Case dismissed against man charged in transgender hate crime
ANN ARBOR, MI – A man accused of attacking a transgender woman in an alleged hate crime is free after the case against him was dismissed. Assault and hate crime charges against James Alan Greggs were dismissed Jan. 6, more than six months after his arrest, court records show. The case was “dismissed by party” meaning the complainant no longer wished to proceed with criminal charges. It was believed Greggs assaulted the victim because she is a transgender woman, according to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. More from MLive:Man suspected of opening fire outside Ann Arbor apartment arraigned on felony charges24/7 pizza from a vending machine?mlive.com
Washtenaw County prosecutor, Ypsilanti sue EMU fraternity over ‘tsunami of sexual assaults’
The protests coincided with more women coming forward to detail experiences of sexual assault, many filing claims in federal court. In multiple other cases, sexual assaults occurred “in plain sight,” witnessed by other members who did not intervene or report the incidents, the suit alleges. Prosecutor hopes for ‘wake-up call’ over campus sexual assaultThe lawsuit comes just weeks after the resolution of some sexual assault claims against the fraternity in federal court. Meanwhile, other criminal cases against former fraternity members are ongoing, including felony criminal sexual conduct charges against Thomas Hernandez and D’Angelo McWilliams — who later became a Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputy. “Hopefully this does serve as a wake-up call to take the scourge of sexual assaults seriously,” he said.mlive.com
Ypsilanti leaders vote to join potential lawsuit seeking shut down of EMU fraternity house involved in alleged sexual assault cases
YPSILANTI, MI - Ypsilanti City Council members have voted unanimously to join a potential legal effort aiming to temporarily shut down an Eastern Michigan University fraternity house under fire for alleged cases of sexual assault. “This is a case where it’s alleged that there were sexual assaults occurring as a regular basis in this particular fraternity,” Barr said. The Greek organization targeted by the potential legal action is EMU’s chapter of Delta Tau Delta, Ypsilanti City Council Member Annie Somerville, an EMU alumnus, said in an interview on Wednesday, Dec. 22. “I would be fine with having it shut down — completely.”All seven council members joined him in the vote to authorize Barr to work with the county prosecutor on the litigation. More from The Ann Arbor News:A closer look at the sexual assault lawsuit filed against Eastern Michigan UniversityRecent sexual assaults on Eastern Michigan University campus not gang rape, officials sayEastern Michigan University shouldn’t be blamed for sexual assaults it did not know about, lawyers argueFraternity facing sexual assault allegations no longer recognized at Eastern Michigan Universitymlive.com
HOMES Brewery opens new location, Ann Arbor officials may face punishment: Ann Arbor headlines Dec. 4-9
ANN ARBOR, MI – HOMES Brewery is opening a new location in Ann Arbor offering coffee, food and beers. The new campus at 112 Jackson Plaza in Ann Arbor has both a coffee roaster and café, as well as a kitchen, beers from HOMES Brewery and indoor and outdoor seating. Two Washtenaw County middle school students face charges for school threatsTwo Washtenaw County middle school students were arrested after making threats against two county school districts on the day of and after the Oxford High School shooting. New Ann Arbor IV facility will offer infusion therapyA new IV therapy location will be opening in Ann Arbor early next year, the first of four locations planned for the east side of Michigan. Ann Arbor OKs renaming park after first Black school board presidentA neighborhood park behind St. Francis of Assisi Parish off East Stadium Boulevard is now officially named after Harold Lockett, who became the first Black president of the Ann Arbor school board in 1969.mlive.com
Two Washtenaw County middle school students face charges for school threats
(Updated 11:40 a.m. Dec. 8 2021)WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Two Washtenaw County middle school students were arrested after making threats against two county school districts on the day of and after the Oxford High School shooting. Police were contacted by school officials at Lincoln Consolidated Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 after receiving threats of violence, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit said. More Washtenaw County schools cancel classes due to threats, staff shortagesSavit’s office authorized a juvenile petition on one student for malicious use of a telephone and making a false report of a bomb threat. It is not believed either student had the means to carry out the threats made against the schools. Savit said his office is currently reviewing several other alleged school threats made in the wake of Oxford.mlive.com
Wage theft, scammers, dishonest contractors are target of new Washtenaw County prosecutor unit
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI - A new Washtenaw County legal unit aims to shine a spotlight on crimes against workers and other forms of financial exploitation traditionally under-enforced across Michigan, according to reform-minded Prosecutor Eli Savit, who rolled out the program on Monday, Dec. 6. Slumlords who poison children with toxic lead violations, businesses that cheat employees out of wages and contractors who skirt county worker protection rules could all face consequences in the courtroom in the new “economic justice unit,” Savit said.mlive.com
Deep dive: What future of abortion in Michigan looks like if Roe is overturned
The right to abortions has been widely debated among Americans and lawmakers alike in recent years -- a debate that has nearly reached a boiling point today, given a new Texas law that could potentially impact national abortion regulations.
