For full copy of second 4-page flier, click on Stop Illegal Foreclosures.
For full copy of second 4-page flier, click on Stop Illegal Foreclosures.
Chase wound from E. Warren to Mack, then up Nottingham past E. Warren, neighborhood residents say
Police traveled at high rate of speed throughout chase, almost caused Camaro to hit other children at Nottingham and Brunswick
“When are we going to stop police chases in Detroit? They wouldn’t do it in the suburbs.” – Defense attorney Marvin Barnett
Harris bound over on all counts, arraignment on info July 20
#PoliceBrutality, #StopPoliceChases, #JusticeforMakiahMichaelangelo, #policeviolence, #blacklivesmatter, #blacklivesmatterDetroit, #policechase, #pursuit, #saveourchildren, thisstopstoday , MMCare, #Beatbackthebullies
By Diane Bukowski
July 16, 2015
DETROIT — Eyewitnesses interviewed by VOD today about the June 24 high speed police chase which ended with the deaths of Makiah and Michaelangelo Jackson, 3 and 6 years old, strongly contradicted police testimony given July 13 during the preliminary exam of Lorenzo Harris, 29.
Detroit Special Ops officers Steven Feltz, Richard Billingslea, and Hakeem Patterson started chasing Harris near E. Warren and Haverhill, wound south almost to Mack Avenue, then back up Nottingham, the witnesses said. The Jackson children were killed on Nottingham near Frankfort, north of E. Warren.
“The police tried to ram the car at the corner of Nottingham and Brunswick [one block north of Mack] and nearly hit my kids, 14 and 11,” a resident living near that location told VOD. “He [Harris] almost jumped that curb over there where there were other little kids. You’d think the police would have backed off the chase at that point, but they were going 80 to 90 mph right on his bumper. If he would have tapped his brake, they would have hit him.”
A Google map of the chase as described (at top) shows it took 37 minutes, not the 45 seconds alleged by Detroit Police Chief James Craig. Even the police version of the chase would have taken 13 minutes.
After Feltz’ testimony and that of Detective Sgt. Christopher Weitzel and two civilian witnesses, Thirty-sixth District Court Judge Shannon D. Holmes bound Harris over on two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident, unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), two felony firearms charges, three counts of failure to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident, two counts of failure to stop at the scene when at fault, causing death, three counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily impairment, and two counts of fleeing police officers, first degree.
She scheduled an arraignment on the information for July 20. To date, no charges have been brought against the officers.
“You have two citizens driving down a residential street, one a person on parole, allegedly going 100 mph, while police were chasing them 90 mph,” Harris’ newly-retained defense attorney Marvin Barnett told VOD. “When are we going to stop police chases in Detroit? They wouldn’t do it in the suburbs. How in the world do Detroit citizens allow this to continue?”
The Nottingham resident said a friend who lives on Haverhill told him the cops chased Harris south down Haverhill from the direction of E. Warren to Bremen, where they turned right to Somerset, then right onto Brunswick to Nottingham, where they turned back north. Another witness living on Haverhill confirmed he saw the chase going south at a high rate of speed, with the officers closely behind.
The Nottingham resident also said cops in the Ninth Precinct, most of them white, constantly harass, illegally search, rob, and arrest Blacks in the community, particularly if they are driving expensive-looking cars like the red Camaro driven by Harris.
He said he himself was arrested while driving his restored car with expensive rims. He said both he and his wife work, but the cops accused him of being a drug dealer and took all the money he had just cashed from his paycheck. He still faces charges in the case.
It is VOD’s policy not to publicly identify witnesses who may face police retaliation.
Feltz, a four-year DPD veteran from the Fifth Precinct, who is white with a shaven head, testified that the officers were on routine patrol at the beginning of the chase at Devonshire and Cornwall. He said he was the right front passenger in a 2004 “fully marked” white Crown Victoria, with Billingslea driving. Craig earlier revealed that the car’s dashboard camera was not operable.
“I observed a red Chevy Camaro, late model, in front of me at the intersection,” Feltz said. “I observed a black handgun in the right hand of the driver, and we activated our lights and siren a few seconds afterwards.”
No handgun was entered into evidence. Chief Craig earlier said none was found.
He said the Camaro “accelerated at a high rate of speed,” with the scout car in pursuit down Cornwall at approximately 50 mph. He said the Camaro crossed Warren at Nottingham at a speed of about 100 mph, while the scout car remained “a good block to a block and a half away.”
He continued, “I was getting ready to notify my partners to stop the chase when I observed a large cloud of dust,” down the street on Nottingham.
“While approaching Nottingham and Frankfort, directly in the middle of the street, I saw a small child lying motionless, then another small child to my left laying on the curb. [We] stopped the vehicle and contacted headquarters.”
