LIFER GARY BRAYBOY, FRAMED BY DETROIT SQUAD 7 COPS INVOLVED IN EXONEREE CASES, IN COURT MON. JAN. 24

DPD’s William Rice/Monica Childs Squad 7 tag team engineered Brayboy conviction, has been involved in multiple wrongful convictions

Childs cited for coerced confessions and “snitch” witness testimony in multiple cases

Rice on Wayne County Prosecutor’s “Giglio-Brady list” for running a criminal enterprise,and two counts of perjury

To watch Brayboy’s court hearing Jan. 24, go to Hon. Thomas M. J. Hathaway – YouTube

Donate to VOD:  https://www.gofundme.com/donate-to-vod

By Diane Bukowski

January 22. 2022

Gary Brayboy MDOC Photo

DETROIT —   Gary Brayboy has been serving life without parole since 1993, one of hundreds caught up in the Detroit Police Department’s “Ring of Snitches,” which snared Black men using jail-house and street informants, witness round-ups and intimidation, and coerced confessions, through the 1990’s continuing into the 21st century.

“I am unlawfully condemned to die in prison for a crime I did not commit,” Brayboy wrote to VOD. “There is overwhelming new evidence of Detroit Police Department corruption in my case, involving Monica Childs, William Rice and others.”

A private investigator who has researched dozens of such cases involving police department corruption estimates that 80 percent of Wayne County defendants sentenced to prison in the era involved are actually innocent.

Atty, Wolfgang Mueller, who has filed multi-million-dollar lawsuits for many exonerees, told Channel 7, “It was the Homicide Section in the 1990’s and early 2000’s frankly running rogue, doing what they wanted to.”

But to date, virtually none of the prosecutors and police officers responsible for these acts have been prosecuted for their crimes.

Judge Thomas Hathaway

After jumping through endless hurdles in state and federal court systems, Brayboy will appear in front of Wayne 3rd Judicial Court Judge Thomas Hathaway this Mon. Jan. 24. Attorney Adrienne Young of the State Appellate Defenders Office will argue in a supplemental motion for relief from judgment that his conviction should be vacated, and a new trial granted.

Brayboy was found guilty of the charges of Felony Murder, Armed Robbery and Felony Firearm, and sentenced to life without parole in 1993. The charges stemmed from a Dec. 1992 robbery/murder in a basement known for after-hours gambling. Larry Tennison was shot and killed during the robbery, and one other person was shot in the leg. None of the surviving witnesses in the basement could identify Brayboy or his co-defendant Keith “Mooky” Griffin.

Involved in Brayb0y’s conviction was the Detroit Police Department’s Squad 7 homicide tag team including Lt. William Rice and Det. Monica Childs, both of them linked to multiple wrongful convictions in recent years. (See Channel 7 News report at top of story.)

“During the investigation into Tennison’s death, DPD Squad 7 homicide officers arrested several witnesses, held them for days without warrants and threatened them in order to obtain statements,” SADO Investigator Julianne Cuneo wrote in a memo to her superiors.

“Brayboy’s co-defendant Keith Christopher Griffin was interviewed repeatedly. Griffin’s third statement, given to Detective [Monica] Childs, became the only direct evidence identifying and incriminating Brayboy.”

The names of Squad 7 homicide officers Monica Childs and her superior, then Lt. William Rice, both involved in Brayboy’s conviction, have surfaced repeatedly as others caught in the web of informants have been exonerated, one by one. They include Larry Smith, Ramon Ward, and Bernard Howard, whose cases are referenced in the Channel 7 News report at the head of this story.

Exonerees (l to r) Larry Smith, Ramon Ward, Bernard Howard

Also cited in Brayboy’s motion for Relief from Judgment (MFRJ) are the cases of exonerees Justly Johnson and Kendrick Scott, which also involved Childs’ actions, and an Oct. 28, 2021 Michigan Court of Appeal opinion in the case of Mark Craighead.

It upheld his claim that “potential impeachment evidence” regarding former DPD Detective Barbara Simon’s alleged misconduct discovered after his previous motions was “newly discovered evidence.” See: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/COA-356393-PEOPLE-OF-MI-V-MARK-T-CRAIGHEAD-Opinion2-Per-Curiam-Unpublished-10_27_2021.pdf

Rice is now listed on the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Giglio-Brady list of police officers not to be trusted to testify due to previous convictions and disciplinary actions. He spent two years in prison on federal charges for running a criminal enterprise related to housing mortgages, and two counts of perjury. See: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Wayne-County-Prosecutor-GIGLIO-BRADY-LIST-12-7-2020-2-1.pdf.

Atty. Adrienne Young

In the Motion for Relief from Judgment which will be argued in court Jan. 24, SADO attorney Young writes, “In her June 2021 interview with SADO’s Julienne Cuneo and Angie Jackson, Ms. Childs said, ‘it is plausible that Griffin was the shooter’ and she believes had he gotten a fourth statement he would have confessed. Additionally, Mr. Griffin’s statement evolved, with Mr. Griffin’s first statement not implicating Mr. Brayboy at all, to ultimately pinning Mr. Brayboy as the principal.”

The motion claims Detective Childs had “a common scheme of misconduct that involves multiple interviews and recording the final, false statement in her own writing. The same steps were taken in this case.”

It concludes, “Gary Brayboy respectfully requests that this Court grant the motion for relief from judgment, vacate his judgment of conviction, and order a new trial.”*

Related:

Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men (truthout.org)

Innocent Blacks Seven Times More Likely To Be Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder Than Innocent Whites – The Seattle Medium

LARRY SMITH FREED, JOINING OTHERS FRAMED BY DETROIT POLICE, PROSECUTORS USING ‘RING OF SNITCHES’ | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AND UNLAWFULLY IMPRISONED: MICHIGAN RANKS 2D IN U.S. WITH EXONERATIONS | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

RAMON WARD, FAMILY CELEBRATE RELEASE AFTER 27 YRS. ON FALSE CONVICTION; WHEN WILL 100’S MORE BE FREED? | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

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 VOD’s staff lives either on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. We are not paid; we publish the newspaper pro bono. Help keep us afloat by chipping in so stories on this Prison Nation and Police State, and related matters, keep coming! Any amount is appreciated.

      DONATE TO VOD

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(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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JUDGE DENIES BRADY MOTIONS ON KILLER’S CONFESSION AT EWING-SEARCY HEARING, MAY RECONSIDER MARCH 9

Above: families who say their loved ones were wrongly convicted rallied outside the Frank Murphy Hall in Detroit June 4; Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy’s brother Shawn Searcy of “Operation Liberation” organized rally.

Judge says “Brady” ruling does not apply in Ewing-Searcy case, upholding prosecutor, but she will entertain further motions, next hearing March 9

Defense atty. Blase Kearney: “The court’s denial of the ability to have an evidentiary hearing is tantamount to adopting the prosecutor’s factual representation—a finding of fact.”

To donate to VOD, go to

https://www.gofundme.com/donate-to-vod

By Diane Bukowski

January 18, 2022 

Judge Darnella Williams- Claybourne

DETROIT—During a Jan. 10 pre-trial hearing on the cases of Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy, Wayne Co. 3rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Darnella Williams-Claybourne denied two defense motions to dismiss and/or compel further evidence disclosure under Brady v. Maryland. That is a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which mandates that prosecutors and law enforcement officials promptly provide all exculpatory evidence, favorable to the defense.

In the motions, defense attorneys Lillian Diallo and Blasé Kearney contended that the prosecution concealed Tyree Washington’s Feb. 2017 Mirandized, videotaped confession to the 2009 murder of J.B. Watson, the crime for which Ewing and Searcy were convicted. That confession was given to the Michigan State Police and forwarded to the Detroit Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutor.

As part of his motion, Kearney asked the Court to hold an investigative evidentiary hearing on the case, but the Judge also denied that request.

The Michigan Court of Appeals vacated the Ewing and Searcy convictions October 22, 2020, in the wake of previous rulings by multiple federal and state courts that the two Detroit men deserved a new trial, because jury members illegally engaged in gang-related research about Washington on the internet that led them to discount third-person testimony about his confession.