‘It means the world to me’: Washtenaw County supports effort to wipe old criminal records
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI - A criminal conviction, even for a minor offense, can follow you for the rest of your life. Criminal records pose roadblocks to employment, housing, education and a raft of other services, said Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, citing research estimating a $98,800 reduction in lifetime earnings after a conviction. For people who spent time in prison, that number is nearly five time higher.mlive.com
Could Washtenaw County get 6 more commissioners? Inside the debate to redraw district maps
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI - Beginning with next year’s August primary election, Washtenaw County voters could be tasked with electing six new county commissioners, in addition to filling the nine current seats on the board. The debate has centered in on two options: maintain nine districts or up the size of the county board. “It’s very hard for people to know even what the county commission does, much less who their commissioner is,” she added. Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has proposed this 11-district map to redraw the boundaries of the county's board of commissioners districts. To view proposed district maps click here, and toggle “municipalities” on the left-hand side to see jurisdictional boundaries alongside the maps.mlive.com
Psychedelic shroom fest gets green light from University of Michigan
ANN ARBOR, MI — Ann Arbor’s first-ever psychedelic shroom fest is officially a go for this weekend. It’s being organized by Decriminalize Nature Michigan and the Student Association for Psychedelic Studies. We’re getting really excited about it.”Ann Arbor psychedelic shroom fest organizers announce entertainment lineupIt’s hard to predict, but there could be hundreds or possibly thousands of people in attendance, Ream said. University of Michigan police say safety will be top priority at psychedelic shroom festival“We are excited to celebrate a year since Ann Arbor City Council passed the resolution to decriminalize entheogens,” said Jim Salame of Decriminalize Nature Michigan. MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:Ann Arbor aims to lead by example while promoting sustainable, plant-based dietsAnn Arbor looks to form renters commission as landlords sue over renter rightsTwo-tower development on former Ann Arbor YMCA property awaits city’s OKNew condo development proposed in downtown Ann Arbor‘Literally power to the people.’ Ann Arbor group gearing up for ballot campaignmlive.com
Washtenaw County prosecutor rolls out new ‘restorative justice’ program. How does it work?
WASHTENAW COUNTY -- Some Washtenaw County crime victims now have the option to sit across from people accused of harming them as a facilitator guides a process of “restorative justice” that will skip criminal charges if successful. That’s thanks to a new program announced Thursday, Sept. 9, by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, the latest in a slew of progressive policy changes spearheaded by Prosecutor Eli Savit since taking office in January. “The American justice system too frequently sidelines victims, and seeks punishment as the end goal,” reads a policy document announcing the program, a partnership with the nonprofit Dispute Resolution Center. There’s a “better way,” it says: restorative justice. More from The Ann Arbor News:Michigan sheriff forgives more than $500,000 in jail debt owed by past and current inmatesWashtenaw County prosecutor rolls out new policy to end use of cash bailNew policy geared toward combating racial profiling introduced by Washtenaw County prosecutormlive.com
No charges being issued in Ann Arbor fatal shooting
ANN ARBOR, MI – No charges are being issued in connection with a man fatally shot while visiting a family member in Ann Arbor last month. “After a thorough review of all the evidence, we could not prove that the shooting was not justified self-defense and defense of others,” Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit said Friday, Aug. 6. Myrick’s death was later ruled a homicide following an autopsy by the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police investigating the shooting submitted their findings to the Prosecutor’s Office which opted not to issue any charges. More from MLive:Murder convictions affirmed for pair guilty of slaying man in Ypsilanti robberySperm samples taken for study without permission, survivor of late University of Michigan doctor claims2 home invasions reported in Ann Arbor, one suspect arrestedmlive.com
Grand Rapids may decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, plants later this year
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- There is likely enough support among Grand Rapids elected officials to decriminalize the use, possession, growing and gifting of psychoactive plants and fungi, according to one city commissioner. Related: Group encourages Grand Rapids to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, plants like Ann ArborUnder the proposed resolution, the plants and fungi would remain illegal under state and federal law. The push in Grand Rapids follows the success of sister group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2, which got Ann Arbor city leaders to adopt a similar resolution in September 2020. Grand Rapids could call upon Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker to do the same. Those interested in getting involved with the Decriminalize Nature GR campaign, or donating to it, can find out more at this website: https://www.decrimnaturegr.org/.mlive.com
Two New Progressive County Prosecutors on Rethinking Criminal Justice in Michigan
Now in office, these prosecutors are working hard to reduce recidivism rates, promote rehabilitation and eliminate inequitable practices in the criminal justice system. In January 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office abolished the cash bail system to reduce inequities in the pre-trial process. ”I’m really proud to be the highest law enforcement official in Oakland County because the county is open to doing things the right way. McDonald’s office collects data on crime and racial disparities in the criminal justice system in Oakland County. I want our county to be safe and I want our criminal justice system to be fair.”Web story written by Molly Ryanwdet.org
Washtenaw County officials explain how accused shooter of 6-year-old initially went free
Specifically, people are asking how we allowed the person arrested to go free,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement posted on Facebook. Police agencies do not have authority to set bond,” the statement continued. “In this particular case, staff of the Washtenaw County Sheriffs Office investigated, apprehended the suspect, and swore before a magistrate to the facts of the case. A judge then approved the modification and the sheriff’s office took the suspect back into custody. Accused shooter of 6-year-old back in custody after Washtenaw County prosecutor’s requestRyan Le-Nguyen, 29, is now being held on a $100,000 bond.mlive.com
Accused shooter of 6-year-old back in custody after Washtenaw County prosecutor’s request
