Charging decision in Hakim Littleton death coming, River Rouge police accused of excessive force, temps hit 80

The shooting death of Hakim Littleton by Detroit police last summer was one of the city's higher-profile cases during a turbulent and combustible period between law enforcement and activists.

Littleton was shot after he pulled a gun out and shot at officers during an arrest of a separate individual that day. His death sparked a wave of protests that only added fuel to the fire in Detroit last year, which had already been embroiled in protests against police violence.

The Detroit police chief has maintained his support and defense of the officers involved. But Littleton's brother Rashad says DPD mishandled the situation. The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office is expected to announce a charging decision today.

"They should be fired, point-blank, lose their job, never work for a police station ever again," Littleton's brother said. "Chief Craig didn't apologize to my mom at all. He basically told the cop good job when it is a Black cop shooting another Black person in the head execution-style, which is deadly force if I am not mistaken."

The timing of Littleton's death came during mass unrest in America's cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pandemic had raised tensions during an exceptionally turbulent political cycle and election year. 

But it was during the summers when race was added to the volatile cocktail and the role that police play in communities. There was very little property damage in Detroit compared to other cities, but the presence of unrest was visible for much of June and July. 

Then, on Friday July 10, Detroit police had spotted a suspect with an outstanding felony warrant sitting in a car on San Juan Drive in the afternoon. As they were arresting the individual, they noticed an individual walking toward them.

Police were told the person, identified as Littleton, was an acquaintance of the suspect they were arresting. As they went to investigate, Littleton crouched down, pulled out a small pistol.

"The officers were able to try to hold this individual. He then removed a small caliber, 22 caliber blue steel semi-automatic pistol and he began to fire a number of rounds at officer over his shoulder," Chief James Craig said after the incident.

The timing of Littleton's death came during mass unrest in America's cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The pandemic had raised tensions during an exceptionally turbulent political cycle and election year.

The shooting immediately sparked protests, prompting Craig to make the extraordinary decision to release bodycam footage of the incident later that day.

But even with the footage, Littleton's family is unconvinced the officers' actions were appropriate. 

"What DPD should have done on that day if they found anything on my brother," said Rashad. "They should have cuffed him, detained him, and then called my mom. And that would have been case closed. Instead, they chose to use deadly force."

Prosecutor Kym Worthy is expected to announce whether the department will charge the officers involved or not at noon today. Craig has said he will withhold comment until after the announcement. The activist group Detroit Will Breathe will also speak on the matter later in the afternoon.

Why are vaccinated people still getting COVID-19?

It's a good question to ask and a justifiable one to want an answer to after reports from the health department yesterday revealed that 246 fully vaccinated residents in Michigan had contracted COVID-19 while another three had died. 

That number comes with some caveats and requires simple math to put into context. First, of the 1.7 million people fully vaccinated in the state, only .0001 of them have gotten infected - an infinitesimal amount. The health department has only confirmed 11 of those people have been hospitalized with an infection. While 103 had not. Another 129 had no hospital data at all.  

Of the three people that have died, all were over 65. Two of the deaths were within three weeks of completing the vaccination. 

These tiny percentages fall in line with the 94-95% effectiveness of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines respectively. They aren't 100% effective and have never claimed to be. But the vaccines have been shown to reduce how sick a person gets if they contract the illness. And this is evident in the disparity among hospitalizations of different age groups in Michigan. 

River Rouge police accused of excessive force

River Rouge police are looking into an arrest incident involving a 17-year-old girl who was taken into custody after she was found to be driving a car with a permit but without an adult. A lawyer hired by the family of the girl also says a lawsuit is in the works that accuse the arresting officers of excessive force.

The teen girl, identified as Maliyah Clary, was yanked out of her mother's SUV during a February traffic stop. One of the officers also pointed a gun at her teenage cousins, bodycam footage shows. She was eventually charged with reckless driving, resisting arrest, and disobeying a stop sign. 

"I wasn’t understanding why they were asking me to get out of the car," Clary said. "So I was trying to ask them, why, what’s wrong? But they just grabbed me out of the car."

FOX 2 showed the footage to a law enforcement trainer and a retired assistant police chief, who said it's tough to make a call on the arrest without knowing all that led up to the stop. "If he’s stopping her and he’s giving her a directive to get out of the vehicle and he feels threatened, he can’t see her hands or can't see something like that, he has every right to order her out of the vehicle," said Darnell Blackburn.

Oakland County attorneys charged with racketeering

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said attorneys Marc Fishman, Ryan Fishman, and Alexandra Ichim "put a dagger in the heart" of due process when they forged signatures and lied when they said they served documents to defendants. 

Working as professional debt collectors, the three attorneys would forge documents to say that defendants had been served when they hadn't been. Then they would use the courts to attempt to gain damages from people who didn't realize they were served. 

"It's greed. It's simple greed," Genessee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson. "If it wasn't for the courage of these victims and witnesses to come forward, we might not be here as soon as we are."

Both Ryan Fishman and Ichim were charged with racketeering, obstruction of justice, and 30 counts of forgery. Ryan's father Marc is charged with maintaining a criminal enterprise and one count of obstruction of justice. 

Triple shooting leaves 1 dead in Detroit

A preliminary report from a shooting scene early Wednesday morning says that a 64-year-old man walked into a location and began shooting. 

The suspect shot three other men, killing a 24-year-old man who died from his injuries at a hospital. The second and third victim were also hospitalized, with a 22-year-old in critical condition and a 43-year-old in stable condition.

The suspect fled the scene in a pickup truck before later getting arrested. Police also recovered a weapon.

Officers are still looking for the driver of the truck. Any with information regarding this crime is asked to call the Detroit Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up. 

What else we're watching

  1. Hercules Materials Holdings, a construction and concrete company is holding a job fair to fill hundreds of positions in Warren on Thursday. The job fair will go from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  2. Oakland University says it will mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for any students who live on campus in the fall. The school will offer vaccines on campus to anyone that wants one. 
  3. Wayne County's Concealed Permit License office has closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The office has notoriously long wait lines for getting a CPL. 
  4. A 61-year-old man was struck by an unknown vehicle late Tuesday night, later succumbing to his injuries. Police are still investigating.
  5. Dan Gilbert is donating $30 million to Cranbrook Art Academy in Bloomfield Hills to boost inclusion and diversity at the school. The massive infusion of cash will go to annual scholarships.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

If you liked yesterday's weather, you'll love the conditions on the way today. It's going to be 81 degrees today. The last time we eclipsed that mark was Sept. 27. 

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos supports raised corporate taxes to pay for Biden’s $2T infrastructure plan

Founder and CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos tweeted his support for an increase in corporate taxes to support President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan.

Bezos said he supports the bold investments in America’s infrastructure and added that the "investment will require concessions from all sides—both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate)."

Biden’s ambitious infrastructure plan looks to commit $621 billion toward rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges and highways, as well as installing electric vehicle charging stations and other transportation infrastructure. The spending would push the country away from internal combustion engines that the auto industry views as an increasingly antiquated technology.