He said he laid Makiah, who appeared to have her left arm and leg broken, on her back. She was not breathing, he said, so he administered CPR, while another scout car picked up Michaelangelo. He said he conveyed Makiah to St. John’s Hospital, where an emergency room doctor declared her dead from a broken neck.
On cross-exam by Barnett, Feltz said he was looking into the Camaro from its passenger side, and admitted that he said in his written report that he thought the gun was in the driver’s right hand. He said the driver was “moving it around.”
He said the police car’s lights and siren were on as it approached Warren. He said the procedure for calling off a chase is to notify dispatch and turn off the car’s lights and siren, but that they did not turn them off at any point.
An audiotape of the chase released by the Detroit News shows no contact was made with dispatch or supervisors.
Feltz said their car was “about 50 feet,” not a block and a half, behind the Camaro when it crossed Warren. He denied the car had gone up on the grass, saying mud found on the car was already there because it had not been washed before the chase.
During the exam, the Jackson children’s mother Alisha Jackson was present with two friends and an aunt, Bertha Matthews. Matthews told VOD after the exam that she had gone to the Jackson house about 11 p.m. and remained until 4 a.m.
“Where is the gun?” she asked. “The police were out there all that time looking and looking for it. That chase was not appropriate in a residential neighborhood.”
She said the police were listening to news reports, and every time a piece of evidence was reported, including a lpiec of the Camaro left in the middle of the street, they hurried to retrieve it. She added that people from the neighborhood of Mack and Nottingham came to the scene and told them the chase had gone through that area.
Eyewitnesses told VOD during a candlelight vigil at the Jackson home June 26 that the police were directly behind the Camaro after it crossed Warren on Nottingham. One witness standing with Makiah said she saw the police car bump the Camaro, sending it out of control into the children who were killed and injured. The alleged bump may have been a “Precision Immobilization Technique,” or PIT, used by police.
Other witnesses at the vigil told VOD that the officers continued the chase without stopping after the Jackson children were hit, into the next block where three other children Darius Andrews, Jr., 3, Isaiah Williams, 5, and Zyaire Gardner, 7, were severely injured. Gardner’s lungs collapsed and he was flown to a hospital in Ann Arbor.
On July 16, Gardner’s aunt Kiera Andrews told VOD that Gardner was improving, but still in the hospital. She was sitting on the porch next to where the children were hit, with her little son Isaiah Williams, 5, one of those hit, LaKendra Hill, who was also hit and injured, and two other small children related to the Gardner family, braiding their hair.
“My son doesn’t even want to come here now,” she said. “All our kids live right up here. I know he [Lorenzo Harris] is in there in jail now hurting. I don’t hate him. God be with him. I’ve heard from a friend that he is a nice man. The police did what they do, and it killed little bitty babies and hurt other kids.”
Sgt. Weitzel, Aubrey Gardner, father of Zyaire, and Joel Fowler, a neighbor, also testified at the exam. Another civilian witness did not show for the exam.
Weitzel said he arrived at the scene at 8:30 pm, after the crashes. He testified to various exhibits, although he said on cross exam he was not qualified as an expert witness, had not taken the photos entered as exhibits, and did not know who the evidence technicians were.
Exhibits included photos of tire tracks on the street, sidewalk and grass going down two blocks of Nottingham, and a large rock that was in the middle of the street and became lodged under the red Camaro driven by Harris, sending the car airborne before it was dislodged.
Also shown were photos of debris from the Camaro and a stop sign, and destruction of the area around the second home on Nottingham where the three other children and LaKendra Hill were hit.
Over Barnett’s objection, Judge Holmes admitted a statement from the owner of the Camaro, said to be Harris’ girlfriend, to back up the charge that the car was unlawfully driven away. She was interviewed at DPD headquarters, according to Weitzel, but was not in custody.
Holmes also admitted police reports stating the police car was travelling at a high rate of speed, and a CDR from the Camaro which police said showed it was travelling 100 mph.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark played a fuzzy videotape of part of the chase from an unknown camera near E. Warren and Nottingham. The Camaro is seen in the far upper right hand corner of the video, with not much else clear about the chase.
Weitzel claimed the tire tracks in the photos were from one car, the Camaro, not the police car. He said skid marks could have been the result of braking or of acceleration.
Fowler, who lives on Nottingham across from the Jackson home, said he saw the red Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed on two wheels, with a large rock lodged underneath. He said it hit the Jackson children after the rock was dislodged. He said the police car was in the street, with only its lights, not its siren on.
He admitted that the statement he gave police said he saw the Camaro hit three children, but that the police “wrote it down wrong.” He said on cross exam that the police car was about 50 yards away from the Camaro.