The article previously stated that Le-Nguyen was being held without bond, according to Washtenaw County jail records. The bond is $100,000, according to Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit. YPSILANTI TWP., MI - The man accused of shooting a 6-year-old boy in Ypsilanti Township on Sunday is back in custody after a request from Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit. The accused shooter, 29-year-old Ryan Le-Nguyen, fired at the boy around 4:30 p.m., June 6 on the 1300 block of Candlewood Lane, said Washtenaw County Sheriff spokesman Derrick Jackson. A probable cause conference is scheduled for July 22 in the 14-A District Court, Savit said.mlive.com
Man charged with shooting 6-year-old in Ypsilanti Township
YPSILANTI TWP., MI - A 6-year-old survived a shooting in Ypsilanti Township on Sunday, but the county prosecutor is protesting the decision to allow the shooter to leave jail after posting his bond. Nguyen was arrested and lodged in the Washtenaw County Jail on charges of assault with intent to murder, Jackson added. One of the conditions of his bond is that he doesn’t return to the Candlewood residence, according to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. “In this particular case, our recommendations differed from the bond decision that was eventually made by the court,” Savit said. The court saw it a different way, and we disagree with that.”The prosecutor’s office requested the bond be $100,000 instead.mlive.com
Activists march down Washtenaw Avenue in memory of George Floyd
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI — A fired up crowd of about 50 people marched down Washtenaw Avenue in Pittsfield Township Wednesday evening to recognize the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The event, organized by Survivors Speak and Value Black Lives LLC, brought activists and community members down Washtenaw Avenue from the parking lot outside of Flagstar Bank, to Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office, where Trische Duckworth, executive director of Survivors Speak, spoke to the crowd. Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, who made an appearance at the event, told the crowd that it’s imperative people continue fighting for an equitable justice system. The march was escorted down Washtenaw Avenue by Pittsfield Township and Eastern Michigan University police squad vehicles, which blocked off the intersection during the demonstration. Hershberger exchanged fist and elbow bumps with Duckworth and other organizers following the eight minute and 46 second moment of silence before the march restarted down Washtenaw Avenue.mlive.com
New Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office’s policy calls for treating transgender people with respect by not misgendering them
Oh, shit. A new progressive policy just dropped from the Michigan county that has decriminalized psychedelics, consensual sex work, and has vowed to no longer...metrotimes.com
Those opposed to the decriminalization of sex work in Washtenaw County voice concerns
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer pursue charges against those who work consensually in the sex industry. They said that when sex work is legal, sex trafficking tended to increase and not decrease. Indeed the criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work adjacent harm. Accordingly, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will henceforth decline to bring charges related to consensual sex work per se. READ: Human trafficking survivor takes fight for change to LansingChrissy Hemphill is an advocate for human trafficking survivors.
Washtenaw County prosecutor partners with LGBTQ justice project
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is joining forces with a statewide non-profit group to aid in protecting the county’s LGBTQ community. Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has partnered with the Fair Michigan Justice Project to expand its role in prosecuting serious crimes committed against members of the LGBTQ community, according to an announcement of the agreement released Tuesday, March 16. “Partnering with Fair Michigan and bringing the Justice Project to Washtenaw County has been a goal of mine because I am committed to ensuring justice for everyone in our community,” Savit said. “Expanding the Fair Michigan Justice Project into Washtenaw County will provide greater avenues for justice for Michigan’s LGBTQ residents,” FMJP President Alanna Maguire said. FMJP is currently partnered with both the Wayne and Ingham County Prosecutor’s Offices, aiding in securing 30 conviction for serious crimes committed against LGBTQ persons since 2016.mlive.com
Mayor declares March 15 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Day in Ann Arbor
ANN ARBOR, MI — Mayor Christopher Taylor is officially declaring March 15 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Day in Ann Arbor. “After encountering gender discrimination from the dean of Harvard Law and being denied the continued pursuit of her law degree at Harvard, Ruth transferred to Columbia Law School. When Ginsburg died last September, yard signs honoring her — some of them homemade, and some with the message “vote and tell them Ruth sent you” — sprouted around Ann Arbor. Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, who once clerked for Ginsburg, remembered her on International Women’s Day last week as his hero and mentor. We're better for it.#InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/BZwbKfar5i — Eli Savit (@EliNSavit) March 9, 2021MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:Ann Arbor tech startup has plans for 3D digital museum, cafe and retail shopDone deal: Ann Arbor closes on $4M purchase of 136 affordable senior apartmentsMajor apartment landlord raises issues with Ann Arbor’s new fair housing ordinanceMost classes will be in-person at University of Michigan this fall, officials say‘Toxic political tornado’ debate over Ann Arbor council rules continuesmlive.com
Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners create new positions for Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – Washtenaw County is looking to fill three new positions in the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office. “As a Board, we are committed to supporting efforts to increase the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in Washtenaw County,” said Sue Shink, Chair of the Board of Commissioners and Commissioner for District 2, in a release. “The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will build on the racial equity work already being done by the county,” said Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton in a release. Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion / Deflection ProsecutorWithin the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office, this role will oversee all cases that have been diverted through the LEADD program, track program participant progress and ensure participant needs are addressed. Program CoordinatorWorking in the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, the program coordinator is responsible for daily operations of the LEADD program, including coordinating with community partners to design, implement, and sustain program activities.
