Family of a Croswell-Lexington High School student sues district for racial harassment claims
The family of a Croswell-Lexington High School student is suing the Croswell-Lexington School District for the racial harassment that their daughter has experienced. They’re claiming their Black daughter was repeatedly harassed and threatened because of her skin color.
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.
United Way of Washtenaw County’s latest 21-Day Equity Challenge underway
United Way of Washtenaw County launched the newest edition of its 21-Day Equity Challenge on Juneteenth in order to build community awareness around the biases, privileges, prejudice and oppressions that emerge in our daily lives.
GM responds to allegations of racism
DETROIT – GM is responding to allegations of racism that were printed in a full-page advertisement in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. The advertisement accuses GM CEO Mary Barra of consistently refusing to meet with several Black-owned media companies. Detroiter Byron Allen is asking GM to allocate at least 5% of its advertising budget to go toward Black-owned media companies. The ad claims less than 1% of GM’s marketing budget goes toward Black-owned media companies. GMThe automaker cited its work with HBCUs, its partnership with National Association Of Black Owned Broadcasters and AIMM.
Allegations of sexism, racism at Detroit Institute of Arts surface in new recordings
DETROIT – Officials with the Detroit Institute of Arts are vowing to make changes after newly-released recordings have captured what employees call a toxic work environment. The audio recordings are between two officials at the DIA and their attorneys -- tasked with investigating allegations of racism, sexism and retaliation against DIA director Salvador Salort-Pons. The recording were taking during an April board meeting with investigators detailing a toxic work environment -- particularly for women. The law firm found women were five times more likely to leave than men and the women who did stay were not valued as much as their male counterparts. In the months since, the DIA has taken important steps toward a workplace that fully embodies fairness, inclusion, consistency and respect.
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” it said. Books by Dr. Seuss -- who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904 --- have been translated into dozens of languages as well as in braille and are sold in more than 100 countries. Ad“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss,” the school district said in a statement. “The Cat in the Hat,” one of Seuss’ most popular books, has received criticism, too, but will continue to be published for now.
No charges after klan flag hangs next to Black family’s home in Grosse Pointe Park
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. – A prosecutor declined to file charges Tuesday against a suburban Detroit man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window next to the home of a Black family, saying the “horrible conduct” doesn't violate Michigan law. An ethnic intimidation charge would require physical contact, property damage or threats of such activity, said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. JeDonna Dinges, 57, of Grosse Pointe Park, said the klan flag was hanging next door in a window directly across from her dining room. “There is absolutely no question that what happened to Ms. Dinges was despicable, traumatizing and completely unacceptable," Worthy said. The average person would not own a klan flag, which is a true symbol of hatred,” Dinges said.
A look into the history of the prison system in the United States
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the world. The country represents only 5% of the global population but 25% of the prison population. Here’s a look into the prison system in the United States and how slavery and racism contributed to it. Watch the full report above to learn more.
Changes happening at the corporate level in the United States
The year 2020 brought new calls to end social injustice and systemic racism. Over the last year, we’ve seen the beginnings of an awakening to racism in America, evident in protests across the country this past summer. And there has been a response from corporations. Watch the full report to learn more.
Residents protest KKK flag displayed in Grosse Pointe Park home facing Black neighbor
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. – A steady flowing line of protesters Sunday circled their way around Wayburn Street in Grosse Pointe Park to clearly voice their disgust of an open display of racism. Their protest comes after a home displayed a red black and white Ku Klux Klan flag in window facing an African American woman’s home. Officials with the city of Grosse Pointe Park released the following statement:AdAt approximately 3:00pm Tuesday February 16th the Grosse Pointe Park Department of Public Safety was made aware of a Ku Klux Klan flag displayed in a window that faces the home of an African-American woman. The Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department serves all residents of our community no matter their race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or religion. City of Grosse Pointe ParkThe Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods branch of the NAACP released the following statement:
Detroit Police Chief James Craig discusses his approach to race relations
Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.
Black History Month: Detroit’s top cop has message on overcoming racism
Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.