Aubrey Gardner, Zaire’s father, said he was barbecuing at the family home on Nottingham when he heard sirens and a car revving its engine. He said he came to the front of the house as he heard children screaming, and saw the Camaro hit the van in his driveway, pinning his son Zaire and nephew Darius Andrews, Jr. against the house.
He said he saw Harris open the door “to the best of his knowledge.” Later he said he didn’t know how Harris got out of the car. He said Harris jumped out of the car and ran past him through his backyard. He said he identified Harris at DPD headquarters from a photo line-up. He said he couldn’t tell how fast the two cars were going, but that it was the Camaro revving its engine “real loud.”
Barnett objected to the CCW count because of lack of evidence, and to the witness statement from Harris’ girl-friend as hearsay since she was not there to testify, but Judge Holmes refused to dismiss those counts.
DETROIT ELECTION REFORM UPDATE
Commission Report Triggers Ordinance Enactment Procedure
July 15, 2015
This note is intended to update YOU on the progress of the Citizens for Detroit’s Future (CFDF) election reform Initiative. First, we thank you for sharing our information and will continue to endeavor to keep you informed.
As president of CFDF, on Monday I attended the full Detroit City Council meeting where the Detroit Election Commission issued its “Report” that the CFDF petition had been successful in gathering sufficient signatures to trigger Section 12-107 of the Charter. This section covers the procedure to enact Ordinances by residents which have grown from a citizen’s Initiative.
Following the charter’s procedure in Section 12-107, the Council voted unanimously to both receive the Report and refer it and the Petition to the Council’s “Internal Operations Committee” (IOC). The IOC handles such matters and is a necessary proper step as part Section 12-107. While we have not seen the Report, it would seem that it should be dated May 28th which is what we have. Based on that date, Council would have 60 days to vote to enact the Ordinance.
Following the process, CFDF learned that the IOC committee is headed by Council Member Andre Spivey and includes Council Members George Cushingberry and Janeé Ayers. Council President Brenda Jones is an Ex-Officio member. The IOC WILL meet this morning at 10am on the 13th Floor of the Coleman A Young Building. It is open to the public.
The Committee is expected to discuss the CFDF Initiative but it remains unclear what to expect. The IOC has at least two options: 1) it could immediately report back to the full council with a recommendation to enact; 2) or it could set a date for a formal public hearing. As president of CFDF, I will attend the meeting and make myself available to Committee Members to answer questions and meet with folks who also attend.
Yours for a Better Detroit,
CITIZENS FOR DETROIT’S FUTURE
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/106047192879983/
Driver of car, Lorenzo Harris, faces exam on multiple felony charges
His parole was for possession of ecstasy, served 7 yrs.
Family members, neighbors say cops should be charged as well
#PoliceBrutality, #StopPoliceChases #JusticeforMakiahMichaelangelo, #policeviolence, #blacklivesmatter, #blacklivesmatterDetroit, #policechase, #pursuit, #saveourchildren, #thisstopstoday , #MMCare, #Beatbackthebullies
By Diane Bukowski
July 12, 2015
DETROIT – The three cops alleged to have bumped the car that hit and killed two young children, Makiah and Michaelangelo Jackson, 3 and 6 respectively, on June 24, are scheduled to testify against the driver of the Camaro, Lorenzo Harris, in court Mon. July 13, 2015, according to an article in the Detroit News.
The cops are Richard Billingslea, Steven Fultz, and Hakeem Patterson. They will appear in the courtroom of Judge Shannon Holmes in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice at 1:30 p.m. to testify at the preliminary examination of the car’s driver, Lorenzo Harris.
“[The police] were right on their rear, the police car bumped their tail a little bit, and the car flew up in the air,” a direct eyewitness standing with Makiah at the time told VOD during a community vigil June 26. “There was no need for the police to be that close. I yelled ‘WATCH OUT’ but it was too late. When the car hit them, both of them just looked at me. They screamed. It just keeps re-playing in my head.”
The police appeared to have used an official maneuver called a “Precision Immobiliation Technique,” or PIT. Subsequently, Detroit Police Chief James Craig reported that the dashboard camera in the police car was mysteriously not operable, even though the cops were “Special Ops,” and that police were not able to find a gun they claimed they saw in the car being chased.
Several others at the vigil confirmed the original witness’s statement. They added that the car then hit the light pole at the corner of Nottingham and Frankfort and careened down the next block, hitting and seriously injuring Darius Andrews, Jr. 3, Isaiah Williams, 5, and Zyaire Gardner, 7. Neighbors said the cops were still in close pursuit.
“I feel that if they had anything to do with it, they should be held just as responsible as the driver,” said Ronald Antczak, fiancé of the children’s grandmother Nicole Jackson.