Top: Darrell Ewing (l) Derrico Saarcy (r) Bottom: Wayne County Pros. Kym Worthy

“I don’t see where Brady applies to post-conviction settings,” Judge Williams-Claybourne said, noting she had extensively researched applicable case law.  “Even if Brady does apply—from what I saw—I did not see where dismissal is the remedy.”

The Judge did grant a request from Ewing’s attorney Lillian Diallo to require the prosecution to provide all copies of the Detroit Police Department’s “progress notes” on the cases by January 19,  and left the way open for defense motions to reconsider her rulings. She set a date of March 9 at 1 p.m. for the next hearing.

“Unable to let the record go uncorrected, I had to mention during the hearing that there are numerous cases that hold Brady applies post-conviction,” Ewing told VOD. “That’s not to exclude the ethical duties of the prosecutor to adhere to the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 3.8(f).” (See box below right.)

Ewing has been studying the law and taking courses for a paralegal degree since his incarceration in 2010.

He continued, “God willing, on March 9th, when she gives her ruling, I hope the honorable Judge, who graciously gave us another shot, will use all of the power at her discretion to send a strong message to the Wayne County Prosecutor repudiating this travesty of justice: ‘enough is enough!'”

Ewing noted that Wayne County has the second highest number of wrongful convictions in the country, and asked, “How many more innocent men and women are they doing this to?”

Ewing and his family helped organize a rally June 4 outside of the Frank Murphy Hall attended by hundreds of others who say their loved ones have been wrongfully convicted.

During the hearing, Ewing spoke directly, citing two cases which he said showed there were rulings that Brady is applicable in similar situations. VOD’s review of one case, Tennison v. City and County of San Francisco, 2009, found it eerily similar to the circumstances of the Ewing-Searcy conviction.  In 1989, J.J. Tennison and Antoine Goff were convicted for the murder of a young man which the prosecution claimed was related to gang wars. The only witnesses who testified at trial to identify the defendants were two children, girls 11 and 14 years old. Another man afterwards confessed to the murder.

Courts thew out the convictions in proceedings after trial, citing Brady. Tennison later won a $4 million wrongful conviction settlement and was fully exonerated after the prosecutor filed for dismissal of the case.

They said the prosecution did not report a $2500 payment to the witnesses under a “secret witness” program,  and concealed the Mirandized confession of another man to the crime.

During the four-hour hearing, Judge Williams-Claybourne cited many cases that she said led her to believe that Brady does not apply in post-conviction proceedings, such as District Attorney’s Office for the 3rd Judicial District v. Osborne (U.S.2009). See link below story.

The defense countered that the ruling in Osbourne was basically that Brady was not the proper forum for the case, not that Brady was barred from all post-conviction proceedings.

She also cited a 2013 Court of Appeals opinion on the case, saying the courts already knew of Washington’s confession.

She quoted from the opinion in part, “Washington contended that the prosecutor in this matter indicated a lack of interest in having him testify at Ewing’s and Searcy’s trial ‘because they had who they wanted. Washington indicated a willingness to waive his ‘Fifth Amendment rights of self- incrimination’ and to “tak[e] full responsibility and consequences of my actions.'” See:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/People-v.-Searcy-Ewing-COA-2013.pdf

A review of that opinion shows that most of it related to the juror misconduct, deeming it harmless error. The entire opinion was overturned later, in opinions by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood and the Sixth Circuit Court, which cited the juror misconduct and ordered an evidentiary hearing on the case.

In 2019, Wayne 3rd Circuit Judge Michael Hathaway ordered a new trial for Ewing and Searcy. His ruling was strongly upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Asst. Prosecutor Kam Towns contended that dismissal of the case is not a proper remedy, and neither is an evidentiary hearing, in part because witnesses testified at the 2010 trial that they knew Washington was responsible for the murder of J.B. Watson.

Wayne Co. AP’s Kam Towns (l), Jon Wojtala (r).

“We provided all the exculpatory information to the defense,” she said, claiming that neither she nor AP Jon Wojtala knew of the 2017 confession by Washington to the State Police until they received the criminal case file from the Detroit police officer in charge in 2020.

“It is important to understand that the entire basis for appeal had to do with jury misconduct, Towns said. “There is nothing in case law that can support an evidentiary hearing. . . The remedy is a new trial, based on the rogue actions of jurors. Not the fact that the jury listened to alleged confession of Mr. Washington and still convicted him.”

According to trial transcripts reviewed by VOD, Washington himself did NOT testify at trial, which would have allowed the jury to hear from him directly and judge his demeanor. Despite claims in the affidavit presented by his attorney to Towns that he would testify, he took the Fifth Amendment and did not. He did provide a videotaped interview to Private Investigator Scott Lewis, six months after he gave his confession to the Michigan State Police.

Searcy’s attorney Blase Kearney said regarding his motion to compel, that the legal claims in addition to Brady also include a due process violation, [a U.S. constitutional issue], and Michigan Court Rules related to discovery and professional conduct.

Attys. Blase Kearney, Neighborhood Legal Defense (l), Lillian Diallo, Legal Warriors, PLLC (r).

“I think that the court’s denial of the ability to have an evidentiary hearing is tantamount to adopting the prosecutor’s factual representation—a finding of fact. . . The Officer in Charge (OIC) is not conducting any further investigation—that’s WRONG. . .the government has decided not to act to investigate further. That adds an element of nefariousness to the OIC. There are questions that have a constitutional character to them, including factual questions. That requires an evidentiary hearing.”

Judge Williams-Claybourne cited the original Brady ruling only, but did not refer to subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that expanded the scope of Brady, including Cone v. Bell (U.S. 2009): A prosecutor’s pre-trial obligations to disclose favorable or impeaching evidence “may arise more broadly under a prosecutor’s ethical or statutory obligations” than required by the Brady/Bagley post-conviction “materiality” standard of review.  A “prudent prosecutor [should] err on the side of transparency, resolving doubtful questions in favor of disclosure.” (Below)

______________________________________________________

US SUPREME COURT Rulings on Brady violations 

Brady v. Maryland (U.S. 1963) held that a prosecutor under the 5th and 14th Amendments has a duty to disclose favorable (exculpatory) evidence to defendants upon request, if the evidence is “material” to either guilt or punishment. 

Giglio v. United States (U.S. 1972): Required reversal of conviction due to non-disclosure of immunity agreement given to prosecution witness; “evidence of any understanding or agreement as to a future prosecution would be relevant to [co-conspirator’s] credibility and the jury was entitled to know of it.” Said “impeachment” evidence on witnesses is to be treated as exculpatory evidence under Brady.

United States v. Agurs (U.S. 1976): Prosecutor has a due process duty to disclose evidence about a victim’s criminal record, with noted exceptions.

United States v. Bagley (U.S. 1985): A prosecutor’s duty to disclose material favorable evidence exists regardless of whether the defendant makes a specific request. “Favorable evidence” is “material” if there is a reasonable probability that disclosure of the evidence would have produced a different outcome at trial.

Kyles v. Whitley (U.S. 1995): Accused entitled to a new trial because the prosecution’s failed to comply with the due process obligation to disclose material evidence favorable to the accused. That evidence raised a reasonable probability that its disclosure would have produced a different result. Even if the prosecutor was not personally aware of the evidence, the State is not relieved of its duty to disclose because “the State” includes, in addition to the prosecutor, other lawyers and employees in his office and members of law enforcement. 

Strickler v. Greene (U.S. 1999): A Brady violation occurs when: (1) evidence is favorable to exculpation or impeachment; (2) the evidence is either willfully or inadvertently withheld by the prosecution; and (3) the withholding of the evidence is prejudicial to the defendant. 

Cone v. Bell (U.S. 2009): A prosecutor’s pre-trial obligations to disclose favorable or impeaching evidence “may arise more broadly under a prosecutor’s ethical or statutory obligations” than required by the Brady/Bagley post-conviction “materiality” standard of review.  A “prudent prosecutor [should] err on the side of transparency, resolving doubtful questions in favor of disclosure.” 