Couple files discrimination lawsuit against realtor in Livingston County
LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. – When Julie and Verdell Franklin saw their dream cottage come up for sale on Zukey Lake in Livingston County the couple knew they had to act fast. In the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Michigan the Franklins allege that almost nothing about how the realtor was acting felt right. The lawsuit claims they were ignored, not asked basic questions and eventually told nothing would be accepted less than the listing price. The Franklins sent discrimination complaints to both the Livingston County Realtors Association and the Fair Housing Authority who said they should look into a lawsuit. READ MORE: LIVINGSTON COUNTY HEADLINES
Black doctor, UM graduate recounts racist medical care in viral video before dying of COVID
DETROIT – A hospital in Indiana is promising a full review of the treatment of a Black doctor who died from coronavirus days before Christmas. READ: Black doctor who grew up in Michigan dies of COVID after racist treatment complaintsMoore got her medical degree from the University of Michigan in 2002 and studied engineering at Kettering University in Flint. Moore was admitted to Indiana University Health North Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Dennis Murphy, President and CEO of Indiana University HealthThe coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black men and women. In response, the state of Michigan started the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities and required implicit bias training for health professionals.
Rep. removed from Michigan House Oversight Committee amid investigation
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson is under investigation after she posted on social media a response to the many violent, vulgar and racist death threats she’s received. The video, posted Tuesday night, has quickly gone viral and legislative leadership removed her from her House Oversight Committee assignments Wednesday. “My soldiers, they are soldiers for Christ, soldiers against racism, soldiers against domestic violence, soldiers against domestic terrorism,” Johnson said. Rep. Johnson has been removed from her committee assignments, and we are looking into further disciplinary action as the proper authorities conduct their own investigations. Whitmer, Secretary Benson, Rep. Johnson herself, and others.
Michigan House Oversight Committee members receive death threats, racist voicemails
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Rep. Cynthia Johnson, the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee is receiving death threats due to the election. She posted several of the threats to social media. After both Democratic and Republican representatives have received threats of violence over the election, Michigan Assistant Minority Floor Leader Laurie Pohutsky posted on Twitter about the SNL sketch. The SNL skit was amusing, I guess, but last night my caucus was trying to figure out how to keep those on that committee safe from the deluge of death threats they’re receiving. I’m sorry to be a bummer and I’m glad people enjoyed the skit, but the reality of it is heinous.
‘New Detroit’ non profit has declaration of war against racism, and you can sign it
For more than five decades this non profit has been in the fight against racism, and you can join in with a simple signature. It’s a declaration of war against racism created by the local non profit New Detroit. “New Detroit is a coalition of leaders working to achieve racial understanding and racial equity among southeast Michigan,” said Rafferty, the CEO of New Detroit. I’ve experienced going into stores and being obviously and negatively profiled,” he said. New Detroit exists not just to fight racism, but systemic racism and getting to the root of the issue, not just the symptoms.
Michigan task force addressing racial disparities amid pandemic sees signs of progress
A Michigan task force has been conducting research and implementing new protocols to help improve conditions for minority communities who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic -- and they have seen some notable progress so far. Gretchen Whitmer established the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities to address issues leading to the disproportionate havoc the pandemic has wreaked on communities of color compared to white communities. Since the task force was created, more than 20 “Neighborhood Testing sites” have been established in previously-underserved communities throughout Michigan, the state reports. Moving forward, the group intends to close the “digital divide” by ensuring minority communities have better access to internet, telehealth services and virtual learning. “It’s clear that the work of this task force ... has made significant progress in protecting families, frontline workers, and small businesses in communities of color,” said Celeste Sanchez Lloyd, task force member and community program manager for Strong Beginnings at Spectrum Health.
Ferris State University professor placed on leave after racist remarks
BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – A science professor at a Michigan university has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated after denying the severity of the coronavirus and using racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs on Twitter. David Eisler, president of Ferris State University, said Monday in a statement that Thomas Brennan was placed on leave Thursday for his “offensive" remarks. According to the newspaper's screenshots, Brennan tweeted anti-Semitic language and racist and homophobic slurs. Following the newspaper's report, Brennan said in a statement that he is not racist, anti-Sematic or a science denier. John Smith, a university spokesman, declined to say whether Brennan was placed on administrative leave in response to the professor’s tweets, his comments about COVID-19, or both.
Fighting racial disparities when it comes to COVID-19
DETROIT – When the COVID-19 outbreak began, the virus hit Black and Brown communities hard with unspeakable losses. Since April, the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities has been working to eliminate the impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color. READ: What role are Michigan schools playing in spread of COVID-19? They’ve made progress by making testing more accessible for communities of color, including drive-thru, walk-up and mobile testing sites. We just funded another 20 million pounds with the projects called Rapid Response Initiatives.”The task force also recommended that Michigan Gov.