Denice Hill, a cousin of Zyaire Gardner and relative to the other injured children, said after the Jackson children’s funeral, “The police should have got charged because they could have stopped the chase. There are nothing but a bunch of kids playing during the day all the way down Nottingham.”
She said that Zyaire remained hospitalized in Ann Arbor with collapsed lungs, on a ventilator, and was expected to remain there for at least three months.
“Somebody needs to ask the police why they lied about this and said they called off the chase,” another relative told VOD. “They want us to respect them, but they don’t respect us. They chase everybody.”
Maria Miller, Communications officer for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, told VOD July 1, “We have not received anything from DPD regarding the officers; we are not conducting an investigation at this time. We have no further comments because there is a pending case against the driver of the car.”
Harris faces two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident, unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), two felony firearms charges, three counts of Failure to Stop At Scene of a Serious personal Injury Accident and two counts of failure to stop at the scene when at fault, causing death, three counts of reckless driving causing serious bodily impairment, and two counts of fleeing police officers, first degree.
According to court records, Harris previously served seven years in prison for possession of the drug ecstasy, out of a 6 mo.—10 year sentence imposed in 2006. He was paroled on Aug. 22, 2013, to end March 20, 2016.
In 2011, a federal judge ruled that sentencing for ecstasy-related crimes is based on “selective and incomplete” evidence and “that it punishes Ecstasy-related crimes far more harshly than is scientifically justified,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Police in the June 24 chase, however, are heard on the audiotape published in the Detroit News article referring to a charge of carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), not ecstasy possession. (Hear audio below. Note police sirens are not heard until midway through the audio. Were they on at the beginning of chase to warn residents away?)
Harris completed three probation sentences for a variety of crimes in 2005 and 2006, and was found not guilty by a jury of carrying a concealed weapons and two other firearms charges, in 2008.
During a somber, sorrowful funeral for Michaelangelo and Makiah Jackson July 2, a young woman sang “The Rose,” a heart-rending song whose lyrics are in the video at the end of this story, along with copies of the obituary. Bertha Matthews read some of numerous cards sent to the family, including a personal letter from Wayne County Commissioner Jewel Ware, and a card from DTE workers who evidently worked with one of the family members.
Weeping, a young man said, “Our lives are turned upside down. I was there with the witnesses. I had just had Michael on my lap before it happened, and a part of me got left with him. My little brother cracked up when he saw our babies yesterday. I love these kids, I wish it had been me instead.”
BELOW, JOAN BAEZ SINGS “THE ROSE.” A BEAUTIFUL RENDITION OF THE SONG WAS GIVEN BY A YOUNG WOMAN DURING THE FUNERAL.
REMAINDER OF OBITUARY PAGES (COVER AT TOP)
(Click on Jackson children obituary.compressed for full PDF copy.)
Great Lakes Water Authority plans to ‘down-size,’ permanently shut off water service to parts of Detroit and other majority-Black cities in Michigan
Master Plan: shutdown of Detroit’s Northeast plant, reduction of water intake and booster sites, decreased infrastructure improvements
Banks get $5.7 B + while water rates, shut-offs, sinkholes increase
#OurWaterOurVote Coalition continues referendum campaign to shut down Great Lakes Water Authority
City Council likely to re-vote rate increases Tues. July 14
#WATERISLIFE #StandUpNow, @WeThePeopleDet, #OurWaterOurVote, @Detroit2700plus, @DETWaterBrigade, #DetroitWater, #Right2Water, #Detroit2Flint, @MCHumanRights, @PeoplesWaterDet, @ACLUofMichigan, #noconsent, #freetheirish5, #neweradetroit, #stopthewatershutoffs, #nowaynopay
By Diane Bukowski
July 8, 2015
DETROIT – Permanent shut-0ffs and decreased water service to sectors of Detroit, the nation’s largest Black majority city, will likely result from a revised Master Plan laid out July 8 by representatives of the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD).
They met at the Water Works Park plant on E. Jefferson in Detroit.
The GLWA is slated to take over the DWSD six-county system, under terms of a contract signed by Detroit ‘Mayor’ Mike Duggan June 12, based on the city’s bankruptcy plan. It still needs to complete several requirements before a drop-dead date of Jan. 1, 2015.
Meanwhile, opponents of the GLWA takeover are conducting a city-wide referendum petition campaign known popularly as #OurWaterOurVote to cancel the contract, as allowed under state law. (See link to earlier VOD story at bottom of article, plus links to petition, fliers, and instructions.)
“What we’re talking about here today is a reduction in the size of this system,” Master Plan lead project manager Carl Johnson, of CDM-Smith, Inc., said during the GLWA-DWSD meeting, according to the Detroit News. “It also provides the opportunity to plan for if things change to where we can sell more water.”