Washtenaw County prosecutor believes pandemic could cause a mental health crisis among youth
YPSILANTI, MI -- The Ypsilanti Police Advisory Commission invited new Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit to their meeting on Feb. 25 to discuss his priorities as prosecutor. Savit took the opportunity to talk about mental health, COVID-19 and racial disparities. Savit said he is worried about the mental health of younger people following the pandemic. Savit has already started having discussions with the Washtenaw County Youth Advisory Commission on the topic of mental health, and would like to further reach out to the community in order to better harness youth leadership. Read more:Emotional trauma related to pandemic leads Whitmer to push for more mental-health fundingWith mental health struggles looming, Ann Arbor Public Schools students organize rally for in-person learningLetter from the Editor: COVID and the ‘cure’ both stress us out, so we’ll keep the focus on mental health awarenessmlive.com
Spiders close library, in-person learning returns: Ann Arbor top headlines Feb. 20-25
In-person learning coming to Ann Arbor Public Schools in MarchAnn Arbor Public Schools students will begin returning to the classroom in a hybrid learning format beginning March 25. Washtenaw County prosecutor won’t help ICE deport noncitizensEffective immediately, a person’s immigration status does not matter to the criminal justice system in Washtenaw County. Judge dismisses several claims in Ann Arbor school principal’s lawsuitClaims that an Ann Arbor Public Schools principal’s placement on leave was racially discriminatory have been dismissed from a lawsuit filed against the district and several of its administrators. 71-year-old Ann Arbor Catholic parish expanding with social justice in mindThe St. Francis of Assisi Parish traces its roots in Ann Arbor back to 1950, and it’s grown to become one of the largest Roman Catholic churches in the region. ‘We are struggling.’ Owners hope Ann Arbor Restaurant Week brings much-needed businessHeavily discounted meals tend to bring in traffic for Ann Arbor Restaurant Week.mlive.com
Washtenaw County prosecutor won’t help ICE deport noncitizens
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Effective immediately, a person’s immigration status does not matter to the criminal justice system in Washtenaw County. “We know that a fear of collaboration with federal law enforcement makes noncitizens less likely to report serious crimes. “That is why we are drawing a line in the sand and not collaborating on federal immigration enforcement efforts. Legal experts asked about the wave of policy changes concluded the changes fell well within a prosecutor right to use discretion. To read the immigration policy in its entirety, click here.mlive.com
Ann Arbor’s Miller Manor still picking up the pieces after suspected arson
ANN ARBOR, MI — It took a team of people a few days just to clean all the soot off the hallway walls, said Beth Yaroch, Ann Arbor Housing Commission operations director. It’s unclear why he did it, though mental health issues are believed to be a factor, police said. “This is a case in which somebody was dealing with a mental health crisis and we didn’t catch that,” Savit said. We don’t have access to mental health files or mental health screenings or anything like that. But I’m not shirking responsibility on this.”The entire system needs to do better at intervening in mental health crises, Savit said.mlive.com
Targeting victims based on gender, sexual orientation now a hate crime in Washtenaw County
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Crimes committed against a person in Washtenaw County where evidence shows the victim was targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity will now be charged as a hate crime. Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Friday, Feb. 12, his office will charge crimes perpetuated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity under Michigan’s ethnic intimidation law. The law does not specifically cover sexual orientation or gender identity as currently written. “Michigan’s laws regarding hate crimes do not expressly prohibit crimes based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” Savit wrote in his latest policy directive. To read the new policy directive in its entirety, click here.mlive.com
Nessel Joins Suit With Ford Focus & Fiesta Owners – Hopes To Restore Consumer Protections
This case however has ramifications for all consumers in the state under Michigan’s consumer protection laws. according to Nessel, the Supreme Court has an opportunity to restore the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. According to Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, “the Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court Judges have interpreted the Consumer Protection Act in a way that applies to nobody”. The Michigan Supreme Court fully reviewed an application to appeal that decision and decided not to take the case. However, Savit says decisions over the years by the Michigan Supreme Court has made it impossible for prosecutors to hold people accountable to the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.detroit.cbslocal.com
Inside a COVID testing lab; U-M students asked to stay home; Four Directions owners to retire
John Prine leads the finale of the 41st Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 2018. Before we take a deep dive into this past week’s news, the 44th Ann Arbor Folk Festival kicks off tonight. (A4)Ad🧪️ Ann Arbor startup LynxDx is currently the second leading COVID testing lab in Michigan. (Washington Post)AdGood to know:🍲 Pop-up restaurants are on the rise in Ann Arbor as eateries think of creative ways to keep revenue flowing. Ad🦠 COVID WATCH: For daily COVID-19 news and analysis in Michigan, sign up for ClickOnDetroit’s Morning Report newsletter.