District Attorney’s Office for the 3rd Judicial District v. Osborne (U.S.2009): Prosecution’s duty to disclose applies only to evidence suppressed at trial, not evidence suppressed post-conviction. In this case, Plaintiff sought post-conviction release of DNA evidence through a civil lawsuit although he had not pursued the state’s established remedies for release. The USSC said Brady v. Maryland was not the proper format for Osborne to bring his complaint.

Smith v. Cain (U.S. 2012): Impeachment evidence must be disclosed when other evidence is not strong enough to support conviction. 

Wearry v. Cain (U.S. 2016): The prosecution’s failure to disclose material evidence violated the death row inmate’s due process rights because the newly revealed evidence sufficed to undermine confidence in the inmate’s conviction.  The only evidence directly tying the inmate to capital murder were two witnesses’ “dubious” and “suspect” testimony.

________________________________________________________

Related:

The cases of Ewing and Searcy have been featured on various national wrongful conviction websites, including a series of six episodes in which legal criminal conviction experts have reviewed the Ewing-Searcy case and found it woefully wanting in evidence to convict.

Darrell Ewing | Actual Innocent Prisoners

Rico Searcy | Actual Innocent Prisoners

Undisclosed Podcast (undisclosed-podcast.com)

https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/post/episode-8-darrell-ewing

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Related documents:

U.S. SUPREME COUT RULING BRADY V. MARYLAND: at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Brady-v.-Maryland-__-373-U.S.-83-1963-__-Justia-US-Supreme-Court-Center.pdf

Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct: at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Rule-3.1-3.9-Advocate-Mich.-R.-Profl.-Cond.-3.1-3.9-_-Casetext-Search-Citator.pdf

District Attorney’s Office for Third Judicial District v. Osborne:  http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/08-6-District-Attorneys-Office-for-Third-Judicial-Dist.-v.-Osborne-06_18_09.pdf

Tennison v. City and County of San Francisco: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Tennison-v.-City-and-County-of-San-Francisco-570-F.3d-1078-–-CourtListener.com_.pdf

Michigan Court of Appeals ruling affirming order for new trial in Darrell Ewing, Derrico Searcy cases: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/2-Darrell-Ewing-COA-opinion-10-13-20.pdf

Transcript of Judge Michael Hathaway’s order for a new trial: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Darrell-Ewing-Derrico-Searcy-Remmer-Hearing-Transcripts.pdf

6th Circuit ruling on Michigan AG’s appeal of District Court ruling:  http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Ewing-6th-CC-2-5-19-compressed.pdf

Judge Denise Page Hood’s opinion on remand from 6th Circuit Court: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Opinion-on-remand-Ewing_v_Woods__miedce-15-10523__0016.0.pdf

U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood’s order for new trial:  http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Darrell-Ewing-habeas-corpus-grant-1.pdf

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 VOD’s staff lives either on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. We are not paid; we publish the newspaper pro bono. Help keep us afloat by chipping in so stories on this Prison Nation and Police State, and related matters, coming! Any amount is appreciated.

      DONATE TO VOD

                 https://www.gofundme.com/donate-to-vod

(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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VIRTUAL MASS MEETING RE: INCREASING CCW ARRESTS OF BLACKS IN DETROIT V. WHITE ARRESTS SAT. JAN. 29 @ 4 P.M.

Bit.ly/DPDstopandfrisk

Go to the link above to register with email address to attend the meeting.

 

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DETROIT COP DEWAYNE JONES BEAT MENTALLY ILL WOMAN AT HOSPITAL, GOT PROBATION, THEN GOT PROMOTED

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DEWAYNE JONES!  JUSTICE FOR SHELDY!

Jones beat Sheldy Smith at Detroit Receiving Hospital while she was unclothed

Jones won re-trial (set for Feb. 22,2022) after jury convicted him

DPD promoted Jones to Sergeant after beating

SIGN PETITION AT:

https://www.change.org/p/city-of-detroit-do-not-promote-women-beater-convicted-violent-criminal-cpl-jones/u/30056675 

By Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO)
January 12, 2022

DPD officer Dewayne Jones at court hearing

Detroit, MI – Members of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO), and others, held a news conference Jan. 12 to express their displeasure with the injustice surrounding the August 2018 beating of hospital patient Sheldy Smith by then-Detroit Police Department Corporal Dewayne B. Jones. Community members picketed outside the courthouse.

“Dewayne Jones was able to get a promotion in spite of being a convicted violent criminal,” said DRACO leader Scotty Boman.  “Now he is trying to be exonerated while his victim (Sheldy Smith) remains captive and isolated from her family.  This isn’t justice.”

Boman noted that the Detroit Police Department’s contract is up for renewal.  He called on the Board of Police Commissioners to insist on a clause in the new contract, barring usurpation of the BOPC’s authority to be the final word on promotions. The BOPC originally refused to approve Jones’ promotion, but it was re-instated by an arbitrator.

Judge Kenneth King

Jones was convicted of assault and battery on March 19, 2019 after a jury trial in front of 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King, in connection with the beating, but King sentenced him only to one year of probation, which he completed May 1, 2020. His case was then re-assigned to Judge E. Lenise Bryant.

He appeared in front Judge E. Lenise Bryant to confirm the probation results and appealed the 2019 jury verdict.

On April 21st, 2021, Judge Bryant vacated the verdict, and granted Jones a new trial.

“The defense attorney at trial failed to act in a manner consistent with what a reasonably competent attorney would do at a very critical point in the defendant’s jury trial as it related to the correct jury instructions to be presented to the jury,” Judge Bryant said in granting a motion by Jones’ defense attorney for a new trial.

36th District Court Judge E. Lenise Bryant

On Jan. 12, Jones had a pre-trial hearing in front of Judge Bryant. His new trial is set for Feb. 22. See Case No. 1806106901. Dewayne Berran Jones, Assault and battery case, here. https://www.36thdistrictcourt.org/online-services/case-inquiry-schedule

Call Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy at

For more information, please contact:

Scotty Boman, D.R.A.C.O. Founder 
(313) 247-2052 [Voice only] (313) 338-9769 [Text only] ScottyEducation@yahoo.com

ASHLEY SMITH

Ashley Smith, victim’s sister

Phone: (254) 290-7303
justice4sheldy@gmail.com

Lory Parks, National Action Network (313) 492-6774

 

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19TH ANNUAL DETROIT MLK DAY VIRTUAL RALLY AND MARCH MON. JANUARY 17, 11 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

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FREE COVID TESTING, VACCINATIONS, BOOSTERS SAT. JAN. 8 @ 11AM-4 PM. WILDER LIBRARY 7140 E. 7 MILE DETROIT

Detroit COVID-19 data: Tracking cases, deaths (clickondetroit.com)

1 out of 6 Detroiters (98,919) have confirmed COVID cases

GET VACCINATED, BOOSTED — WSU Mobile Health Unit

No cost, no insurance or ID required; diabetes and cholesterol testing also

Russ Bellant, President Detroit Library Commission

By Russ Bellant

Jan 7. 2022

UPDATE WITH FUTURE LOCATIONS, DATES

Jan. 9, 2022

As many leaders as possible (that is every one of us) must divert more time to stop this disease madness. Reach out to any area among friends, family, neighbors, the displaced and encourage the steps that you believe are appropriate to combat COVID.

On the brighter side, the event today at the Wilder Library branch with Wayne State’s mobile unit received at least 70 people by 3 pm who wanted testing, vaccinations or booster shots. This was the result of aggressive promotion through various social media venues by the Library’s media department, and a number of you who forward the message below yesterday, plus some hours of street promotion today.

Below is the Wayne Health/ Detroit Public Library schedule of delivery of health service across the City. Those services include COVID testing, vaccination and booster shots, as well as screenings for blood pressure, kidney functions, diabetes and cholesterol. 