Key aspects of the GLWA 20-year plan are:
(See GLWA power point presentation of Revised Master Plan at Water-Master-Plan-2015-07-08-BOWC-GLWA-Board-Workshop-Final.compressed).
Plans mapped out during the meeting coincide with those of Detroit Future City, which has published the following chart showing which areas of Detroit are planned to become virtual wastelands.
Bill Davis retired from DWSD as a shift supervisor after 34 years, and is President of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA). DAREA has appealed the bankruptcy plan to U.S. District Court and is spearheading the coalition of groups conducting the #OurWaterOurVote referendum campaign.
“It appears to me that the GLWA in conjunction with our ‘Mayor’ and Gov. Rick Snyder are deliberately attempting to destabilize the Black community of Detroit,” Davis said.
He said that $537 million in illegal DWSD swaps deals with the banks should have been applied to improving DWSD’s infrastructure, rather than downsizing it. DWSD’s debt to the banks has now increased to $5.7 billion. Earlier, the Board of Water Commissioners deep-sixed a bankruptcy proposal to cut $2.3 billion of DWSD’s total debt. Wall Street ratings agencies strenuously objected to the cut.
“Under the revised Master Plan, pumping facilities are being moved farther out in favor of the outlying areas, taking jobs and economic development with them,” Davis explained.
“Why would they shut down one of the only two freshwater pumping facilities in Detroit, the Northeast plant, instead of considering the Southwest plant in Allen Park, which is only a short ways downriver from the Wastewater Treatment Plant?”
He noted that DWSD remains responsible under the GLWA for the cost of maintaining its own water mains, linked to the rest of the system.
“Detroit’s system is likely to collapse from providing a greater capacity for outlying customers,” he said. “It would only make sense that they contribute to maintaining Detroit’s infrastructure.”
Sinkholes caused by collapsing water mains are already rapidly increasing due to the lack of investment in DSWD’s infrastructure, linked to the high cost of contracts and bank bonds.
Davis noted that Flint’s former Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, appointed by Snyder, took the majority-Black city of Flint out of the DWSD system. The revised Master Plan completely eliminates the whole of Genesee County, where Flint is located, from the system effective Jan. 2017.
“At least half of the ‘$27 million hole’ in the DWSD budget is created by the Flint withdrawal,” Davis went on. “The new Flint system has doled out more contracts to Snyder’s friends, and kickbacks to its operators. The system is so horrible that General Motors plants in Flint had to disconnect from it because the water was corroding their parts, and Flint residents are complaining as well.”
GLWA vice-chair Gary Brown, also Duggan’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), is citing the alleged “$27 million hole” in the DWSD budget in his attack on the June 30 City Council vote of 6-2 against water rate increases.
Brown said the Council’s original “No” vote makes Wall Street nervous. Fifty-one percent of DWSD bondholders must approve the GLWA takeover, and at least one Wall Street ratings agency must guarantee that ratings of GLWA bonds will be no lower than current DWSD ratings.
Along with the editorial boards of the Detroit News and Free Press, the state is also bringing pressure to bear.
State Treasurer Nick Khouri, who heads the state-appointed Financial Review Commission (FRC), said in a letter to the Council the FRC is “statutorily required to provide oversight” of the city’s finances and demanded “the necessary information to demonstrate the city’s plan to comply with the approved budget … or the basis upon which the city will seek an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.”
The Council subsequently voted 8-1 to “revisit” the rate increases. It has held two subcommittee meetings this week, and is likely to take a re-vote on the rate increases at its next Committee of the Whole session Tues. July 14.
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones voted against the rate increases June 30 and is pledging to do so again. However, she along with Duggan signed off on the Detroit bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment, under which the GLWA was created.
DWSD officials have complained for years that water consumption is rapidly decreasing. They refuse to acknowledge that unaffordable water bills, high shut-off rates, and massive tax and mortgage foreclosures have driven out hundreds of thousands of customers from Detroit and other poor cities.
“When you get your water cut off and they say ‘You have to pay $1,700’ and you tell them you don’t have any money, what are you going to do but move?” attorney Alice Jennings told the magazine Mother Jones this month.
The GLWA plans complement massive lay-offs that have already occurred in DWSD, under a recommendation from consultant EMA in 2013 that 81 percent of the system’s workforce be cut.
DWSD workers and retirees have said the cuts resulted in the “near catastrophic” failure of three of the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant’s major sewage pumps. That resulted in the massive flooding of metro Detroit freeways and homes in Aug. 2014, as well as the Toledo, Ohio/southeast Michigan water emergency that month, during which 430,000 residents could not use contaminated municipal water to drink, bathe, cook, or wash dishes.