U-M pushes forward with anti-racism faculty hiring initiative on Ann Arbor campus
ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan is seeking to hire at least 20 new tenure-track faculty members on its Ann Arbor campus with scholarly expertise in structural racism and racial inequality as part of a new three-year hiring initiative. Funding for the faculty hires, research and scholarships affiliated with the initiative will be provided by the Provost’s Office. Additionally, the Provost’s Office will partner with the Office of Research and the National Center for Institutional Diversity to organize and support research and education under the initiative. The U-M Biosciences Initiative, in conjunction with the hiring initiative, will be filling four tenure-track positions this year. A selection committee of faculty members will review proposals by deans and groups of faculty submitted in January and will make hires.
What should government leaders focus on after the election?
This election year, the U.S. is facing a myriad of issues that aren’t solely political -- from the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, to national unrest over racism, blazing wildfires, hurricanes, you name it. No matter who you’re supporting in the General Election this November, it’s clear that the incoming government will have a lot of work to do to help the country return to some normalcy. The question is: After the November election is over, what issues should U.S. government leaders address first? Share your thoughts with us using the form below:The presidential election is on November 3, 2020. Inauguration day is January 20, 2021.
Harper Woods leaders pass resolution to address racism, injustice
HARPER WOODS, Mich. – Following the police killing of Black Minneapolis man George Floyd in May, the city of Harper Woods has been working to address racial injustice in the community. Over the summer, separate controversies led to the resignation of the Harper Woods mayor, and the firing of the city’s deputy police chief. Harper Woods city leaders recently said that they have approved a resolution in hopes of taking positive steps in the right direction. Harper Woods has faced its share of racial and social issues -- particularly the recent death of a woman who died while in police custody in June. “It was right after Mr. Floyd’s death, which affected all of us tremendously," said Valerie Kindle, Harper Woods Mayor.
Detroit Police Department creates new office to strengthen community relations
DETROIT – The Detroit Police Department is making moves to strengthen its relationship with the community amid a difficult and unsteady year. The department is creating a new office aimed at bringing together officers and citizens following local and national unrest over police brutality and racism. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has credited the relationship that the city has with its police department for the largely peaceful protests and interactions with protesters. Violence at Detroit protests included police deploying tear gas, rubber bullets and arresting numerous demonstrators. “This office will expand both the internal operations of officer support, and external efforts of procedural justice and policing legitimacy through community engagement,” Craig said.
New app gives employees safe way to report bullying, sexual harassment, racism in workplace
Bullying, sexual harassment and racism are problems that happen in workplaces across the United States, and employees often don’t report them. The makers of a new app, called the “#NotMe” app, believe they’re giving employees a safe way to report those types of issues. This week marks the third anniversary of the #MeToo movement, which motivated Ariel Weindling to create the #NotMe app. Then, someone told her about the #NotMe app. People can use the #NotMe app to report any kind of misconduct, even including coronavirus (COVID-19) noncompliance.
Focus: HOPE to host Eleanor’s Virtual March 4 HOPE – Presented by WDIV-Local 4
WDIV-Local 4 is the proud presenting sponsor of Eleanor’s Virtual March 4 Hope on Sunday. RegisterTo get started, register at https://www.focushope.edu/weekend-register/There is no registration fee or minimum donation required to participate in Eleanor’s Virtual March 4 HOPE. Share Your MarchWe hope you’ll share your March experience with us! (No in-person event will be held at Focus: HOPE). You also waive any right to inspect or approve any photo, video, or audio recording taken by Focus: HOPE or the person
New exhibit at Charles H. Wright Museum showcases the fight, history behind voting rights
The exhibit showcases a timeline of the right and the fight to vote, spanning centuries. RELATED: Housing discrimination in Detroit: An example of systemic racism“It is an inter generational activity,” said museum educator Yolanda Jack. The exhibit ends with the fight over the electoral college, gerrymandering and voter suppression still happening today. “I do think that there are people who are trying to make sure there are some people in the world who can’t vote,” Jack said. Voting Matters runs through the spring.
