Mom charged in fatal drunk driving crash that killed daughter • Shotspotter debate • Operation London Bridge
FRIDAY NEWS HIT - The city of Detroit is considering investing more into Shotspotter technology but while advocates say it will make the streets safer, critics aren't sold.
Resident Terrance Pope knows the bitter reality of gun violence all too well and he’s one of many in support of Detroit addressing it with a bigger investment into Shotspotter. "I was shot four in the back, three in the leg," he said. "I think it will help decrease the (crime) rate. I think it will be a lot more effective that police will be able to respond a lot more effectively."
Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton convened a public forum to discuss Shotspotter, a controversial technology that picks up and pinpoints the sound of gunfire, allowing police to respond faster.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says it would have been a game changer when a gunman went on a rampage nearly two weeks ago, randomly shooting four people and killing three of them.
"Had the Detroit police had a Shotspotter notice at 4:45 on a Sunday morning - a mile and a half from the 12th Precinct, police officers would have been on that site immediately at a time where the police had an advantage," Duggan said at the time.
Right now Detroit has two Shotspotter units on the east and west sides of the city. The Detroit City Council is considering spending roughly $7 million on more units and expanding the program citywide. Critics say that money could be better spent.
"If we are serious about public safety in our community, we should be attacking the root causes and doing things like keeping people in their homes with those millions of dollars," said Phil Mayor, senior staff attorney for ACLU Michigan. "(It) is a way more effective use of money than follow cities like Chicago that have spent tens of millions of dollars on Shotspotter technology and their own inspector general conclude it yields no results."
DPD says Shotspotter areas have 27 percent less gun crimes. But Peter Rhodes, policy analyst for Councilwoman Angela Whitfield Calloway, says the Shotspotter on the city’s west side has only led to 21 arrests out of more than 1,300 police runs from March 2021 to July 2022.
"So that is less than a two percent success rate on Shotspotter out of that precinct," said Rhodes, adding that is why Calloway will be voting no. "That $7 million could be used on other things."
"This has been a pattern with the City of Detroit," said Eric Williams of the Detroit Justice Center. "I think it is because they want to show that they are doing something and people like technology. But this is a technology that has been shown, time and time again, and city after city, to be an expensive boondoggle."
Terrance Pope was left paralyzed after he was shot seven times 11 years ago.
"Once you invest money into these other things in the city, you can't live comfortably if the crime rate is up," Pope said.
He says the Detroit police's quick response is the only reason he’s alive today - and if more Shotspotter units were erected across the city, cops could better respond to shootings, solve more cases, and save more lives.
"I’ve lost a lot of friends whose murder cases still haven’t been solved," Pope said. "Guys found in vacant homes and in vacant fields dead because I feel ... the police didn't arrive or hear the gunshots, and had to find the bodies two or three weeks later."
City Council's Public Health and Safety Committee meets Monday and it could recommend to the full council to vote on expanding Shotspotter Tuesday.
Canvassing board to approve ballot measures Friday
With the Michigan Supreme Court's decision to overturn a rejection by a state canvassing board of two high-profile initiatives, only one final procedural step remains before the November ballot is certified.
The Board of State Canvassers will meet Friday morning to approve ballot proposals that would legalize abortion and expand voting rights. With the board's vote, three ballot proposals will have cleared signature and language hurdles that permit them to be voted on by the state electorate.
With less than two months until the 2022 Midterms, voters can expect the debate over abortion to dominate much of the election season. Both sides of the proposed amendment are prepared to dig in as they battle for votes. Beyond just getting abortion on the ballot, Democrats believe the significance of the issue will be key to driving turnout to the polls in November.
The Michigan high court voted 5-2 in favor of allowing the abortion proposal on the ballot, with one Republican justice voting with the four Democrats on the court. Both Republican Justices David Viviano and Brian Zahra dissented in the opinions for both the abortion and voting rights amendments.
Here's what the ballot proposals would do.