“I anticipate from this new unholy alliance that the people of Detroit will have more flooded basements, streets and freeways,” Davis said.
Also read Mother Jones article, “How Motor City Came Back From the Brink and Left Most Detroiters Behind” at http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/motor-city-after-bankruptcy-and-detroiters-left-behind
PREVIOUS VOD STORY ON REFERENDUM TO STOP GLWA:
LINKS FOR COPIES OF PETITION, FLIERS, INSTRUCTIONS:
Click on BLOW THE GREAT LAKES WATER AUTHORITY OUT OF THE WATER 3 for PDF of front of flier; PDF of Instructions for Circulation is at INSTRUCTIONS FOR CIRCULATING (includes contact information to obtain petitions and turn them in.)
The Coalition needs to collect a total of 15,000 valid petition signatures within 45 days of public (newspaper) notice of the contract, meaning it must collect at least twice that to allow for invalid signatures. Signers must be Detroit residents who are registered voters. CIRCULATORS DO NOT HAVE TO BE DETROIT RESIDENTS.
The Coalition’s Facebook Page is at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coalition-to-Save-Detroits-Water-Sewerage-Department/1443509195955743?fref=ts
PETITIONS WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK-UP AND TURN-IN AT:
Other related articles:
Why are you a member of the Detroit NAACP…? (Facebook page)
July 11, 2015
DETROIT— Let’s be clear, when Kid Rock speaks on matters of social issues he speaks for all those who support him. That includes organizations that have honored him. The Detroit Branch NAACP led by Wendell Anthony honored Kid Rock.
Kid Rock told Rev. Charlies Williams II and Rev. Al Sharpton both who represent the National Action Network (NAN), and Sam Riddle, to KISS HIS ASS!
Kid Rocks speaks for Wendell and the Detroit Branch NAACP. Kid Rock supports waving the Confederate Flag and all that it stands for. Wendell Anthony and the Detroit Branch NAACP support Kid Rock!
VOD: Mr. Parr asked Rev. Charles Williams in an earlier post: what are you going to do about it? That question should also be put to NAN’s national head the Rev. Al Sharpton.
The MLIVE story below includes clips from the racist national coverage supporting Kid Rock, e.g. comments about how much Kid Rock has allegedly done for Detroit, and who the real villains in Detroit are: the city’s Black leadership for the past 30 years. http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/detroit/index.ssf/2015/07/kid_rock_tells_people_boycotti.html
“If this is Europe, then we don’t want this Europe. If this is the eurozone, we don’t care if we go out or in. If in this life we’ll be slaves, it’s better to be dead.” — Aristidis Dimoupulos, Athens marketing professor
By Derek Gatopoulos and Elena Becatoros,
July 10, 2015
Athens, Greece — Left-wing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was seeking backing for a harsh new austerity package from his party Friday to keep his country in the euro — less than a week after urging Greeks to reject milder cuts in a referendum.
Government ministers signed off on the sweeping new measures — likely to extend the recession after six years of painful decline — that include pension cuts and tax hikes.
The proposals were sent to rescue creditors for approval at emergency meetings of European Union leaders and finance ministers over the weekend. The proposed new bailout worth nearly $60 billion would be Greece’s third since it lost market access in 2010.
But in an unusual procedure, Tsipras is first seeking authorization from parliament to negotiate with the creditors based on the proposal in a vote Friday. He is essentially asking his Syriza party to sign off on the U-turn despite more than 60 percent of voters opposing more austerity in the July 5 referendum.
Tsipras was convening his party’s lawmakers for discussions Friday morning before the parliamentary debate.
The coalition government has 162 seats in the 300-member parliament and pledged backing on a deal from a large section of opposition lawmakers. But failure to deliver votes from his own government would likely topple his coalition.
The proposals are to be discussed by eurozone finance ministers on Saturday, ahead of a summit of the European Union’s 28 leaders Sunday.
“My feeling is that the agreement will be signed,” said Alternate Finance Minister Dimitris Mardas as he arrived in parliament. He said he believed both the party and parliament would sign off on the proposal, “and we will have an agreement, that is my feeling, on Sunday night.”
As the government inched closer to a deal to ensure Greece doesn’t crash out of Europe’s joint currency, some Greeks adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach.
“I don’t know. The chances are fifty-fifty” for a deal, said Athens resident Omiros Fotiadis. There were many things to take into account, he said. “One being if all the European countries will accept the agreement, as well as the institutions, and the other is whether the agreement … will be accepted internally.”
But some were furious at the deep spending cuts in the proposals.
“If this is Europe, then we don’t want this Europe,” said Aristidis Dimoupulos, a marketing professor in Athens. “If this is the eurozone, we don’t care if we go out or in. If in this life we’ll be slaves, it’s better to be dead.”