‘We are really focused on equity’: New Washtenaw County prosecutor makes sweeping changes
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The new Washtenaw County prosecutor, Eli Savit, weighed in on what drove him to run for that position and what has inspired him to drive so much change. “We are really focused on equity in our justice system,” Savit said. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit scraps cash bailThree days into his term, he scrapped cash bail. READ: Washtenaw County prosecutor announces office will no longer pursue charges for consensual sex workOn Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Savit announced a new policy to combat racial profiling in Washtenaw County. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announces new policy to fight racial profilingSavit said he wants Washtenaw County to serve as an example for the rest of the state.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Grants Leniency To Low-Level Juveniles Offenders
Barstool Sports Portnoy Uses Online Sports Betting To Help Michigan Small Businesses During PandemicDavid Portnoy, Barstool founder in Detroit promoting new online sports betting in Michigan and Barstool Sportsbook in Greektown Casino, while helping small Michigan businesses struggling during pandemic. Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith Pleads Guilty To ObstructionEric Smith, who was Macomb County prosecutor for nearly 16 years, admitted that he attempted to get three people, including two assistant prosecutors, to make false statements about his use of campaign cash. DTE Energy Launches Program Allowing Residential, Small Business Gas Customers To Reduce Their Carbon FootprintDTE Energy announced that it will offer customers a new way to reduce their carbon footprint. Whitmer To Pitch Pandemic Relief In State Of State SpeechGov. Gretchen Whitmer will seek “common ground” with the Republican-led Legislature in her State of the State address, pitching a multibillion-dollar pandemic relief plan that would prioritize coronavirus vaccinations and additional aid to schools and businesses amid the crisis.detroit.cbslocal.com
‘Our justice system needs to treat kids like kids:’ Washtenaw County Prosecutor won’t charge juveniles accused of minor crimes
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The juvenile justice system is no longer Washtenaw County’s go-to option when children and teens are accused of minor crimes. Since his term started, Savit has introduced sweeping policy changes to the county’s justice system, including rescinding the county’s no-tolerance policies, scrapping cash bail and combatting racial profiling. “All of this gives rise to a simple conclusion: Our justice system needs to treat kids like kids. Fights involving injuries and/or weapons on or off school property will be dealt with at the discretion of the prosecutor’s office. Petitions can be authorized by APAs if a continued threat to the safety of others is indicated or if the case is “more severe than typical school-related misbehavior.”Find the full policy directive here.
Prosecutor to be more lenient on juveniles in marijuana, tobacco and truancy cases
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Unless evidence shows a serious crime or violent act has been committed, children and teens accused of breaking the law in Washtenaw County will no longer face the juvenile justice system as a first option. Newly elected Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit issued another policy change Monday, Jan. 25. The latest change directs his staff to no longer issue petitions against juveniles accused of minor crimes such as truancy, curfew violations, tobacco offences, possession of marijuana and disorderly conduct. Fights involving injuries and/or weapons inside or outside of school will be at the discretion of the prosecutor’s office. Q&A: How Eli Savit plans to reform criminal justice in Washtenaw CountyTo read the new policy in its entirety, click here.mlive.com
Washtenaw County will no longer charge juveniles for low-level offenses: 'We need to treat kids like kids'
We’re looking to build out sustainable systems to address juvenile issues outside the criminal legal system. At bottom, we need to treat kids like kids. The policy excludes elevated incidents like “serious assaults” or “major thefts.”“As a former 8th-grade teacher, I know full well that young people will make mistakes,” Savit said. In the typical circumstance, a detention-oriented approach makes it more likely a young person will commit future criminal acts,” Savit added. “Today’s policy directive is about providing a young person an opportunity to learn and grow from their mistakes, without being tethered to the criminal legal system.metrotimes.com
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit talks vision, policy change in first weeks in office
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has made his mark in his first 21 days in office. “I am a believer in the justice system based on what you did and not who you are,” said Savit. Three days later, Savit put Washtenaw County on the map by making it the first county in Michigan to scrap cash bail. Kids aren’t just mini adults and we shouldn’t be trapping them in the criminal legal system for adolescent or childhood mistakes. For instance, he said he’d rather see people deal with drug use through the health system rather than the legal system.
Racial profiling focus of 2021 Washtenaw Reads book
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw Reads program is an initiative by local public libraries to encourage reading and civic dialogue. One book is selected each year and participating libraries include Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Salem-South Lyon, Saline and Ypsilanti. This year’s Washtenaw Read is “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. For more information about the book, to see the authors’ websites and to discover related titles for people of all ages, click here. According to the Ann Arbor District Library’s website, Washtenaw Reads books should meet the following criteria:
New policy geared toward combating racial profiling introduced by Washtenaw County prosecutor
ANN ARBOR, MI -- Washtenaw County Prosecutor Prosecutor Eli Savit has announced a policy that the office will no longer authorize possession of contraband charges that stem from pretext traffic stops. Savit announced the policy Monday, Jan. 18, noting that charges resulting from those traffic stops like drug possession, possession of stolen property and certain minor weapons possession charges stem from racial profiling. The policy directive specifically states that the prosecutor’s office will not file a possession of contraband charge, if a search that uncovered the contraband stemmed from an infraction-related stop. The entire policy directive can be found here. Read more on MLive:Michigan prosecutor will look the other way when it comes to certain kinds of prostitutionWashtenaw prosecutor won’t charge people for marijuana, shrooms, other psychedelicsWashtenaw County prosecutor rolls out new policy to end use of cash bailmlive.com
Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announces new policy to fight racial profiling
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office announced today a new policy aimed at combatting racial profiling. The policy directive is only applicable to “consent searches” after routine ordinance or traffic stops. “We are sending a message that we are not interested in pursuing contraband charges that stem from racial profiling. Our Policy Regarding Pretext Stops is another proactive step towards creating a criminal justice system that works for all of us. None of us are free, until we are all free.”To read the full policy directive, click here.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor bans drug charges stemming from racist 'pretext stops'
"We are sending a message that we are not interested in pursuing contraband charges that stem from racial profiling." "Contraband crimes" include charges for possession of controlled substances, possession of stolen, embezzled, or converted property, minor in possession of alcohol, and certain low-level possession of weapons offenses. The policy directive doesn't apply if the officer stopped a civilian to investigate a crime or if the officer has independent reason to conduct a search following a traffic stop. According to the directive, "pretext stops are humiliating, traumatizing, and can lead to broad distrust of law enforcement in communities of color. In recent days, Savit's office has also announced it won't pursue charges in cases involving marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, and other psychedelic plants.metrotimes.com
AAPS explores reopening schools; U-M pauses 2nd vaccine phase; Harbaugh here to stay
Ann Arbor Public Schools made a major announcement this week: The district aims to return to hybrid in-person learning sometime in early March. While this is a lot to take in, parents should know that virtual learning will still be an option once in-person learning returns. (MLive)🎙 These city of Ann Arbor offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. (A4)🎻 UMS has canceled all of its in-person performances through the end of April due to the ongoing pandemic. All About Ann Arbor is powered by ClickOnDetroit/WDIV.