Thousands stolen from victims in sheriff impersonating scam
Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington is putting out a warning about scammers impersonating deputies. He says thieves are impersonating members of his office -- even using his employees' real names. So Far Washington says the criminals have stolen thousands of dollars from dozens of victims.
"They use so much technology and we follow it as far as we can - sometimes it leads to a dead end," Washington said. "If we get it early enough sometimes we have the fortune of being able to track someone down."
Washington says the thieves will call from a number that appears to be the sheriff's office - but it isn't. The scammers tell victims they have an outstanding warrant or have missed jury duty, then the criminals ask for money.
"I think they are definitely playing off of people's emotions - especially when they start targeting our seniors who are the most vulnerable of our population," he added. Washington says if you get one of these calls don't give out money— or your personal information. He says just hang up.
Mom charged in drunk driving crash that killed daughter, injured toddler
A Detroit mom of a 2-year-old baby who died after being ejected from her car has been charged in the girl's death six weeks after the crash. Nyasha Pool, 30, was arraigned on charges including OUI, driving with a suspended license causing death, and two counts of child abuse, among other charges for the July 20 crash that killed her 2-year-old daughter.
Pool stood mute, meaning a not guilty plea was ordered on her behalf. According to police, the Detroit woman was speeding in the right lane of the Southfield Freeway headed north near Outer Drive in Allen Park when she hit a vehicle in front of her just before 9 p.m. She then crossed the middle and left lanes before crashing into the barrier wall.
The 2-year-old girl, who was sitting behind the mother, was not wearing a seatbelt and died. The other child, a 3-month-old, was in a car seat with only the lap belt on. That child was thrown from the vehicle and suffered serious injuries.
The night of the crash, police said the woman was so impaired they needed help from family in identifying the children. Her family told FOX 2 the next day that she was entirely to blame for the girl's death.
The woman also has prior impaired driving convictions.
What will abortion proposal mean for the November ballot?
While progressive groups and pro-choice voters scored a win with the state Supreme Court's decision to put the measure on the ballot Thursday, Democrats see it as a larger victory in the party's efforts to boost turnout.
Both sides of the abortion debate will rage through the election with the issue being a defining subject of the election season. But at least one pollster who conducts surveys in Michigan said having the issue on the ballot is key to the Democratic Party's push.
"We're going to see this front and center in a whole lot of races in Michigan," Richard Czuba said. "There is no escaping for a candidate on where they stand on Roe v. Wade. Where do you stand on this constitutional amendment."
GOP candidate for governor Tudor Dixon blames the governor for trying to run this race on the abortion issue, despite other issues like inflation and the economy. But recent surveys show that abortion is the most important issue among voters.
Live on FOX 2
Enjoy Friday and this weekend as fall is starting to peak its head into the picture. More moisture in the air and rain potential comes with temperatures showing they will dip next week, starting on Sunday.
What else we're watching
- An 18-year-old hockey player and a star for his team beat brain cancer after doctors found a tumor in his head. The Junior Hockey star told FOX 2's Ingrid Kelley about his battle beating the disease.
- With the death of the Queen of England, tributes poured in from across the world to honor Elizabeth II. And then, there was the double rainbow that formed over Buckingham Palace.
- One of the most Instagrammable restaurants ever has opened in Detroit. The Sugar Factor opened in downtown Detroit in Campus Martius.
- Could a new trail connect Michigan to Canada? A memo of understanding was signed by both the U.S. and its neighbors to the north for the sake of a new partnership that could establish a Greenway trail.
- The city of Detroit is preparing to roll out new COVID-19 boosters for the year. The shots, much like the flu shot, will offer varied protection against the illness and the variants that mutated from the original strain.
What is 'Operation London Bridge'?
Queen Elizabeth is the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, at 70 years, and her death Thursday marks the end of an era.
What happens when the queen dies? How quickly does her successor take the throne? It's all spelled out in a plan reportedly dubbed "Operation London Bridge." Here is a look at what’s happening now that Britain is getting a new monarch.