Man faces judge in Warren hate crime, asks for forgiveness
WARREN, Mich. – Michael John Frederick Jr. is accused of firing shots into the home of a family of veterans, slashing their tires, smashing a window, vandalizing their truck with a swastika, expletives and the words “Not Welcome.”Frederick faced Judge Michael Chupa Thursday, where he said he wanted the Hall family to forgive him. I can say it’s not like me,” Frederick said. “People should be able to reasonably disagree about politics without it resorting to violence. Using violence, whether motivated by race or politics or hatred or acrimony," Chupa said. "I don’t care, that is not what America is about.”Anyone with information is urged to contact the Warren Police Department at 586-574-4877.
Voices of a Nation: What everyone can do to help combat racism
DETROIT – If we want to see equality, social justice and reform happen, it will take all of us working together. The fight against racism continues and whether you think you’re directly affected or not, fighting for equality is everyone’s responsibility. "White people have a role that’s different than Black people do.”“It’s everybody’s job," said Frank Joyce, with People Against Racism. Do not give the implicit permission to other white people to talk to you about Black people," Cockrel said. Because I see people in motion and because compared to my experience 50+ years ago, the number of people in motion, white, Black, Latinx, indigenous etc.
Man confesses to crimes against Warren family in federal hate crime investigation
WARREN, Mich. – A press conference was held Wednesday afternoon to release details into the arrest of a man in connection with a hate crime investigation in Warren. Teams were sent out to knock on every door south of 11 Mile Road and west of Hoover Road. Investigators believe it was their Black Lives Matter sign that set off a 24-year-old delivery truck driver who lives with his parents around the corner. Police said he confessed to crimes against the Hall family and against another home that had “Pedophile” spray painted on the garage door because they had a Joe Biden sign. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Warren Police Department at 586-574-4877.
Police canvas Warren neighborhood in hate crime investigation
WARREN, Mich. – Police are going door-to-door in a Warren neighborhood looking for new clues into a series of racially motivated attacks on an African-American family. Warren police stepped up their search for a man who terrorized a family with violent actions and messages of hate. Shon Smith knew someone threw a rock through the window of the Hall family home on Sept. 9. She became emotional when she learned the same man fired shots a the home Sept. 7 and Sept. 10. “It brought tears to my eyes.”The police, the FBI and the two veterans targeted in the attacks believe they were targeted for a Black Lives Matter sign they placed in their window.
Warren veterans spend weeks in hotel after home repeatedly attacked
WARREN, Mich. – Police continue to investigate an apparent hate crime against a family in Warren. The family said they aren’t taking and chances and have temporarily moved out of their own home. They said they’d rather be in their own beds, but have spent the last two weeks in a hotel after their home was targeted in multiple hate crimes. Warren police and the FBI are investigating, but the person has not been caught yet. The family said they feel terrorized and will likely feel that way until the culprit has been caught.
Man pleads guilty to threatening Taylor woman due to her race
DETROIT – Ronald Wyatt, 22, pleaded guilty Wednesday to intentionally threatening physical harm to a Taylor woman to obstruct her free exercise of religion. The Department of Justice said Wyatt admitted he targeted the woman because her race. “Although the First Amendment protects free speech, it doesn’t give anyone the right to obstruct the free exercise of religious beliefs by threatening violence or bodily harm. Prosecuting those who violate the civil rights of Michigan citizens is some of the most important work we do. This plea today is the first step towards justice for this innocent victim.”Wyatt faces up to a year in prison.
Detroit Lions QB Stafford in blog: ‘Police brutality, white privilege, racism - it’s all real. It’s time we stop pretending'
DETROIT – Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is typically pretty quiet outside of the game of football. But when it comes to racism and police brutality, he feels the need to speak up. It’s time we stop pretending, or defending, or just closing our eyes to what’s right in front of us. “If you’re being silent, you’re OK with it,” Detroit safety Duron Harmon said. "You’re OK with what’s happening.
Metro Detroit faith leaders call on state senate to declare racism a public health crisis
LANSING, Mich. – A group of faith and civic leaders came together Wednesday to call on Lansing to do more to fight systemic racism. It comes as a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis has stalled in the State Senate despite broad support. “Racism is a public health crisis that has been exacerbated by the parallel pandemics of social unrest as it relates to police violence as well as the pandemic," Pressley said. “It’s disproportionally impacting Black and Brown communities.”But Pressley said this public health crisis is twofold,. So our desire is to increase the capacity of moral leadership again by calling it a Public Health Crisis," Pressley said.