Washtenaw County prosecutor announces office will no longer pursue charges for consensual sex work
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer pursue charges against those who work consensually in the sex industry. “We are focused on crime that really harms the community,” said Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit. Charges will not be filed against consensual sex workers, officials said. The prosecutor will still work cases against human traffickers and those who may be holding people against their will. READ: Washtenaw County Prosecutor no longer pursuing charges for consensual sex work
Washtenaw County Prosecutor no longer pursuing charges for consensual sex work
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Thursday that his office will no longer press criminal charges in consensual sex work cases. Savit said that his office will continue to “vigorously pursue” sex work crimes, including sexual and physical assault, human trafficking and crimes involving children. “The criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work-adjacent harm,” reads the 8-page policy directive issued to Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys. Furthermore, research papers in the world’s leading independent medical journal, The Lancet, conclude that decriminalizing sex work can reduce new HIV infections. “Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the American Civil Liberties Union have all called for the decriminalization of sex work,” reads the directive.
Michigan prosecutor will look the other way when it comes to certain kinds of prostitution
WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Effective immediately, no charges will be authorized against those engaged in consensual sex work in Washtenaw County. Research demonstrates that the criminalization of sex work enhances sex workers vulnerabilities to violence and exploitation. Because sex work is regarded as criminal activity, sex workers are easy targets for abuse and exploitation, the policy states. “Some people who engage in sex work would prefer to do so for only a limited time. Cases involving forced or coerced sex work, sexual assault and sex work involving minors will still be vigorously pursued criminally.mlive.com
Washtenaw County will no longer pursue criminal charges for consensual sex work
click to enlarge Koca Vehbi / Shutterstock.comToday, I’m announcing the Washtenaw Prosecutor’s Office will no longer prosecute consensual sex work. Because sex work 'is regarded as criminal activity . “Criminalization forces sex workers to operate in 'isolated conditions and locations,' thereby increasing their 'physical vulnerability. '”There are potential societal and worldwide medical benefits as a result of decriminalizing sex work, too. Among the directive's cited research is information from the world's leading independent medical journal,, which suggests that decriminalizing sex work would be the greatest tool in reducing new HIV infections.metrotimes.com
Washtenaw prosecutor won’t charge people for unauthorized use of opioid-addiction drug
ANN ARBOR, MI — Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit is adding a drug used to treat opioid addiction to the list of things he won’t prosecute people for. The prosecutor’s office will no longer charge cases related to unauthorized use or possession of buprenorphine, often known by the brand name Suboxone, medication that helps people dealing with opioid addiction, Savit said. “Today’s policy announcement is about saving lives,” Savit said in a statement, saying people generally use buprenorphine to aid in recovery. That’s the outcome we all should want.”Savit sworn in as Washtenaw County prosecutor, begins work to reshape justice systemExperts assisted in creating the new policy, including doctors, law enforcement, recovery professionals and opioid policy specialists, Savit said. There were 41 opioid-related deaths among Washtenaw County residents between January and August last year, according to the county health department.mlive.com
Washtenaw County prosecutor no longer pursuing charges in marijuana, entheogenic plant cases
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – It was recently announced that Washtenaw County will no longer pursue charges related to marijuana and entheogenic plants. Read: Washtenaw County Prosecutor: No more charges in cannabis, psychedelic plant casesThis means indictments such as possession and distribution related to marijuana or shrooms will all be off the table from a legal standpoint. They can focus on the people who are doing real crime in the community, then it’s definitely worth it,” said a Washtenaw County woman who also chose not to be identified. We should no longer continue to perpetuate the cruel roulette wheel that imposes criminal consequences only on an unlucky few,” said Savit. Criminal charges can still be filed against large-scale operations that are distributing controlled substances if the health of the public is at risk.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor: No more charges in cannabis, psychedelic plant cases
Marijuana plants are pictured at the Baker's marijuana nursery at Baker Medical Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Tuesday that his office will no longer bring charges in cases related to marijuana or entheogenic plant use, possession or small-scale distribution. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we'll no longer be charging cases related to marijuana or entheogenic plants (naturally occurring psychedelics). If Washtenaw County’s largest city’s resolution decriminalized the use, growth and possession of psychedelic plants, the Prosecutor’s Office sees no point in bringing charges forward elsewhere in the county. For that reason, we will no longer be contesting expungement for marijuana or entheogenic-related offenses.”See the full policy directives for cannabis and marijuana and entheogenic plants.