The negotiations have come amid capital controls in Greece, with banks shut since late last month and Greeks restricted to cash withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) per day. Although credit and debit cards work freely within the country, many businesses are refusing to accept them and insisting on cash-only payments. All money transfers abroad, including bill payments, require special permission from a finance ministry committee. Continue reading
NOTICE (Sharing Informs the Public)
As many reading this will know, last October, Citizens for Detroit’s Future and a number of determined Detroiters, undertook an Initiative to create a first ever Detroit election Ordinance.
The Initiative would “Provide for the Immediate Posting of Detroit Election Results”. The Ordinance creates a public transparency by informing the public of election results…in real time…i.e. after the polls have closed for the evening. The Initiative grew from numerous recurring anomalies discovered during city election recounts which the public never sees.
To create the Ordinance, CFDF turned to Section 12-105 of the city’s charter which requires that petition Initiatives be submitted to the Clerk’s office and validated by the Detroit Election Commission.
This past May 28th, the Detroit Election Commission reported to us and the Detroit City Council, that our petitions had sufficient valid signatures to move the Initiative forward. That “report” activated Section 12-107 of the Charter which mandates that council must conduct a “public hearing” and a vote to enact the Ordinance within 60 days of May 28th or before July 27th.
Earlier this week, each member of the Detroit City Council received a certified letter from our organization further informing them of the requirements under the Detroit City Charter and its deadlines. It is now important that the public get involved by taking just 2 minutes to minimally call the Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones’ Office (313-224-1245) and then their own Council Member’ Office.
The call should inquire as to:
1) when the public hearing will be held
2) when will the matter be formally voted upon and
3) ask that they do so immediately.
CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS PHONE NUMBERS
Demand that he/she contact the Clerk’s office to demand that her report be issued forthwith as is required by Charter.
We understand that a call takes time but it is essential that officials respect both you as a citizen and importantly, the democratic process.
Previous release: July 7, 2015
Contact: Citizens for Detroit’s Future
Media Telephone: 313 393-3100 – Option 3
Historic Initiative Creates July 27th Charter Deadline for Full Council Vote
DETROIT (July 7, 2015) — In what is being hailed as an historic exercise of Detroiters democratic rights, Citizens for Detroit’s Future president Tom Barrow today announced that the city’s Election Commission had secretly “reported” to City Council President Brenda Jones, (a requirement of Charter Section 12-105), that the Group’s reform petition to “Provide for the Immediate Posting of Election Results” had enough valid signatures to move the Initiative forward.
The Detroit Election Commission’s notification activates Section. 12-107 titled Time Limit for Enactment or Repeal of Ordinance and mandates a public hearing and full Council vote on the Ordinance by July 27th.
In an envelope containing the May 28th “Report” and post marked June 25th and addressed to Citizens for Detroit’s Future‘s President Tom Barrow, Detroit Election Commission Deputy Director, Gina Avery-Walker secretly “reported” that CFDF’s petitions had been checked and was found to have sufficient valid signatures to go forward. The notification automatically activates Section 12-107 which requires a hearing and vote by the entire council within 60 days of the May 28th date or by July 27th.
“While I am convinced that receiving a letter addressed to me nearly a month after it was written is no accident, it not only emphasizes further the need for reform but also confirms that certain Officials are resistant to our public transparency Initiative.” said Tom Barrow, the group’s president.
“With a kind of official resistance, it is essential now, more than ever, that the public get involved as a united public seeking reform is more powerful” he said.
Media Advisory for Friday July 10, 2015
The Wayne County Financial Review Team, appointed to examine the county’s finances following a preliminary review requested by the County Executive, is scheduled to conduct a public information meeting at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2015.
The public information meeting, required under Public Act 436 of 2012 (Local Fiscal Stability and Choice Act), provides Wayne County residents an opportunity to share their opinions, thoughts, and/or concerns about the county with members of the review team. The review team will not be issuing a report or presenting information regarding its review of the county’s finances during this meeting.
The meeting will be held in the Wayne County Commission chambers on the mezzanine level of the Guardian Building, 500 Griswold Street in Detroit.
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MEMBERS OF REVIEW TEAM
Clarence Stone, director of Legal Affairs for the State Housing Development Authority;
Jeffrey Bankowski, chief internal auditor, State Budget Office;
Tom Davis, deputy director at the Senate Majority Policy Office;
Sharon Madison, owner of design and construction firm Madison Madison International, and
Frederick Headen, legal adviser for the Michigan Department of Treasury. He also was on the financial review team for the city of Detroit that was appointed in December 2011.
The review team has up to 60 days to report to the governor whether a financial emergency exists in Wayne County. State Treasurer Nick Khouri, a member of the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board, said he expects it to be completed within “weeks, not months.”
