"Wild Savages. I wish to God I would have been there. Body bags for these vicious subhumans." That's what a Shelby Township police chief admitted to posting from a now-deleted Twitter account. Another read "unleash real cops and let them take care of these barbarians."
Now facing criticism from both city officials and residents in the community, Chief Robert Shelide has been placed on administrative leave while the police department investigates the series of postings. Shelide's tweets were seen as glorifying police brutality during an increasingly sensitive time in the country when racial tensions are running hotter than they have in decades.
"People say what they mean and the only thing he want to be forgiven for is being caught saying stuff. He meant what he said so let that stick," said one resident, responding to the posts from the township's head police officer.
In a Thursday confession, Chief Robert Shelide asked for forgiveness "to those I have offended, to my department and more importantly to those I am sworn to serve."
"During my administrative leave issued by the department, I will fully cooperate with the investigation, and seek the support and counsel necessary to ensure that my behavior and comments going forward more accurately reflect my character and person."
While protests in Michigan ramped up exactly one week ago, the root of America's current racial strife started in late May after a video surfaced of a white police officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, a black man who would later die from asphyxiation, per an autopsy report. Since then, police departments have needed to strike a balance of being the country's verbal punching bag while quelling protests.
Other police departments have needed to take action in the face of tensions. Four of the Minneapolis police officers involved in Floyd's death have been arrested and charged. Two police officers from Atlanta were fired Thursday night after a video showed excessive force. On June 1, the mayor of Louisville fired the police chief who reported no officer had body cameras on during the shooting of a black man during a police response.
The uproar has also come to Michigan, where Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Lansing have all mitigated looting, arson, and property destruction from violent protesters. In Detroit, Police Chief James Craig and the DPD have reported peaceful protests three of the last four evenings, following an arrest-heavy weekend.
And the protests aren't stopping either, with another scheduled for Friday. And some of the Detroit Lions will be in attendance at this one.
"If you have space and opportunity to create change, then you have responsibility, " said Kenn Snapp, one of the march organizers.
"I think it'll be great to have them march with us, not only march with us now but stand alongside with us throughout this entire process until change is made," said Joique Bell, the former Detroit Lion helping organize the demonstration.
Friday's protest will feature an array of nonprofits and departments of government. The intersection of such a diversity of parties falls in line with the clash in values that are being painted across the state and country.
Beginning at 3 p.m. at the Belle Isle Bridge, a march has been organized by young people with support from Joique's charity, the DNR, and the city of Detroit's civil rights office. The Detroit Police Department has also been made aware of the peaceful march, which is expected to go until 6 p.m.
Father of 5 loses fixer-upper home to fire, only weeks away from being finished
A Detroit dad who is father to five children had all his hard work reduced to rubble Thursday after a fire tore through the 32-year-old contractor's home. Since purchasing the home from the Detroit Land Bank a year ago, Rodrick Reynolds had spent the last three months fixing it up.
Work had gotten slow for the builder due to the coronavirus forcing businesses to shut down and stalling the economy. So he pivoted to working on his own home.
"I was probably a week or two from completing it and now it's gone," he said.
After putting $50,000 into the home, he took a break from working on drywall and stopped by a friend's house to shower, before falling asleep. Next thing he knew, a call came at 4 a.m. saying his house was on fire.
"It's devastating for me, but I mean, I'm a big boy so I'm going to just keep on pushing," he said. "We were going to do a big reveal after. They're going to want to know what happened to the house because they were excited."
Since setting up a GoFundMe page for the burned house, more than $260,000 had been raised to help Reynolds.
"I'm not going to turn down help. I have got five kids. I've got five people that look up to me. They think I'm a superhero so they can't see me sweat," he said.
Possible storms on the way for Friday, with mild temperatures expected over the weekend.
Detroit man fraudulently applied for PPP aid, used it to buy Hummer, Cadillacs, Dodge Charger: DOJ
In an alleged Motor City money grab, a local man is accused of swiping funds from the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) - which is meant to help keep small businesses afloat amid the coronavirus shutdowns - to buy two Cadillacs, a Dodge Charger and a Hummer, according to federal prosecutors.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is designed as a lifeline to businesses struggling to survive this current crisis,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono said. “Instead of using these loans to salvage a legitimate business, the defendant allegedly bought expensive personal items for himself and his family.”
The Justice Department said Wednesday that Darrell Baker, 51, of Detroit, allegedly applied for and received a $590,000 PPP loan for a defunct solar energy business.