Detroit census undercounted, Detroit schools mandates vaccine for staff, self defense expert goes viral

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Thursday that there is evidence that Detroit was undercounted in the 2020 Census, and it cost the city millions of dollars in funding.

Duggan spoke in Detroit as two universities, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, released new evidence of a severe undercount of the city's population.

According to Duggan, the census let down the city's residents and part of the problem lies in allowing people to fill out the census form online.

"All we want as Detroiters is to be counted. They had one job, and they missed by a huge number," he said.

Duggan and researchers from the two universities said the city's results weren't properly counted. According to the 2020 Census, the city showed a drop in population of 31,000 people from the 2019 census estimate. He said that data is false and believes it was done on purpose.

"This is the first time I’ve ever seen an effort in which I believe there was an intentional decision not to count Detroit properly," Duggan said.

Researchers said one red flag was vacancy rates in some of Detroit's most residentially stable neighborhoods. The Census showed vacancies in those neighborhoods between 10 and 17 percent.

Both Wayne State and the U.S. Postal Service say their results show vacancies less than 10 percent in those same areas.

Duggan said the Trump Administration is at fault and the government let the city of Detroit down.

"There’s no doubt that the last administration shut down the census prematurely."

Brenda Jett and Clois Foster both worked for the Census Bureau last year as counters. They told horror stories of how unorganized and unprepared the Detroit bureau was.

Due to the alleged loss in population, the city lost a large amount of money to fund schools and social service programs.

"There just needs to be more education. The services that they rely on will not be there if they don’t get counted," Jett said.

Duggan plans to challenge the results by taking the findings to the Commerce Department. If that doesn't work, he'll take the fight to the federal court.

Detroit school board enacts vaccine mandate for staff

All Detroit school teachers and staff members must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 18, the district’s school board decided Thursday.

The new mandate will affect a small percentage of staff who haven’t been vaccinated, Detroit Public Schools Community District officials said. The new requirement will require employees to receive the vaccine and report their status to the district by Feb. 18.

Staff members can get medical and religious exemptions, but they must regularly test and wear a face covering, the Detroit Free Press reported. Staff members who don’t follow the mandate risk dismissal.

During a Dec. 14 meeting when the school board first considered the new policy, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said 150 positive cases in unvaccinated people forced 483 students and 99 staff members to quarantine this school year. "This policy I think is a step toward using the tools that are now available to us in the pandemic to keep students in school," he said.

--Courtesy of the Associated Press

Family of 1984 murder victim sickened as killer is freed

Family of Raymond Dobrznski are furious that the man convicted of killing their son 37 years ago has been freed after a parole board review. William Bryant, who shot Raymond in downtown Detroit as the city celebrated the Tigers winning the 1984 World Series, was sentenced to 40-80 years last year following a Supreme Court decision that reversed mandatory life sentences for juveniles. 

He became eligible for parole on Nov. 25 of this year and currently lives in Arizona after being released five days later. "He belongs in prison as far as I’m concerned," said Mira Dobrzynski. "I don’t know what that parole board was thinking. His parents can see him, I can’t see my son."

But to Tina Olson, an attorney for the state appellate defender's office, which represented Bryant, says the chances of juveniles that were sentenced to life re-offended after being released are slim. She cited a study out of Pennsylvania that found less than one percent commit more crimes.

Michigan’s Department of Corrections made note that Bryant had more than 180 misconducts during his time in prison. The offenses ranged from theft, sexual misconduct, assaulting staff and possessing dangerous contraband.

Metro Detroit self-defense expert sees viral fame

A self-defense specialist is getting his 15 minutes of fame after his agency made some splashes on TMZ Sports and Saturday Night Live. "(I get recognized) at gas stations, I'm doing tactics," said Dale Brown. "They start filming and ask to show them a tactic. I show them a tactic and they say ‘Oh, it’s for real.'"

Brown founded Detroit Urban Survival Training using fake weapons to train. He came up with the self-defense system about 26 years ago. With a background as a safety consultant and the U.S. Army, Brown has been offering classes Monday through Friday at his location in Ferndale. 

Then, on Saturday night, clips of Brown surfaced. A skit even showed Odell Beckham Jr. doing a mock gun disarm after scoring a touchdown. "He did it perfectly, I want to add that," Brown said.

"I take mocking as fun because if you’re out here out in the streets people are going to mock you anyway," he said. With the attention, comes the critics – but Dale leans in, inviting them to Detroit to try it out.

Michigan teen charged after shooting brother, mistook him for deer

A teenager who told investigators that he mistook his brother for a deer when he shot him has been charged with a gun crime, authorities in western Michigan said Thursday.

The 17-year-old faces a charge of careless discharge of a firearm causing injury, the Kent County sheriff’s office said. The case will be handled in juvenile court.

A 12-year-old boy was shot Monday in Solon Township, north of Grand Rapids, when he went out to summon his older brother for dinner, the sheriff’s office said.

The teen thought he was shooting at a deer, deputies said. The younger boy was stable at a hospital.

What else we're watching

  1. Melt Fit, a local business has made itself onto Oprah's Favorite Things list. Amy Andrews will speak with the owner, Ashley Gardner Friday morning. 
  2. Jewell Jones will be back in court for a pretrial session at 9 a.m. in the 44th circuit court. Jones recently rejected a plea deal offered by the Livingston County Prosecutor's Office.  
  3. Three groups, the Chaldean Chamber, Mojo in the Morning, and Kroger will be presenting Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard and deputies with a $100,000 donation to making sure every deputy has a special holiday meal with their families. 
  4. Copy cat threats continue to run amok as schools beef up security following reports of a trend on Tik Tok encouraging people to post threats toward educational facilities. 
  5. A group has dropped plans to circulate petitions for a 2022 ballot drive to award Michigan's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote if enough other states join the pact. Organizers will instead target the 2024 ballot.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Say goodbye wind and hello snow as Thursday's warm spell ends and colder temperatures move in on Friday. By Saturday, between one and two inches of snow are expected to fall in Metro Detroit. 

SmartHealth Cards: Could it become an alternative to vaccine passports?

As the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 adds to the uncertainties of the ongoing pandemic, many businesses are requiring customers to provide proof of their vaccination status.

Multiple states are considering the development of vaccine passports which is a digital tool that can be used to show proof a person is vaccinated.

But a new approach to vaccine verification is now available in the form of a card called the SmartHealth Card.

The card was developed by the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), a voluntary coalition of over 800 public and private organizations that collaborated to create a free and open way for people to access and verify their vaccination status.