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans requested that the state step in on county finances.
By David Sole and Marcina Cole
July 6, 2015
Coldwater, Mich. In rural, south central Michigan, several hours from Detroit, sits Lakeland Correctional Facility.
Upon our arrival we noticed the sun reflecting brightly off the triple row of 12-feet-high razorwire, coil fencing surrounding the extensive state prison. After passing through metal detectors, pat-downs and shoe, sock and feet inspections, we entered the visiting room to the warm embrace of the Rev. Edward Pinkney.
Rev. Pinkney, a leading African-American activist in Benton Harbor, Mich., was tried and convicted in late 2014 by an all-white jury for supposedly altering five dates on a recall petition against Benton Harbor’s mayor. Not one shred of evidence was presented that Pinkney committed these alleged acts.
The prosecutor, Michael Sepic, could not produce one witness to say that Rev. Pinkney was the culprit. Judge Sterling R. Schrock allowed Sepic to tell the jury, “You don’t need evidence to convict Mr. Pinkney.”
All the prosecutor showed the jury was that Rev. Pinkney was a speaker at press conferences and chaired meetings of his organization, BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization). That was enough for this gang of racists to convict and sentence him to 2.5 to 10 years in prison.
As we sat and talked, we were amazed at Pinkney’s energy and optimism after six months behind bars. He had petitioned the authorities to be transferred to Lakeland, which is not far from his spouse Dorothy, making visits much easier. Previously he had been at Marquette prison, a 10-hour drive from his home.
But Rev. Pinkney was also somber about his situation. “Lakeland has 1,400 prisoners, and I’d say 70 percent are lifers,” Pinkney told us. “Being here is serious business. Every day is a challenge. Many of these guys have been here 20, 30, 40 or more years. Today ‘life imprisonment’ means just that — they will never get out.”
Helping those ‘who will never get out’
“I spend most mornings and afternoons in the law library helping inmates with legal research. Then a group of lifers asked me to help them better organize their group meetings, which I am doing. The Muslim prisoners invited me to speak to their Friday prayer session when they found out about my case and history of activism.”
Rev. Pinkney receives many books and periodicals from supporters. Part of the work we do in the Detroit-based Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs and the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice is fundraising for his legal appeal. We also send a monthly donation to help pay for his daily phone calls to his spouse. He often calls in to our weekly Monday evening meetings.
Rev. Pinkney is a voracious reader, so we send him one or two books a month and gave him a subscription to Workers World newspaper, which the prison allows in. “I share the books and articles you send me. As soon as I am done they go hand to hand,” he said. He noted that he could use more good reading material.
Pinkney’s activism and kindness have won him the respect and admiration of many of the prisoners, but not all. “I’d say that 90 percent of the prisoners here love me and 10 percent hate me. That 10 percent resent my getting so many visitors, when many of them never get a visit. They resent the many books and letters I get. They resent that I will get out of this prison sooner or later and maybe they won’t.”
This small group of hostile prisoners poses a problem for Rev. Pinkney and could endanger his safety. “I try to avoid confrontations and de-escalate situations. But I don’t let them bully me. Several tense situations have arisen. Everyone here knows what goes on, and some of the Muslim brothers have taken to escorting me through the facility when I am done at the library each day. I told them I could take care of myself, but they insist,” said Pinkney.
“Another danger is that my friends and supporters might take it upon themselves to physically confront those who might threaten me — and that would also drag me into a situation involving the prison authorities. So I have to chill my friends out.”
Don’t sweep this injustice ‘under the rug’
Rev. Pinkney was looking forward to his appeal, which is being filed soon. His hope of getting an appeal bond and going home was strong. He has high hopes that he will be released soon because there was no evidence to convict him of felony crimes. But he also knows that there is a “criminal enterprise in Berrien County” that put him in prison in the first place.
The court officials, Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower and behind them the power of the Whirlpool Corporation headquartered there will be working overtime to try to stop him from returning home. “I am asking all my supporters to get the word out in the next 30 days after the appeal is filed. Get this out to the news media so that this injustice can’t be swept under the rug and the appeals court is forced to deliver justice,” Pinkney urged.
For information on how to help free this political prisoner, visit bhbanco.org.
Send letters (no cards, books or objects — only letters) to Rev. Edward Pinkney #294671, Lakeland Correctional Facility, 141 First St., Coldwater, MI 49036. Send a book to Rev. Pinkney only through Schulerbooks.com using this address and his prisoner number.
Order a “Free Rev. Pinkney” white T-shirt (sizes M, L, XL, 2X, 3X) for a $10 donation plus $3 shipping (proceeds go to his legal expenses) at moratorium-mi.org., or mail your order and payment to Moratorium NOW!, 5920 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
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