Washtenaw prosecutor won’t charge people for marijuana, shrooms, other psychedelics
ANN ARBOR, MI – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has announced his office will not charge people for use, possession or small-scale distribution of marijuana and entheogenic plants, including magic mushrooms and other naturally occurring psychedelics. In addition, the prosecutor’s office will support the expungement of old criminal convictions arising from marijuana or entheogenic-plant offenses, Savit said. “Many of us know people who have used substances like marijuana or psychedelics without facing criminal consequences,” Savit said in a statement. Under the policy, criminal charges still can be filed against large-scale enterprises distributing controlled substances in violation of health and safety standards or to children. The prosecutor’s office also will continue to file charges for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, Savit said.mlive.com
Police shooting of Aura Rosser highlighted in Washtenaw prosecutor’s new policies
Rosser, a 40-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot by an Ann Arbor police officer during a response to a domestic dispute on the city’s west side in November 2014. A demonstrator lays a sign on the ground in memory of Aura Rosser who was shot and killed by Ann Arbor police in 2014 during a police brutality protest in Ann Arbor on Thursday, June 4, 2020. (Jenna Kieser | The Ann Arbor News)Jenna Kieser | The Ann Arbor NewsSavit highlighted the Rosser case in his new policy directive, noting Mackie’s decision to not charge the officer has led to pronounced and sustained community backlash. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office agrees with these voices,” Savit’s policy directive states. Protests against police brutality continue in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.mlive.com
Prosecutor ends cash bail, professor makes MLK mosaic out of LEGOs: Ann Arbor top headlines Jan. 2-7
ANN ARBOR, MI – With so much national news coming out this week, it’s easy to forget that a lot news happened in the Ann Arbor area as well. Washtenaw County prosecutor rolls out new policy to end use of cash bailFollowing through on a campaign promise, newly elected Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has rolled out a policy seeking to end cash bail. Gretchen Whitmer has appointed attorney and lifelong Ann Arbor resident Miriam A. Perry to serve in the city’s 15th District Court. Ann Arbor Police Department getting its first all-electric Ford MustangsThe Ann Arbor Police Department is adding a couple all-electric Ford Mustangs to its patrol fleet. Washtenaw County ramping up COVID-19 vaccination efforts after ‘slower’ startVaccination efforts are expected to increase in Washtenaw County this week as a new shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive, health officials said.mlive.com
COVID-19 vaccines at the Big House; Washtenaw County Prosecutor fulfills promises; Jeff Daniels to MC Folk Fest
But here in Ann Arbor and in greater Washtenaw County, some major stories developed as well. Meanwhile, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit made several policy changes in his first week in office, including scrapping cash bail. Washtenaw County is the first jurisdiction in the state to eliminate cash bail. (MLive)🎤 Jeff Daniels will emcee the virtual 44th Ann Arbor Folk Festival on Jan. 29 and 30. (MLive)Good to know:🖌 Here’s a great socially distant activity: Explore these downtown murals commissioned by the Ann Arbor Art Center -- map included.
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.
Local 4 News at 5 -- Jan. 4, 2021
Here’s what you missed on Local 4 News at 5:Washtenaw County prosecutor to eliminate use of cash bail in any caseWashtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Monday that the Prosecutor’s Office will eliminate the use of cash bail in any case. Savit, who took office on Jan. 1, alerted staff Monday morning in a 20-page policy directive. According to the directive, cash bail “is a system under which a defendant who has been accused of a crime is required to post money in order to secure release from jail pending trial.”
Washtenaw County prosecutor rolls out new policy to end use of cash bail
ANN ARBOR, MI — Following through on a campaign promise, newly elected Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit has rolled out a policy seeking to end cash bail. Cash bail is a system under which defendants are required to pay money to be released from jail pending trial. Savit’s policy precludes prosecutors in his office from seeking cash bail as a release condition in cases. “Cash bail is inherently inequitable and unjust. “Under a cash bail system, poorer people — even those who are accused of relatively minor crimes — are forced to sit in jail for days, weeks or years.mlive.com
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit scraps cash bail
ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced Monday that the Prosecutor’s Office will eliminate the use of cash bail in any case. Savit, who took office on Jan. 1, alerted staff Monday morning in a 20-page policy directive. The move has made Washtenaw County the first jurisdiction in the state to eliminate cash bail. Washington, D.C. and New Jersey have stopped seeking cash bail, as well as the city of San Francisco and counties in Vermont and Virginia. According to the directive, cash bail places poorer people at risk of losing their jobs, homes and can place serious harm on children of defendants.