$3,000 reward offered for information in racially motivated attack on Warren veterans
WARREN, Mich. – Police are offering a $3,000 reward to help find who is responsible for a hate crime committed in Warren. The Warren Police Department released surveillance video of a man outside the home holding a gun. The house, owned by two Black veterans, was shot up Thursday night and Monday night. They are veterans," Dwyer said. “This is a hate crime.”UPDATE: FBI to launch federal hate crime investigation on attack on Warren familyAnyone with information is urged to contact the Warren Police Department at 586-574-4877.
FBI to launch federal hate crime investigation on attack on Warren family
WARREN, Mich. – Within two days, the Hall family had their tires slashed, swastikas drawn on their vehicles, shots fired at their home and their front window smashed. Warren police released video of a man outside the home holding a gun Friday and announced a $3,000 reward for information to help find who is responsible. The video captures a man wearing a mask and hood with a gun in hand stalking the family’s home in Warren. Eddie Hall and Candace Sparks-Hall were not home at the time and were notified of the shooting by their neighbor. Police said the FBI has been called in to launch a federal hate crime investigation.
FBI to launch federal hate crime investigation on attack on Warren family
FBI to launch federal hate crime investigation on attack on Warren familyPublished: September 11, 2020, 5:08 pmWithin two days, the Hall family had their tires slashed, swastikas drawn on their vehicles, shots fired at their home and their front window smashed.
Detroit statue vandalized amid ongoing racial unrest in US cities
DETROIT A Detroit statue was found vandalized on Michigan Avenue at Washington Boulevard Saturday as racial unrest continues to shake up cities across the country. The vandalized statue located in the Washington Boulevard Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places decades ago. The Gen. Alexander Macomb monument looking north on Washington Boulevard in Detroit was targeted. The statue was found vandalized with the words, Slave Owner Land Thief spray painted with red on it after protesters held a rally in Detroit Saturday night. Amid the ongoing racial unrest and protests Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan ordered the citys Christopher Columbus bust to be removed.
Black former franchisees sue McDonalds for discrimination
According to the lawsuit, McDonalds steered Black franchisees to stores in inner-city neighborhoods with lower sales volumes and higher security and insurance costs. Once Black franchisees owned a store, they would be asked to rebuild or remodel within a shorter period of time than white franchisees without the rent relief and other financial support given to white franchisees, the lawsuit says. Theyre the same everywhere.Ferraro also noted that the number of Black McDonalds franchisees has fallen by half over the last two decades. In 1996, McDonalds leadership acknowledged that Black franchisees werent achieving parity with their white counterparts and resolved to make changes. They claimed McDonalds shifted advertising away from Black customers, graded Black-owned stores more harshly than white ones and implemented business plans that had a discriminatory impact on Black franchisees.
NHL postpones games in response to outcry for racial injustice awareness
The NHL’s Thursday and Friday playoff games have been postponed in response to the outcry for racial injustice awareness after a Black man was shot by police in Wisconsin. The league said this was the decision of the players not to play the games and that the NHL honors that decision. The NHLPA and the NHL are committed to working to foster more inclusive and welcoming environments within our arenas, offices and beyond.”Statement from the National Hockey League Players’ Association and National Hockey League. The NHL, meanwhile, went ahead with its Stanley Cup playoff games on Wednesday. NHL players did not boycott, and the league allowed the players to make that decision.
University of Michigan study: Ban facial recognition technology in schools
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Facial recognition technology should not be in schools, according to a new study out of the University of Michigan. Conducted at the University of Michigans Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, authors of the Cameras in the Classroom report recommend that the technology be banned from use in schools. The report states that use of facial recognition in schools would potentially exacerbate existing racial bias as facial recognition algorithms have higher inaccuracy rates with people of color. The study noted the marginalization of nonconforming students, commodifying data and a lack of regulation were additional factors in banning facial recognition in schools. Cameras in the Classroom: Facial Recognition Technology in Schools is a part of the U-M Ford Schools Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program Technology Assessment Project, a think-tank that works to understand the implications of emerging technology and provide evidence-based insight for policy development.
Gov. Whitmer creates Black Leadership Advisory Council to combat systemic racism
Whitmer creates Black Leadership Advisory Council to combat systemic racismPublished: August 5, 2020, 5:28 pmMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new order and directive to address racism and to expand training for state employees.