The Mobile Health Unity will be offering free COVID-19 testing (for those 3+ years old) and COVID-19 vaccinations (for those 12+ years old). Those who stop by can receive free health screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, kidney function and blood pressure. Information will also be available to connect people with community resources.
Jefferson Branch Library: 12350 E. Outer Dr.
• Saturday, January 22, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Saturday, February 12, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Return Date for 2nd dose)
Wilder Branch Library: 7140 E. 7 Mile Rd.
• Saturday, January 29, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Saturday, February 19, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Return Date for 2nd dose)
• Monday, January 8, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Monday, January 29, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Return Date for 2nd dose)

Redford Branch Library: 21200 Grand River Ave. (Inside)
• Saturday, January 15, 2022: Noon – 5:30 p.m.
• Saturday, February 5, 2022: Noon – 5:30 p.m. (Return Date for 2nd dose)

Edison Branch Library: 18400 Joy Rd.
• Saturday, January 29, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
• Saturday, February 19, 2022: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Return Date for 2nd dose)
If you have any questions, please call 313-448-9850 or visit https://waynehealthcares.

The Detroit Health Department says there are 98,919 confirmed COVID cases in Detroit now, out of a population of roughly 637,000 people. That means that one of 6.5 Detroiters have COVID.

The national numbers are worse, with 58.4 million cases out of 332,000,000 citizens, or one of every 5.7 people. Over 832,000 have died from COVID, more loss of U.S. lives than from World Wars 1 and 2, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Please encourage everyone you know who isn’t vaccinated to come to 

WILDER LIBRARY BRANCH

7140 E. Seven Mile (a few blocks west of Van Dyke) 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, FROM 11 A.M. TO 4 P.M. 

Wayne State University’s Mobile Health unit will be set up to give free testing for COVID, vaccinations or boosters. No cost, no insurance nor ID is required. You can also get diabetes and cholesterol testing.

The odds of a COVID carrier in supermarkets, churches, classrooms and sporting events make it necessary to act. There are no perfect solutions, but to not act is surely the most dangerous and deadly way to go.

 

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 VOD’s staff lives either on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. We are not paid; we publish the newspaper pro bono. Help keep us afloat by chipping in to keep stories on this Prison Nation and Police State, and related matters, coming! Any amount is appreciated.

      DONATE TO VOD

                 https://www.gofundme.com/donate-to-vod

(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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UKRAINE: WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH BLACK FOLKS? BLACK AGENDA REPORT

Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Kyiv Photo: Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

​​​​​​​ Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and columnist

Jan. 6, 2022

“…it is imperative that everyone, in particular Black and working-class people, understand that not having an awareness of the interconnections of the “grind” (the struggle to survive in the U.S.) and U.S. white supremacist, imperialist policies, and not being prepared to commit to altering those power relations, ensures that the conditions will persist that translates into suffering and even death for the colonized, the working classes, the oppressed, and all of global humanity”

____________________________________________________________

Voice of Detroit Editor’s Note: This article is being re-printed here, with additional photos, because the situation with U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine and around the globe intimately affects those affected by mass incarceration and police abuse in this country.

While millions, mostly Black people and others of color, and poor people languish in the concentration camps that are U.S. prisons, and while police murder and abuse of the same populations increases without pause, the U.S. continues to spend over half the federal budget on the military, and para-military funding of local police forces, rather than on health care for all, jobs, social services, and infrastructure needs.

___________________________________________________________

President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the US and its allies “will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine,” according to a readout of a call between the two. CNN

The worldview of liberals usually ends at the borders of the U.S. settler-state until they are mobilized by the oligarchy to provide ideological cover for the latest imperialist intrigue. This is as true for the liberal Black “misleadership” class as it is for Euro-American liberals.

But U.S.-centrism and class collaboration are not just maladies of the liberal class. Self-identified radicals or leftists from all backgrounds also suffer from this affliction, resulting in a very thin social base for anti-imperialism in the U.S., and even throughout Western Europe.

So, Ukraine, Russia, and NATO feel like a world away and in no way relevant to the everyday grind that the millions of working people are forced to engage in as part of this vicious, backward social, economic system called capitalism. However, because of the startling incompetency of the Biden Administration, the strong possibility of a misstep in Ukraine could very well lead to a nuclear confrontation with Russia — making the situation in Ukraine as significant as life itself for all of us.

What is in play? 

The pro-state, pro-imperialist propaganda operations that masquerade as a press involved in journalism never bring any international issue to the attention of the U.S. public unless it is to mobilize the public to support the policies and interests of the capitalist elites. Over the last few weeks, the propagandists have been busy inundating the public with stories of Russia aggression in Ukraine.

Why? 

Because even though it has only been a few months since the U.S. had to retreat from Afghanistan, the public is once again being mobilized to support the mad policies of the U.S. in Ukraine; policies that appear to be purposely attempting to evoke some kind of military response from the Russia Federation, which the U.S. has explicitly stated it would respond to.

The U.S. Peace Council’s statement on Ukraine Reveals why Ukraine is important. 

The statement first provides important historical context in order to counter the narrative being pushed by the corporate press and their liberal and radical collaborators:

“For weeks, the U.S. corporate media have been shrill in declaring that Russia, having positioned tens of thousands of Russian troops on the border, may be about to invade Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokesmen have been threatening Russia with punishing economic sanctions if there were an invasion. Daily, if not hourly, TV viewers are shown satellite images supposedly showing Russian troop concentrations on the Ukraine border, accompanied by unflattering photos of a scowling Vladimir Putin, depicted as the evil source of the new U.S.-Russia tensions.”

And how did this situation emerge in Ukraine?

The fascist neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine in 2014 was a precursor of the attempted fascist, racist coup in the U.S. on Jan. 6, 2021; white supremacists from the U.S. are now campaigning for the neo-Nazis in Ukraine; see: A Year After 1/6, Ukraine’s War Draws U.S. Far-Right to Fight Russia, Train for Violence at Home (newsweek.com)

The corporate press usually leaves out vital information, like the U.S.-supported coup against the democratically elected government of Victor Yanukovych in 2014 (one of a number of coups that the Obama/Biden administration pulled off during its eight years in office).

As a result of the coup, many people in that country, but particularly in the more Russia speaking parts of Eastern Ukraine that had overwhelmingly supported Yanukovych, rejected the new coup government as illegitimate. In response, the coup government, which had significant numbers the extreme right- neo-Nazis in the government and in the security forces, attacked the peoples in the East. In other words, the government attacked its own people — a charge that the Obama administration had levelled at Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to delegitimize his government just a couple of years earlier.

MINSK II ACCORDS

As a result of the military assault by the new government, two regions in the East, Donetsk and Luhansk, broke away from Ukraine and declared themselves independent. The intensification of the ensuing war led to an agreement referred to as the Minsk II Accords in early 2015. This agreement was negotiated and agreed to by France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine and endorsed unanimously by the UN Security Council, including the United States.

“The Accords provided for demilitarization of eastern Ukraine, restoration of Ukrainian sovereignty over the eastern regions, and full autonomy for the Donbas region. Despite occasional lip service, they have been largely ignored by the U.S. and NATO.”

The US Peace Council (USPC) statement also points out that Victoria Nuland, one of the architects of the Obama/Biden coup in 2014, testified before Congress on the billions of dollars the U.S. pumped into Ukraine to provoke the coup and then prop-up the coup government.

Back in power, the Democrats apparently have decided to take up where they left off in Ukraine. They consciously encouraged Ukraine’s government to ignore the Minsk agreement and to take back the Donbas region in the East by force and provided them with the military means to do so.

________________________________________________________

PRINCETON STUDY ESTIMATES THAT 32 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE U.S. AND RUSSIA WOULD DIE AT THE OUTSET OF A NUCLEAR WAR.

________________________________________________________

“The incorporation of Ukraine into NATO would move NATO weapons and troops even closer to the heartland of Russia. This is to say nothing of the fact that, within living memory, the Russian people suffered invasion from the West. In 1941-45 Hitler’s armies, 4 million strong, devastated the country in a genocidal war that took some 27 million lives.”

In his year-end press conference on December 23rd, Mr. Putin stressed that “Further movement of NATO eastward is unacceptable. They are on the threshold of our house. Is it an excessive demand — no more attack weapons systems near our home? Is there something unusual about this?” One need not be an unqualified admirer of the politics of Vladimir Putin to acknowledge that the Russian leader has legitimate security concerns.