Savit sworn in as Washtenaw County prosecutor, begins work to reshape justice system
ANN ARBOR, MI — Eli Savit is now officially Washtenaw County’s chief prosecutor. Joined by friends, family and activists, they reiterated their pledge to reform criminal justice in Washtenaw County with racial equity in mind. “At long last, we will look squarely in the eye the searing legacy of racial inequity in our justice system,” he said. “If you look at some of the polling numbers around criminal justice reform, Americans and Michiganders, they don’t favor stringent mandatory-minimum policies,” he said. MORE FROM THE ANN ARBOR NEWS:Another South U block demolished to make way for next Ann Arbor high-riseLooking back at 2020 on the Ann Arbor city beat and what’s ahead in 2021Records shed more light on outcomes of citizen complaints against Ann Arbor policeOnly 1 in 43 complaints against Ann Arbor police resulted in discipline, records showAnn Arbor Police Department getting its first all-electric Ford Mustangsmlive.com
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit rescinds ‘zero-tolerance’ policies
WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced that he is rescinding “zero-tolerance” policies that were previously used by the prosecutor’s office. The policies prevented certain defendants from going through substance-use treatment or rehabilitation options in lieu of incarceration. A one-sized-fits-all approach to justice—divorced from the factual circumstances of each unique case—is not justice at all. I said repeatedly during my campaign that my first act as Prosecutor would be to eliminate ‘zero-tolerance policies,’ and we’ve done that today. Everyone involved in the justice system—crime survivors, defendants, witnesses, and families—deserves to have their unique case treated with the care that it deserves.
Washtenaw County says cases involving natural psychedelics will no longer be charged
click to enlarge Shutterstock.comYou're not tripping — newly appointed Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit introduced two new policy directives Tuesday that detail why he's no longer charging criminal cases involving marijuana, "magic" mushrooms, or other entheogenic plants.In a series of tweets , Savit cited the cost of cannabis criminalization as it relates to disproportionate consequences for people of color as being a motivating factor in his motions to establish new policies. In fact, the directive continues, “the use of psilocybin mushrooms has been associated with reduced partner violence in men.”“In other words: the status quo is that a significant number of Washtenaw residents safely use entheogenic plants,” the policy reads. “Only an unlucky few run afoul of the criminal justice system as a result of that use. The Prosecutor’s Office is committed to ending that arbitrariness and accordingly will no longer prosecute the possession, use, or cultivation of entheogenic plants.”The directive also clarifies that driving under the influence of these substances is still subject to prosecution, as are large-scale, profit-seeking enterprises that flout safety laws, as well as adults who sell drugs to children. However, the policy also aims to make it so that those in need of emergency services as a result of having used psychedelic plants can receive the care they need without worrying about criminal consequences.To read the complete directives, see washtenaw.orgmetrotimes.com
Q&A: How Eli Savit plans to reform criminal justice in Washtenaw County
ANN ARBOR, MI — In five days, Eli Savit will be Washtenaw County’s chief prosecutor and he has big plans to reform the county’s approach to criminal justice with racial equity in mind. In the first several weeks, I pledge not to continue to seek cash bail in any cases in Washtenaw County. We see eye to eye on effectively everything in the criminal justice system and we ran on very similar platforms. She ran for Wayne County prosecutor and I’m just thrilled she’s coming on board in Washtenaw County. Eli Savit, a candidate for Washtenaw County Prosecutor, speaks outside the Washtenaw County Circuit Court, 101 E. Huron St. in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.mlive.com
University of Michigan freshman designs new logo for Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office
ANN ARBOR, MI -- A design created by a University of Michigan freshman has been selected as the next logo for the Washtenaw Prosecutor’s Office, prosecutor-elect Eli Savit announced Wednesday on Twitter. The design from Atiya Farooque, 18, was selected because it best reflects his and the prosecutor’s office’s values, said Savit, who sponsored a contest to design the new logo. Farooque incorporated a number references and symbolism that bring a human element into the logo, she said. “In my logo, I tried to focus on the values of the incoming prosecutor’s office while acknowledging Washtenaw’s justice system’s past and present state,” Farooque said in a statement included in her submission. Read more from the Ann Arbor News:Washtenaw County prosecutor-elect names first female assistant chiefOver $400K in donations fuel hotly contested Washtenaw County prosecutor’s raceHundreds more COVID-19 cases reported in Washtenaw County as surge continuesmlive.com
Washtenaw County prosecutor-elect names first female assistant chief
ANN ARBOR, MI — Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney-Elect Eli Savit announced in a news release on Monday, Oct. 9 that he will appoint attorney Victoria Burton-Harris as Washtenaw County’s chief assistant prosecuting attorney. Upon taking oath, Burton-Harris will become the first female chief assistant prosecuting attorney in Washtenaw County, as well as the highest-ranking woman ever in the prosecutor’s office, the release said. The chief assistant prosecuting attorney, a statutory position, is the top appointed assistant in the prosecutor’s office. Her appointment as chief assistant prosecutor makes her the second-ranking attorney in the county where she spent her undergraduate years. “I am honored to join Eli as his Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney,” Burton-Harris said.mlive.com
Washtenaw County public invited to community forum to discuss racial disparaties
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Saturday, Oct. 17, a forum will take place at South Lillie Park addressing disparities among the Black community in Washtenaw County. At the “Getting Real About Race” community forum, activists and public officials will discuss issues in five different areas including education, housing, healthcare, employment and the criminal justice system. The forum is scheduled to take place from 2-6 p.m. Anticipated speakers include U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor, Ypsilanti Mayor Lori Richardson, Washtenaw County Prosecutor-Elect Eli Savit and Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, among many others according to the event page. South Lillie Park is at 4365 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor.