Criticism of Detroit city officials is nothing new. Residents, activists and organizers have often opposed the actions and statements of elected officials. In the wake of continued police violence, one activist asks a city council member if Black Lives Matter?
City officials double-down on use of facial recognition technology, even after the wrongful arrest of an innocent Black man in Farmington Hills made national news. The ACLU has filed a complaint against the Detroit Police Department after detectives held a Farmington Hills man for 18 hours without being told why he was arrested.
There is a national movement underway to change the names and topple the monuments, markers and statues with a slave-holding past. In Detroit, the name of Cass Technical High School, a beloved city institution, is also at issue.
The debate over investment in surveillance and facial recognition technology resurfaces as people are on the streets of Detroit daily to protest the over-policing and investment in racist systems that further marginalize Black people and lives.
What does defunding police look like in Detroit? Some say investing in social services such as community mental health services, social workers, and affordable housing will improve the city. Others want to end Project Green Light or curtail facial recognition tools. Overall, police reform in Detroit may be underway.
Through the years, Black Detroiters have had a contested and often violent relationship with police. Repressive police actions led to the 1967 uprising. This week, images emerged of Detroit police officers meeting peaceful protestors with riot gear. Has the relationship between Black Detroit and police officers improved?
Detroit, devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, joined nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality this week. BridgeDetroit’s Bryce Huffman met with Detroit poet and author Joel “Fluent” Greene to discuss what this moment means to the city.