What must be done according to the USPC:

U.S. Peace Movement Must Act Before it is Too Late

To counter those permanent powerful forces will take counterpressure. The U.S. peace movement should reject demonization of Russian leaders. We must act urgently to push for immediate de-escalation of this NATO-created dangerous crisis. We must vehemently demand that:

  • The Minsk II agreement serves as a framework for a non-violent, diplomatic solution to the crisis that also fully involves the United Nations Security Council.
  • The U.S. and its allies cease unnecessary provocations including increased arms sales to Ukraine and suggested NATO membership.
  • Potential threats to international peace be taken up by the United Nations and subjected to the provisions of the UN Charter and other elements of international law instead of arbitrary and illegal actions by any state or regional formation.”

The U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination has been a continuous threat to global peace and security. However, with the precipitous decline in their global prestige if not actual power, because they still possess enormous economic and military power, the inability of the white supremacist colonialist mind to come to terms with the new realities of the present world makes the decision makers in the U.S. and Europe an existential threat to all of humanity.

The military pivot to China, criminal sanctions against over thirty nations, wars, subversion, torture, the commodification of disease, the blatant disregard for life represented by the CDC’s decisions to force workers back on job even if they are sick, mass incarceration, militarized police, over eight hundred military bases around the world — all testify to why radical change in the U.S. and the dismantling of the U.S. empire is a global imperative.

It is also why it is imperative that everyone, in particular Black and working-class people, understand that not having an awareness of the interconnections of the “grind” (the struggle to survive in the U.S.) and U.S. white supremacist, imperialist policies, and not being prepared to commit to altering those power relations, ensures that the conditions will persist that translates into suffering and even death for the colonized, the working classes, the oppressed, and all of global humanity.

The right to peace is fundamentally intertwined with the right to life, and both rights are “People(s)-centered human rights.” However, these fundamental rights will never be realized as long as we allow the capitalist criminals currently in control of the U.S. state and system to operate with impunity. The task is clear.

Ajamu Baraka 

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president of the United States on the Green Party ticket. Baraka is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and was awarded the US Peace Memorial 2019 Peace Prize and the Serena Shirm award for uncompromised integrity in journalism. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council.

 

Related:

U.S.-Russia confrontation over Ukraine threatens to become all-out war — but why? | Salon.com

US-Russia nuclear war would kill 34 million people within hours and is increasingly likely, Princeton study concludes | The Independent | The Independent

Everything you wanted to know about the Minsk peace deal, but were afraid to ask | Euromaidan Press | Euromaidan Press

A Year After 1/6, Ukraine’s War Draws U.S. Far-Right to Fight Russia, Train for Violence at Home (newsweek.com)

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 VOD’s staff lives either on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. We are not paid; we publish the newspaper pro bono. Help keep us afloat by chipping in to keep stories on this Prison Nation and Police State, and related matters, coming! Any amount is appreciated.

                        DONATE TO VOD

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(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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CHARLES PUGH, WHO LED BANKSTER-‘RAPE’ OF CITY OF DETROIT, RELEASED AFTER CHILD SEX ABUSE CONVICTION

 

Detroit Channel 7 News appears to have been the ONLY news outlet that portrayed the grim reality behind Charles Pugh’s 2016 conviction of sexual abuse of a 14-year-old child, and others, in the wake of his release from prison after serving only five years of a possible 15-year sentence.

Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Pugh’s ability to commit such atrocities while serving as an elected City Council member and president, despite broad awareness of his crimes behind the scenes, stands as a condemnation of an entire system. That system also perpetrated the devastation of the City of Detroit by banks and corporations for profit, before, during and after the unprecedented bankruptcy declaration in 2014, assisted by Pugh and his cronies.

It is a grim tale akin to the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and their wealthy allies in the ruling class who shamelessly exploited young women for their pleasure for years before they were finally exposed.

By Diane Bukowski

December 22, 2021

DETROIT–The Detroit News today announced the expected parole of former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh after he served only FIVE YEARS of a maximum 15 years for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old child. His prison sentence in that case followed a civil suit for the abuse of a 17-year-old during his tenure in public office, and multiple reports of similar alleged cases.

Pugh, Gary Brown, and the rest of the “Fatal Five” on the Detroit City Council authorized the state take-over of the City of Detroit in 2012, which led to the Wall Street-manufactured Detroit “bankrupcty” in 2014. As a resullt, Detroit residents lost ownership of nearly all the city’s assets, including the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, and tens of thousands of city jobs. Meanwhile, the theft of tens of thousands of homes and the closure of hundreds of city schools proceeded in the ongoing tidal wave of bankster foreclosures and state-sponsored theft.

In contrast to its coverage of Pugh’s impending release, and its previous advocacy in favor of the Detroit bankruptcy, the Detroit News published an astoundingly vindictive article on the release of juvenile lifer William Bryant, who was convicted at the age of 16 and served 35 years in prison for the robbery-killing of a Detroit Tigers fan during the 1984 World Series street “celebrations.”

Bryant was released due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 Miller v. Alabama ruling outlawing mandatory juvenile life without parole.

According to the Register of Actions in Bryant’s case, he was belatedly released only after multiple proceedings in front of Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Shannon Walker beginning in 2018, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s mandate.

Below are links to the Detroit News articles referenced here.

What former Detroit council president Pugh hopes to achieve on parole (detroitnews.com)

Man killed Tigers fan after ’84 World Series. Now he’s free and victim’s family is devastated (detroitnews.com)

The Voice of Detroit is re-publishing excerpts from its 2015 article on Pugh’s role in dismantling the City of Detroit below.

JAIL CHARLES PUGH! CIVIL MOLESTATION TRIAL NOV. 3; FORMER CC PRES. ALSO GUILTY OF CRIMES VS. DETROIT

City Council Pres. Charles Pugh (r) berates public commenter opposing takeover of Detroit as VP Gary Brown listens.

Pugh on trial in civil lawsuit by “K.S.,” young man who alleges Pugh sexually abused him

Pugh needs to be CRIMINALLY tried along with Fatal Five who approved 2012 Consent Agreement leading to Detroit bankruptcy, Gov. Rick Snyder, Kevyn Orr, collaborators, for genocidal crimes against people of Detroit

By Diane Bukowski

 Editorial

 Oct. 8, 2015

In 2012, students at Frederick Douglass Academy walked out, chanting, “We demand an education.”

DETROIT – The daily media is currently keeping pretty mum about the ongoing civil trial of former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, alleging sexual abuse of a student at the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men in 2013. A jury trial in front of U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson is set for Nov. 3.

Also named in the lawsuit, filed on behalf of “K.S.,” are former Detroit Public Schools emergency managers Roy Roberts and Robert Bobb, and DPS officials Berry Greer and Monique McMurtry.

Among the shocking allegations in the suit, which is linked at the conclusion of this article:

“34. On or about May 31, 2013, defendant PUGH began bribing plaintiff, promising him gifts, such as video games and money for performing sexual acts and/or making videos of plaintiff performing sexual acts. Defendant PUGH made it clear to plaintiff that his career would be ruined if anyone found out about these bribes, and continuously told plaintiff to keep their conversations private.

  1. On or about June 1, 2013, plaintiff told defendant PUGH he needed One Hundred Sixty ($160.00) Dollars, and defendant PUGH agreed to give plaintiff the money, in exchange for plaintiff making a video of himself masturbating.”

 

.

Charles Pugh published this selfie of himself after losing 55 lbs. in 2015.

The suit also alleges that Pugh deliberately disobeyed orders from the student’s mother to cease contact with her son. It says Pugh provided him with a cell phone so that they could communicate without her knowledge.

Detroit school board members also filed a 450-page Title VI complaint with the U.S. Justice Department in August, alleging that emergency managers appointed by the state have stripped the school district of its civil rights, by creating “separate and unequal treatment for African-American students”, the majority of the district.

The complaint cites the teen’s case as a glaring example of such treatment, and says board members had repeatedly warned the EM’s against allowing Pugh to mentor young Black men.

VOD is not writing about this matter out of interest in its salacious content, or out of anti-gay bias. VOD is strongly in favor of rights for gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered people, including the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage.

This editorial is inspired by outrage that Pugh may have been carrying out activities such as sexual abuse of students and minors as he led efforts to dismantle the City of Detroit, in effect raping its people’s assets, in his role as Council President. At the same time, he abused and disrespected hundreds of Detroiters who came before Council.

At left, Sandra Hines and Lila Cabill  wait to speak against Detroit take-over for hours in hall after CC Pres. Charles Pugh refused to move meeting to the auditorium Nov. 20, 2012.

Pugh cast the deciding Council vote the hotly-contested Consent Agreement with the State of Michigan June 4, 2012. It opened the way for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointment of Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager, and later for Orr’s declaration July 17, 2013 that the city was bankrupt.

The bankruptcy trial in front of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes, also involving U.S. District Court Judges Gerald Rosen and Sean Cox, was essentially a dog-and-pony show whose racist, genocidal outcome had been determined long before it began by Wall Street. It ended with Detroit being ordered to hand over its Water & Sewerage Department to the Great Lakes Water Authority and billions of dollars worth of publicly-owned art at the Detroit Institute of Arts to the Founders’ Society.

The bankruptcy Plan of Adjustment stole $7 billion from Detroit retirees, condemning many to official poverty status, and was responsible for the ongoing lay-offs of thousands of active workers, contracting out of their jobs, and deprivation of union rights for those who remained.

During consent agreement hearings, Detroit retiree Walter Knall (l) and historian Paul Lee (r) hold up photo depicting historic rally in Detroit. Pugh ordered police to remove Lee from chambers.

It rewarded Detroit’s wealthy creditors including global banks and insurance companies with 95.9 percent of their claims; Detroit retirees and poor folks got 13.5 percent.

During days of Council debate on the Consent Agreement, hundreds of Detroiters showed up to decry the giveaway of their city in public comment sessions. Pugh was abusive and disrespectful to most of them.

He refused to move the hearings to the auditorium, forcing long lines of Detroiters to stand waiting in the hall in order to make their one-and-a-half minute comments, then forcing them to leave the Council chambers once they were done. He clearly violated the Open Meetings Act in doing so, because he should have provided full access to Detroit citizens to the entire Council sessions.

Pugh showed utter disrespect for well-known community leaders who gave comments, including Cardinal Baye Landy of Detroit’s historic Shrine of the Black Madonna, a Black Christian nationalist church with broad political influence in Detroit since the militant days of the 1960’s.

When Cardinal Landy took his place for comment, dressed as usual in casual clothing, Pugh asked, “You’re a Cardinal?” apparently ignorant of the Shrine’s history in Detroit.

The Shrine of the Black Madonna was founded and led by for three decades by Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, formerly Dr. Albert Cleage, seen in Paul Lee’s interview above.

Pugh had several people, including Lee, arrested and removed by police for allegedly exceeding the ridiculously picayune time limits on their comments. He threatened this reporter with arrest when she asked for 15 seconds more to speak. He noted on camera that she had been arrested before. He referred to her arrest and two felony convictions stemming from her legitimate duties as a reporter for the Michigan Citizen in covering a fatal state trooper police chase on Nov. 4, 2008, the day U.S. President Barack Obama was first elected.

Campaign for a state-mandated Detroit referendum vote on the seizure of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department failed, resulting in massive flooding and other disasters under the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Pugh played a prominent role in the City’s giveaway, traveling to Lansing with Co-Chair Gary Brown to meet with Snyder officials to set up the Consent Agreement, which became the blueprint for the bankruptcy plan of adjustment. Ironically, Pugh as a former journalist himself signed an affidavit in her support during trial proceedings.

He also sat on a secret “Roots Cause Committee” with Brown that planned the dismantling of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department under Judge Sean Cox.

VOD clearly condemns Pugh’s alleged sexual violation of the youthful K.S. and others it is rumored were subjected to such treatment as well. It is horrifying that a man in such a position could act in such a manner after centuries of the oppression of African people which included rape and sexual abuse, not to mention the African Holocaust, slavery, lynchings, torture, murder, and disrespect of Black women as Pugh allegedly disrespected the mother of “K.S.”

It is even more horrifying that Detroit’s leaders including Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy allowed such a man to ride off into the sunset of New York City to work as a waiter and carry on with his life and likely further abuses, without prosecution.

JAIL PUGH NOW!

Related documents and some of many VOD articles:

Pugh lawsuit and Pugh jury trial set for 11 3 15

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/04/09/banks-state-take-control-of-detroit-council-assassinates-city-in-5-4-consent-vote/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/10/09/rally-v-bankruptcy-imposed-layoffs-union-busting-in-detroit-water-all-city-depts-tues-oct-13/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/11/15/detroit-bankruptcy-plan-genocide-in-usas-largest-black-majority-city-rich-get-95-9-poor-get-13-5/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/02/21/rhodes-says-detroits-unique-racial-composition-led-to-bankruptcy-ignores-cops-fraud/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/10/06/detroit-retirees-vow-to-continue-fight-after-u-s-district-judge-dismisses-bankruptcy-appeal/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/06/16/authority-approves-bankruptcy-theft-of-detroits-water-system-retirees-begin-referendum-campaign/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2015/03/17/should-rhodesrosenorr-be-jailed-for-failure-to-report-bankruptcy-fraud-to-proper-authorities/

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 VOD’s staff lives either on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. We are not paid; we publish the newspaper pro bono. Help keep us afloat by chipping in to keep stories on this Prison Nation and Police State, and related matters, coming! Any amount is appreciated.

                        DONATE TO VOD

               https://www.gofundme.com/donate-to-vod

(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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MICHAEL HICKS, WRONGLY CONVICTED OF 1993 BATTLE CREEK MURDER, USING ‘SNITCH,’ FIGHTS FOR FREEDOM

Michael Hicks serving life without parole for murder since 1993; prosecutor falsely told jury at beginning of trial that he had confessed to a cellmate

“YEP, YEP”–AP claimed Hicks used those words to tell jail-house informant he killed Shawn Stalworth, but informant did not testify at trial

USDC Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that Hicks’ 6th Amendment right of confrontation was violated, other evidence likely not enough to convict

Hicks has written three books, including award-winning “The Nat Turner Papers,” works with U-M’s Creative Arts Project, studies constitutional law

Ricardo Ferrell

By Diane Bukowski

with Ricardo Ferrell, VOD Field Editor

December 15, 2021

 Battle Creek, MI — In his opening statement, Calhoun County Asst. Prosecutor Daniel Buscher told Michael Hicks’ jury 28 years ago that Hicks had confessed to a jail-house informant, saying “Yep, yep” when asked if he killed Shawn Stalworth in Battle Creek on July 25, 1993.  The following words from Buscher likely have kept Hicks in prison ever since.

Michael Hicks today (l) and (r) with younger brothers during the holidays as a youth in Detroit

But the alleged informant, Lorenzo Brand, did not testify at trial. U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled on Jan. 7, 2003, that Hicks was denied his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser.

“Petitioner was deprived of the opportunity to cross-examine Lorenzo Brand.” Judge Tarnow said. “Not only was Mr. Brand’s incrimination devastating to Petitioner, Mr. Brand’s credibility as a jail-house informant is suspect at best.” Tarnow said other testimony at the trial was likely not sufficient to convict Hicks. He ordered a new trial or Hicks’ release within 90 days.

But the State of Michigan appealed, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Tarnow’s ruling, citing a “procedural default of his Confrontation Clause claim,” saying, “petitioner, thus, cannot establish that he suffered actual prejudice flowing from such a violation.”

“I was pulled over miles from a homicide that occurred in Battle Creek,” Hicks told VOD. “The police claimed they were looking for a dark complected male 5’7″ – 6’2″, 150 lbs. – 225lbs and driving an SUV or Green Cadillac. I was arrested and interviewed. I told the police I didn’t have anything to do with the shooting and that I was innocent. I thought this would all be cleared up at the line-up they said they were conducting.”

But Hicks said no line-up ever took place. Instead, an officer took a polaroid photo of him.

Two weeks later, the morning of the preliminary exam, he recalled, “I saw Detective Scott Metzgar and Asst. Prosecutor Daniel Buscher in the hallway talking to a kid who was crying. When I walked by, they stopped talking.”

Then, he said, Lorenzo Brand, 17,  walked in to testify. Judge Michael Kingsley called a long recess during which his attorney and Buscher went into his chambers prior to the testimony, which led to his case being bound over. Brand, however, never testified at Hicks’ trial.

‘Now almost 30 years later, I’m still sitting in prison an innocent man,” Hicks said. “I had never met Lorenzo Brand before, let alone confessed to committing a homicide to him. Although Brand told my attorney that he would come into his office and swear in an affidavit that he lied, he never held to his verbal commitment.”

Hicks and his girlfriend Latrina Porter, who was with him that day, testified at trial that they were stopped miles away from 66 Kendall in Battle Creek, the scene of the crime, by Emmett Township police. Hicks said he ran because he was driving without a license and had drugs in the black Bronco he was driving.

Entire 33 pp. opinion from USDC Judge Arthur Tarnow linked below story.

“Shortly after the shooting, approximately two and a half miles away from the site of the shooting, police began following a black Bronco driven by Petitioner, because it matched the description given of the suspicious vehicle near the shooting site, ” Judge Tarnow wrote.

“Defendant pulled into the driveway of a house on Golden Avenue and then fled into a swamp behind the house. Police officer Robert Corbin testified that he chased Petitioner into the swamp and apprehended him there. . .The police did not see Petitioner with a weapon or throwing one away. . . No gun was recovered from the area.”

Eyewitnesses interrogated by police, according to police records reviewed by VOD, gave substantially conflicting accounts of the killing. These included descriptions of cars they saw outside of 66 N. Kendall other than the Black Bronco police claimed was involved.

Killing happened at 66 N. Kendall in Battle Creek.

No murder weapon was ever produced. Police found a .380 shell casing on the floor of the Bronco, but the two bullets later retrieved from Stallworth’s body were from a 9 mm. gun according to police records. No positive gunshot residue tests were conducted.

Hicks was 23 years at the time.  He grew up in Detroit, graduated from Mumford High School and was attending Highland Park Community College at the time of his arrest.

Jacqueline Degreaffenried and son Michael Hicks.

Hicks told VOD that he has kept his spirits alive in prison by writing and studying constitutional law and psychology.  Prior to his 1993 arrest, he said, he studied psychiatric nursing for two years at Highland Park Community College and served an internship at the now shuttered Detroit Psychiatric Institute in the Herman Kiefer Complex on Taylor.

“I have written three books,” he told VOD. “I got a second-place award in 2009 from a Pennsylvania writers’ group for ‘The Nat Turner Papers.’ I’m an active member of the PCAP—Prison Creative Arts Project [sponsored by the University of Michigan].”

He said he met and spoke with Judge Tarnow during an educational visit the Judge made to one of the facilities he served time in.

“It was like meeting Yoda,” he said. “My lawyer told me Judge Tarnow is the smartest man in the world.” Hicks was represented in that habeas appeal by Attorney Carole Stanyar, who also argued it at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Yoda from “Star Wars”

Hicks is one of four sons of Jacqueline Degreaffenried, a retired nurse who spent most of her career at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

“Michael is the oldest of my four sons,” Mrs. Degreaffenried told VOD. “He was studying nursing as a career because I told him more men are choosing nursing and that would be a good field for him.  He did not get a chance to realize his dream of a nursing career.”

Mrs. Degreaffenreid lamented, “Our system is broken, but we cannot fix it by breaking those that are innocent.”

NEW HOPE FOR HICKS APPEAL: Brother of “Informant” comes forward, swears brother told him he was “forced” to testify at preliminary exam.

Hicks told VOD that on October 7, 2019 (his birthday) he was getting his hair braided by another prisoner who turned out to be Colbert Brand, the brother of Lorenzo Brand.

Drawing shows police officer (l) and prosecutor (r) coercing witness.

“As he was braiding my hair, we started a conversation about the law,” Hicks said. “I told him I had just gone back to court to address the fact that prior to the jailhouse informant testimony at the prelim there were no witness statements, evidence or identification of me, so how was the process even initiated? This was all confirmed by an affidavit from private investigator Timothy Gilbert who personally went to the Battle Creek Police Department, Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office and the District & Circuit Courts.”

Hicks said Brand mentioned he was from Battle Creek, and he asked him if he knew Lorenzo Brand.

“Lorenzo Brand is my brother,” Colbert Brand responded.

“I then told him I’m Michael Hicks,” Hicks said. “He told me he had called his brother on the phone and asked him does he need to be on the lookout for anybody he may have wronged in the past? He said his brother told him when he was about 17, the police forced him to lie on a guy named Michael Hicks in court by falsely saying that Hicks confessed to committing a murder.”

Colbert Brand has submitted the sworn affidavit below to Hicks.


Hicks told VOD that his case has been submitted to State Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Conviction Integrity Unit for review.

“…It’s a jailhouse informant’s dream to be able to use a get out of jail-free card.” — Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, former MI State Representative

Sherry Gay-Dagnogo campaigns for criminal justice reform.

By Ricardo Ferrell, VOD Field Editor

The day after the Nov. 2nd election, I had the honor of interviewing Sherry Gay-Dagnogo for comment to this story, where a 17-year-old teenager was pressured by police detectives to become a jailhouse informant, a practice that’s commonly used in a lot of homicide cases where there’s a lack of sufficient evidence linking suspects to the crime.

In Wayne County some 30 people have been exonerated through its Conviction Integrity Unit. In over half of those cases, a trained jailhouse snitch was used by homicide detectives and prosecutors to secure statements/testimonies. Its a fact that Wayne County isn’t the only jurisdiction where this practice has been utilized. As noted in this story, it occurred nearly 30 years ago in Calhoun County.

Longtime Detroit resident, advocate and politician Sherry Gay-Dagnogo shares her point-of-view with VOD:

“Where is the justice? When we have police & prosecutors engaging in practices that can remove innocent citizens from our society, based on concocted and fabricated lies leading to them being wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for the rest of their lives to die for a crime they didn’t commit, solely for the purpose of obtaining a conviction and advancing their careers, then we have a serious problem in our judicial system, especially when it’s a jailhouse informant’s dream to be able to use a get out of jail-free card,” states Sherry Gay-Dagnogo.

Full NRE Report: “Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent” at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Government_Misconduct_and_Convicting_the_Innocent2.pdf

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 VOD’s staff either lives on limited fixed incomes or is incarcerated. Help keep us afloat by chipping in to keep stories on this Prison Nation and Police State coming!

                              DONATE TO VOD

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(Contact editor for details on other ways to send funds, at 313-825-6126 or diane_bukowski@hotmail.com.)

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RELATED DOCUMENTS:

U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Tarnow’s ruling on Hicks habeas appeal

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Michael-Hicks-amended-ruling-by-Judge-Tarnow-TiffDLL.pdf

Michael Hicks habeas petition filed by Atty. Carole Stanyar

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Michael-Hicks-Petition-for-Hab.pdf

Michael Hicks 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling 

http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Michael-HICKS-v.-STRAUB-6th-Circuit-_-FindLaw.pdf

 

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DID PROS. KYM WORTHY AND DPD SUPPRESS KILLER’S CONFESSION IN EWING/SEARCY CASE? HEARING DEC. 1

Prosecution withheld 2017 confession of Tyree Washington to MSP in murder of J.B. Watson, say attys. for Darrell Ewing, Derrico Searcy 

“He stated two individuals had gone to jail for a crime they did not commit,” MSP Det. Sgt. Eric B. Johnson, who took Washington’s confession in 2017

Confession withheld while defendants were “pursuing a new trial based on jury misconduct related to evidence that Tyree Washington committed the homicide.”–Atty. Kearney

AP also asked “Detroit police to engage in an investigation of the [trial] jurors to stop these men from getting a new trial.”