Gov. Whitmer creates Black Leadership Advisory Council to combat systemic racism
Gretchen Whitmer signed a new order and directive to address racism and to expand training for state employees. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-163 establishes a new government panel to advise her on the treatment of Black Michiganders. READ: Michigan declares racism public health crisis, will require implicit bias training for state employeesThis pandemic has confirmed and highlighted the deadly nature of these preexisting inequities caused by systemic racism, Whitmer said. Her solution is the creation of the Black Leadership Advisory Council within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. We have a lot of work to do to eradicate the systemic racism that Black Americans have faced for generations, Whitmer said.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer declares racism as public health crisis, will require implicit bias training for state employees
Gretchen Whitmer signed a new order and directive to address racism and to expand training for state employees. The governor also signed Executive Directive 2020-9, recognizing racism as a public health crisis and taking initial steps to address it within state government. Under the Executive Directive, the governor asked MDHHS to make health equity a major goal, as well as required implicit bias training for all state employees. Thats why today, I am proud to create the Black Leadership Advisory Council of Michigan, said Governor Whitmer. Promoting the cultural arts within the Black community through coordinated efforts, advocacy, and collaboration with state government.
Allegations of sexual misconduct and racism at Macomb County Medical Examiners Office under investigation
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. There is trouble surrounding the Macomb County Medical Examiners Office that has prompted an investigation. Macomb Countys Director of Human Resources, Andrew McKinnon, confirmed to Local 4 that his team is investigating four employees at the Macomb County Medical Examiners Office, including a supervisor for allegations of sexism and racism. According to McKinnon, on July 18 an employee sent an email referencing a hostile environment that has been going on for a while. The allegations of sexism and racism involve open displays of sexually explicit photographs, pornographic screensavers on work computers and mistreatment of people of color. Some of the employees will face consequences.
Watch Live: Spirit of Detroit special tonight at 8 p.m.
DETROIT In 1955, the city of Detroit commissioned a sculpture from renowned artist Marshall Fredericks to be placed at the Coleman A. When it was installed, the sculpture was the largest cast bronze statue created since the Renaissance. The Spirit of Detroit drives us to dig deeper, not merely for the best of who we are, but for the best of who we can be for each other. Yet, we see it across Metro Detroit everyday. As we continue to face the coronavirus pandemic and racial strife, Metro Detroiters stand strong to lift each other up.
DPD officer helps crying child work through fear of police
DETROIT When a Detroit police officer saw that 4-year-old four year old Mason Evans was crying and scared of him, he took the time to talk to the little boy to comfort him. I heard a kid crying saying, I dont want to get shot, I dont want to die, said Masons grandmother, Gina Kelly. An officer asked Kelly if he could talk to Mason and, when given the go-ahead, he told Mason police are there to help others when theyre in trouble. RELATED: Mentorship program brings Detroit teenagers together with police officersThe police officers took it a step further by buying the children snacks and drinks. The family wants to thank the officers at Detroit Police Departments Second Precinct for alleviating Masons fears.
New Detroit organization declares war on racism
DETROIT Standing in the midday heat, 30 of Detroits most prominent business, political and philanthropical leaders declared they would be pushing for systemic racial change in their organizations, in education and in policing. We are now engaged in an intentional, deliberate and lasting war on racism, New Detroit chair and president of Gardner White Furniture Rachel Tronstein Stewart said. New Detroit announced a renewed focus on ending systemic racism. READ: Protesters put Detroit leaders on public tribunal amid George Floyd marchesFor every dollar a white family earns in income, a black family earns 57 cents. For every dollar a white family has in wealth a black family has 7 cents, President and CEO of New Detroit Michael Rafferty said.
Controversy surfaces surrounding Cass Tech namesake
The name Cass Tech is synonymous with greatness, but the man in which the school was named after is starting to see his fair share of controversy in 2020. RELATED: Michigan governor: Lansing’s Lewis Cass Building renamed to ‘Elliott-Larsen Building’“Three schools being destroyed by fire one just we wore out. Many aren’t too pleased with the fact that Lewis Cass at one point was a slave owner, like alum Kevin Tolbert. “I think anything other than the Cass Tech Name destroys the brand. Since that time the School Board created and passed a school name change policy and it has not been used by stakeholders to initiate a name change for Cass Tech High School.
Warren banquet hall owner apologizes for sharing racist post on social media
WARREN, Mich. I just picked an inappropriate post to share and it wasnt intended to harm anybody, said Gary A. DeCarlo with DeCarlos Banquet and Convention Center. Gary DeCarlo, the owner of DeCarlos Banquet and Convention Center is talking about his latest post, he posted on his Facebook page. The entire country is sick of your s***, sick of the lawlessness, sick of the riots, sick of the threats and demands. Larry: Can you understand why so many people would be upset about this post and seeing it on your page? I thought if I didnt push like and just push share, I like some of the things that were shared in there, but not all.
