(It) would be amazing if I could use my platform for something positive.”The first-generation Mexican American has never registered to vote before. Freddy picked a spot in Southwest Detroit for his mural, at the corner of Joy Road and Piedmont Street, to reach other minority and first-time voters. You can vote from home, and it doesn’t have to be on November 2 or 3 -- you can vote early,” Diaz said.
ACLU launches website detailing what voters need to know before Election Day
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shouldn’t stop you from voting. Engage Michigan is teaming up with the ACLU and many other organizations to create MichiganVoting.org, a website that provides information for voters. The website is expected to have information on how to get to the polls on election day. Watch the video above for the full report
‘40 Day of Early Voting’ campaign launched as absentee balloting begins
A coalition of advocacy and social service groups launched a campaign encouraging early voting Thursday with the help of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. In-person issuance and submission of absentee ballots began at local clerks offices Thursday, Sept. 24. Ballots were also being mailed to Michigan voters who submitted absentee applications by post. The “40 Days of Early Voting” campaign was kicked off with a press conference outside the offices of ACLU Michigan in Detroit. The MichiganVoting.org Coalition says the effort is focused on urging historically disenfranchised communities across the state to vote early.mlive.com
Shoddy investigative work -- Detroit police chief apologizes after arrest of innocent man
DETROIT Police Chief James Craig apologized Thursday after a Farmington Hill man was arrested at his home for a crime he didnt commit. Williams was arrested after facial recognition software identified the wrong man. Craig said hes considering disciplinary action against his investigators who used facial recognition software to arrest Williams after someone else stole watches from a Shinola store. Craig said a 2019 triple-shooting at an LGTBQ+ party suspect was taken into custody using facial recognition software. RELATED: Facial recognition technology: Rep. Tlaib raises concerns during tour with Detroit police chief
Innocent Metro Detroit man arrested after facial recognition software identified wrong man
DETROIT The controversy over the use of facial recognition technology continues after a Farmington Hill man was arrested at his home for a crime he didnt commit. They claim he was arrested based off of facial recognition software. READ: A closer look at facial recognition technologyAll of the photos had two things in common, said Williams Attorney, Victoria Burton-Harris. They were all Black faces and men.Once the cops identified Mr. Williams using facial recognition technology, said Phil Mayor with the ACLU of Michigan. The family is demanding a public apology and for the DPD to scrap its use of facial recognition software.
This never should have happened -- Wayne County prosecutor apologizes after innocent man arrested
DETROIT Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy spoke to Local 4 Defenders after a Farmington Hill man was arrested at his home for a crime he didnt commit. He was arrested after facial recognition software identified the wrong man. She said the case brought by Detroit police was based only on the departments use of facial recognition technology. I am 100% sure they arrested the wrong person.It was issued by a prosecutor that shouldnt have, Worthy said. RELATED: Facial recognition technology: Rep. Tlaib raises concerns during tour with Detroit police chiefThis never should have happened.
Aimee Stephens died before a ruling was reached in her transgender rights Supreme Court case
Aimee Stephens did not live long enough to see the ruling of her trailblazing discrimination lawsuit. The case was one of three before the Supreme Court that could become a landmark for transgender rights.According to, Stephens died on Tuesday at age 59 from complications related to kidney failure. A decision in the case was expected as soon as Thursday.Stephens entered hospice care earlier this month. Two weeks later, the funeral home's owner, Thomas Rost, fired her, and Stephens sued for discrimination. She was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.In 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Stephens' favor, and the funeral home then appealed to the Supreme Court.metrotimes.com
Aimee Stephens, transgender woman at center of pending landmark Supreme Court case, is in hospice care
Aimee Stephens made national headlines when she said she was fired from her job at metro Detroit-based GR & RG Funeral Homes in 2013 after coming out as a transgender woman. Stephens then sued her employee for discrimination, and the case is now before the Supreme Court.But now, Stephens might not live to see the case's decision. According to a GoFundMe campaign set up on behalf of her family, Stephens' health has deteriorated due to kidney disease, and she's now in hospice care. "Friends and family have stepped in when they can, but years of lost income have taken a toll on their finances. "In March 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Stephens' favor , and the funeral home then appealed to the Supreme Court.metrotimes.com
Michigan school district might drop Redskins nickname next week
PAW PAW, Mich. – The leader of a school district in southwestern Michigan said he will recommend that the Redskins nickname be dropped. Paw Paw Superintendent Rick Reo said he will take his message to the school board on March 9. “Our nickname is preventing us from realizing our true potential as a school that welcomes, celebrates, supports and challenges all students,” Reo said in a district newsletter. The Paw Paw board voted in 2017 to keep the nickname and mascot. Reo said he believes the district originally chose Redskins to "celebrate the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans."
New report shows Detroits tax foreclosure crisis was even worse than we thought
A report released this week demonstrates the scope and devastating effects of the tax foreclosure crisis on Detroit. But the new report found that tax bills for these homes was too high by an average of $3,800, with well over half taxed more than twice what they should have been. Detroits foreclosure crisis began with the bottoming out of the real estate market after the housing crash of 2008. But the citys assessors office was too slow to make changes in its assessments of home values, leaving most with inflated tax bills. What were trying to do is fix it going forward.Theres no way to make people whole again for the money lost in home values and tax bills.detroit.curbed.com
Supreme Court hears arguments in Michigan transgender discrimination case
DETROIT - The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving a Detroit funeral home. The owners said they believed she could no longer effectively deal with grieving families as a funeral director. Supporters for Stephens marched at the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices heard the case. "ACLU is using my grandfather's business to achieve a political goal," Harris Funeral Homes director Tom Rost said. The funeral home's attorney argued that the ACLU is trying to change existing sex discrimination laws that the company didn't violate.
He applied for a green card. Then the FBI came calling
After marrying an American citizen and becoming an assistant professor at the University of North Dakota, Ostadhassan applied for a green card. A month later, he applied for a green card. "That has not been the case for any other marriage-based green card interview I have ever sat in on. He later amended his green card application after hiring Balgamwalla, who told him to include all of his past associations. It was another rejection of Ostadhassan's green card application, citing the previous rejection.
Facial recognition technology: Rep. Tlaib raises concerns during tour with Detroit police chief
DETROIT - The latest blow to Detroit police Chief James Craig's fight to use facial recognition technology comes from one of his most vocal opponents: Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The Detroit Police Department has been using facial recognition for nearly two years, but the ACLU and other civil rights groups argue DPD has been using the technology without specific policies in place. They said using facial recognition technology puts the civil liberties of Detroit residents in jeopardy. "Facial recognition is only used on a still photograph and it is only used where there is a violent crime," Monts said. Tlaib told Craig during the tour that she feels the department should only employ black analysts as part of the facial recognition team.
Judge: Michigan adoption agencies can turn away LGBT couples
"Today's ruling requires the state to put the individual religious beliefs of foster care agencies ahead of the welfare of children," said Jay Kaplan, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan's LGBT Project. "This will not facilitate foster and adoptive placements for children in need. Instead, it will allow agencies to turn away same-sex foster parents who are able to provide supportive and loving homes for these children."chicagotribune.com
Ann Arbor's Dog Swim; Songbird Baking Co. opens; don't fly drones over Michigan Stadium
Dogs enjoy a dip at the annual Dog Swim at Buhr Park Pool on Sept. 5, 2019. - Meredith (@meredith_A4)What's been happening: Two people were arrested after flying a drone above Michigan Stadium Saturday night during the third quarter of the Wolverines' home opener against Middle Tennessee State. The University of Michigan has a strict no-fly zone policy and drones are prohibited within three miles of the stadium. (A4) With school officially in session, the Ann Arbor Police Department released these safety reminders for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. All About Ann Arbor is powered by ClickOnDetroit/WDIV.
ACLU: Sheriff's office holds all Hispanics for immigration check
- When Ramon Torres was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, he produced his Louisiana driver's license, social security card, and U.S. passport, but the ACLU says the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office refused to release him until an ICE official confirmed his immigration status. When Torres asked his jailers why he was being held and why his citizenship was in question, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office deputies told Torres that every Hispanic person was automatically held for a immigration review, according to a new lawsuit the ACLU of Louisiana has filed against the sheriff's office. "Ramon Torres was held in jail for four days simply because he has brown skin and a Latino name," ACLU of Louisiana legal director Katie Schwartzmann said. Not doing so violated Torres' constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, according to the ACLU. "The increasing national rhetoric of fear and racism around immigration is tearing apart our local communities," Schwartzmann said.