Darrell Ewing/Derrico Searcy Final Conference

WED. DECEMBER 1, 2021 9 a.m. FMHJ

Update: Hearing continued Fri. Jan. 10, 2022 1 pm

Atty. Diallo

Atty. Lillian Diallo, for Darrell Ewing, has filed a Motion to Dismiss Charges due to Brady Violations

 Hon. Darnella D. Williams-Claybourne – YouTube

By Diane Bukowski 

November 27, 2021

Wayne Co. Pros. Kym Worthy said on NBC News that she is working to overturn wrongful convictions, but Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy remain locked up after 11 yrs.

DETROIT— Defense attorneys for Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy are expected to argue in court Wed. December 1 that the two should be freed because Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office and Detroit police knowingly hid another man’s detailed, Mirandized confession to the 2009 murder in their case, given to the Michigan State Police in 2017.

Defense attorneys said in an Aug. 30 hearing that the prosecutor violated Brady v. Maryland, a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling mandating provision of all “exculpatory” evidence (tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt.) They also charged prosecutorial misconduct.

“I feel positive of victory, and am in good spirits, despite conditions in the jail,” Ewing told VOD in a call from the Wayne County Jail. He and Searcy are being held there 13 months after their convictions were vacated by the Michigan Court of Appeals last October, after previous rulings by multiple federal and state courts that they did not receive a fair trial.

Protesters outside the failed Wayne County Jail site across from the current jail in 2017.

Ewing reported that they and others there have periodically had no water due to main breaks, and no hot food. He said the jail is filled to overflowing, with many prisoners sleeping on the floor of the holding area. Many of the hundreds of mostly Black men there are being held pre-trial for longer than the six months mandated by law.

But Worthy says she intends to re-try the pair using the evidence presented at the original trial, despite the backlog of other cases.

“I read [Tyree] Washington his Miranda warning,” MSP Det. Sergeant Eric B. Johnson wrote in a four-page report detailing the confession, given in the inspector’s office at Michigan’s Chippewa Correctional Facility on Feb. 2, 2017.

“Washington agreed to waive his rights and speak with me. . . [He]Washington stated he murdered a subject by the name of J. B. Watson, also known as ‘June Bug,’ a black male, approximately 2o years old, in 2009.”

Johnson said he asked Washington why he had come forward at that time.

This 2016 letter from Tyree Washington to the MSP was included with the report they sent to Prosecutor, Detroit Police and other agencies.

“He stated two individuals had gone to jail for a crime they did not commit,” Johnson wrote.

“He stated the names of those subjects are Darrel Gwing [sic] and Derrico Searcy and advised they had gone to prison for killing Watson in early 2010. Washington also said that as part of his practiced religion, he was advised through the teachings of Islam that ‘in order to seek true forgiveness you have to be truly honest with yourself and God (and you must come forward with all the wrongs you have committed).”

Washington previously submitted multiple written affidavits confessing to the murder. Private investigator Scott Lewis audiotaped his confession on Aug. 1, 2017 (below), six months after the confession he gave to MSP Det. Sgt. Johnson. Legal experts say the MSP confession carries much more weight at trial since Washington was advised of his Miranda rights prior to giving it and he gave it to a law enforcement agency.

MDB · Tyree Washington 8.1.17.MP3Det. Sgt. Johnson said he videotaped the confession, then submitted his report and the videotape to Det. Sgt. David Boike at the MSP Metro South Post who said he would forward it to the Detroit Police Department and “violent crimes and cold case task forces” for follow-up.

Washington is currently serving a term of 50-plus years in Federal prison for a separate conviction in an armed car-jacking that took place March 14, 2010, two and a half months after the Watson murder.

During a hearing Aug. 30, defense attorneys Blasé Kearney and Lillian Diallo told Wayne County 3rd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Darnella Williams-Clayborne that the defense had not seen the four-page confession and other documents until August, 2021. Asst. Prosecutor Kam Towns then provided discovery records under Brady v. Maryland after failing in her attempt to get them sealed.

Washington’s statement to Johnson included a detailed history of an ongoing conflict among him, Watson, and a third man that began in the summer of 2009, over a woman he and the third man were dating. He said Watson and the third man fired guns at him and others during two occasions prior to his shooting Watson at Harper and Van Dyke in Detroit.

1995 Oldsmobile Aurora

Washington’s detailed description of the final incident, including the turquoise Aurora he was in, driven by a fourth man with a woman in the front passenger seat, jibes with testimony from multiple witnesses at Ewing and Searcy’s trial in 2010.

According to a police LIEN report which surfaced along with Washington’s confession, the car belonged to the woman he said was in the passenger seat when he shot Watson.

According to trial transcripts, Atty. Otis Culpepper, who represented Searcy at trial, reported to trial judge Carole Youngblood that the woman confirmed details of the killing and her presence there in an interview with him. She was subpoenaed to testify, but did not appear, telling Culpepper that she feared retaliation.

Culpepper said further that he notified Theopilus WIlliams, DPD’s officer in charge (OIC) of the case, to ask for his assistance in the interview, but was ignored.

Pointing to Williams and AP Kam Towns during the trial, a federal witness testified in court that he told both Williams and Towns that he knew Washington committed the crime, during meetings set up by U.S. attorneys. (See box at left.)

Searcy’s defense attorney Blase Kearney contended Aug. 30. “. . . it appears that [Worthy’s head of appeals] Jon Wojtala asked the Detroit police to engage in an investigation of the [trial] jurors to stop these men from getting a new trial.”

That investigation happened prior to the dramatic testimony of trial juror Kathleen Byrnes during an evidentiary hearing held in front of Wayne Co. 3rd Circuit Judge Michael Hathaway in 2019.

Byrnes detailed what Hathaway ruled were the illegal efforts of other jury members to research the case on Facebook and the internet generally, in line with the prosecution’s claim that the killing of J.B. Watson was gang-related. Byrnes said pressure from the others caused her to retract her “not guilty” vote.

Hathaway ruled, “[I]t is just inescapable from Byrnes’s testimony that the outside influences, the inappropriate influences caused her to change her mind,” Hathaway said.

Judge Michael Hathaway (l), Juror Kathleen Byrnes

“There is just no way to get around that based on her testimony. And that the information, particularly about gang culture, gang hierarchy, gang signs, et cetera, were highly prejudicial. . .”

At trial, Judge Youngblood barred testimony from a DPD gang “expert” who’s training primarily included research from Facebook and the internet.  Ewing and Searcy’s supporters said they hope the Court of Appeals ruling that affirmed Hathaway’s opinion may lead to the review of hundreds of convictions obtained through the use of untrained “gang” experts by the Wayne County Prosecutor and the Detroit Police Department.

Supporters of Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy celebrate after new trial granted on Oct. 24, 2019. Two years later, they remain in jail.

Related:

The cases of Ewing and Searcy have been featured on various national wrongful conviction websites, including a series of six episodes in which legal criminal conviction experts have reviewed the Ewing-Searcy case and found it woefully wanting in evidence to convict.

Darrell Ewing | Actual Innocent Prisoners

Rico Searcy | Actual Innocent Prisoners

Undisclosed Podcast (undisclosed-podcast.com)

https://www.unjustandunsolved.com/post/episode-8-darrell-ewing

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Related documents and stories:

Michigan Court of Appeals ruling affirming order for new trial in Darrell Ewing, Derrico Searcy cases: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/2-Darrell-Ewing-COA-opinion-10-13-20.pdf

Transcript of Judge Michael Hathaway’s order for a new trial: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Darrell-Ewing-Derrico-Searcy-Remmer-Hearing-Transcripts.pdf

6th Circuit ruling on Michigan AG’s appeal of District Court ruling:  http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Ewing-6th-CC-2-5-19-compressed.pdf

Judge Denise Page Hood’s opinion on remand from 6th Circuit Court: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Opinion-on-remand-Ewing_v_Woods__miedce-15-10523__0016.0.pdf

U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood’s order for new trial:  http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Darrell-Ewing-habeas-corpus-grant-1.pdf

Related stories:      

DID WAYNE CO. PROS. HIDE KILLER’S CONFESSION TO MSP IN EWING-SEARCY CASE, USE DPD TO STOP RETRIAL? | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

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