Michigan governor: Lansings Lewis Cass Building renamed to Elliott-Larsen Building'
Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order to rename Downtown Lansings Lansings Lewis Cass Building to honor civil rights legislation. Executive Order 2020-139 renames the state-owned Lewis Cass Building in Downtown Lansing to the Elliott-Larsen Building, honoring the legislators who sponsored Michigans landmark civil rights act. This change marks the first time in Michigan history that a state building is named after an African-American woman. Together, Melvin Larsen and Daisy Elliotts names have become synonymous in Michigan with the protection of civil rights, said Governor Whitmer. Thats why I am proud to rename the Cass building in Lansing to the Elliott-Larsen building.
Royal Oak church service hacked by people yelling racial slurs
ROYAL OAK, Mich. A church in the middle of Sunday service was interrupted by hackers yelling racial slurs. It happened at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Royal Oak on Woodward Avenue. The church said it was holding its service through a Zoom call when someone who appeared to be wearing blackface broke in. The person interrupted the service and reportedly shouted racial slurs and white supremacist language. RELATED: Several Michigan churches and parishes to reopen after pandemic hiatusThe churchs pastor said they are in contact with Zoom to prevent this from happening again.
'The noose was real' - NASCAR releases photo from Talladega
NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace is consoled by team owner Richard Petty, right, prior to the start of the NASCAR Cup Series at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Monday, June 22, 2020. It also prompted criticism from some fans that NASCAR had somehow overreacted criticism NASCAR has bristled at and cited in releasing the photo from Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. As you can see from the photo, the noose was real, as was our concern for Bubba," NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. NASCAR said out of 1,684 garage stalls at 29 tracks, only 11 had a garage door pull-down rope tied in a knot. Phelps said NASCAR had determined the noose was not in place when the October 2019 race weekend began but was created at some point during that weekend," he said.
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
WATCH: Black fathers speak candidly about talking to sons about racism in America
DETROIT – Three Black fathers who are raising Black or biracial children in America spoke candidly about teaching their son to try to avoid racism and, quite frankly, just survive. All of the dads have incredible hope when it comes to social justice. He shared why he’s optimistic that things will get better in our country’s fight against racism. He, along with local musician Herb Harris Junior and Lucas Hagerty, are all raising Black or biracial sons. “I want to model that for them.”More: ‘Spirit of Detroit: Fulfilling the Dream’ SpecialExtended cut: Evrod Cassimy talks with fathers on raising Black sons in AmericaSpecial Section: Spirit Of Detroit Fulfilling The Dream
WATCH: Dads speak on raising Black sons in America
DETROIT – It’s difficult watching what’s happened to Black men in our country. Many young Black men are taught by their parents how some people in the world might view them and the things they should do in hopes of staying safe. We sat down with three Black fathers about how and when they have this difficult conversation with their sons. They all spoke candidly about the challenges or differences raising black or biracial young men in today’s climate compared to their white counterparts. The conversations about race started when their sons began asking questions or as certain incidents, like George Floyd, have made headlines.
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.
Housing discrimination in Detroit: An example of systemic racism
DETROIT One concept has been often mentioned amid our countrys current crisis, but it is not as often understood: systemic racism. Systemic racism shows up across systems in our community such as education, the criminal justice system, employment and housing. When it comes to housing discrimination, there is no need to look further than what happened right here in Detroit. The Black man was forced to find a house in a Black neighborhood or in a newly-developed housing project, such as Brewster Douglass. By the 1960s, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Black people were fed up with housing discrimination in addition to systemic police abuse, job discrimination and other forms of bias.
Detroit police challenged over face recognition flaws, bias
The ACLU complaint said Detroit police unthinkingly relied on flawed and racist facial recognition technology without taking reasonable measures to verify the information being provided." DataWorks Plus, a South Carolina company that provides facial recognition technology to Detroit and the Michigan State Police, also couldn't immediately be reached for comment. Providers of police facial recognition systems often point to research showing they can be accurate when used properly under ideal conditions. Studies have also shown that face recognition systems don't perform equally across race, gender and age working best on white men and with potentially harmful consequences for others. Several cities, led by San Francisco last year, have banned use of facial recognition by municipal agencies.