ShotSpotter tech up for vote • Wrong way driver arrested speeding on Lodge Freeway • New birth control rules

A controversial technology that would expand the scope of surveillance at the Detroit Police Department's disposal is expected to get a vote in the city council Tuesday.

The bill would allocate an additional $7 million to widening where ShotSpotter is used in Detroit. Currently the technology is used in districts in the western and eastern sides of city. If the money is approved, it would broaden where the equipment could be used.

ShotSpotter detects sounds of gunfire and pinpoints where it came from, informing Detroit police that can then respond.

Mayor Mike Duggan said had ShotSpotter been in use when a man went on a random killing spree in the city late August, police would have been able to catch the suspect faster.

"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.

Expanding ShotSpotter's presence also has the support of some residents who have been harmed by gun violence. 

Detroit police say the technology works, with 27% fewer gun crimes in areas that use ShotSpotter.

But critics see the technology as a poor use of money. The millions of dollars could be better spent, Attorney Phil Mayor with the ACLU says, by "attacking the root causes and doing things like keeping people in their homes."

"(It) is a way more effective use of money than to 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."

A policy analyst who previously spoke with FOX 2 said that ShotSpotter had only led to 21 arrests out of more than 1,300 police runs over the past 12 months. An attorney with the Detroit Justice Center believes the police department's intentions are good but that it won't aid in lessening crime.

"This has been a pattern with the City of Detroit," said Eric Williams. "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."

Impaired driver arrested after speeding wrongway on Lodge Freeway

A 62-year-old man was arrested for impaired driving after traveling the wrong way down M-10 through Detroit. The arrest happened after Michigan State Police received multiple reports from the public about a car speeding north in the southbound lanes of the Lodge Freeway near Forest.

Police were dispatched by the Detroit Regional Command Center around 12:35 a.m. for the reckless driving.

According to posts from state police on Twitter, the driver was in the left lane when troopers caught up to him near Eight Mile Road. They eventually got behind the driver at the Lahser exit and conduct a traffic stop.

When police made contact with the driver, a brief investigation determined he was impaired. He was then arrested and lodged in jail. "This is just another example of the bad driving behavior we are seeing across the district. Fortunately, the trooper was able to stop the driver before anyone was hurt or killed," said MSP's Second District account.

Find more info here.

Michigan pharmacists can prescribe birth control

Kaija Wiggins is among many women appreciative for the latest announcement from Michigan state officials. Officials said they are increasing access to hormonal birth control by now allowing pharmacists to prescribe the medications.

"I appreciate it, I mean I’m a woman living in this state, so I expected us to be cared for and represented," Wiggins said. "(I'm) happy about it. State regulators released a new take on Michigan’s Public Health Code which makes way for the change - and it came as a surprise to many.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said pharmacists can now partner with doctors to directly prescribe birth control, such as oral contraceptives. Najm of iPharmacy in Livonia, is still digesting the policy - but says it’s welcome news, especially after birth control supplies were depleted a few months ago when Roe V Wade was overturned.

"We had a rush of people coming to get Plan B and we sold out in like a day or two," he said. "Basically if it gets more open and more pharmacists are dispensing it, it’s going to be more affordable for everybody’s reach, so I don’t see any reason to stock up on it." Pharmacists will be able to opt-into the program. Michigan will be one of 20 states allowing pharmacists to write birth control prescriptions. 

Read more about the reactions here.

Grosse Pointe Park residents rankled by parking lot proposal

Grosse Pointe Park is looking to convert a residential area into parking lots for local businesses - but not everyone is on board. City council members got an earful Monday night after residents upset with a proposed development in the Cabbage Patch neighborhood lamented about what the loss of homes will mean.

"Over the last half decade or so we’ve been losing houses at a really fast pace - perfectly good homes; affordable homes," one resident told FOX 2. 

But the parking developments would bolster the Kercheval Business District, which includes a stretch of bars, restaurants, and other small businesses. "Well the partners that we’re working with are very committed to quality," said Mayor Michele Hodges. "And I don’t think it’s going to be an asphalt-covered parking lot. It will be a high quality - if we even get to that point."

City Manager Nick Sizeland says the public will be able to view and weigh in on the proposed parking development at the city planning commission on October 6th. The commission will decide whether or not to rezone these four parcels to make way for the parking lots.

Go here for more on what residents think if the proposal.

Aaron Salter, wrongly convicted of murder, now charged with assault

A Detroit man who was freed four years ago after spending 15 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit is back behind bars after he was charged with choking a love interest, threatening her with a gun, and holding her against her will.

Aaron Salter was freed on his 36th birthday in 2018 after being wrongly convicted of a murder in 2003. But on Monday, he was in a Wayne County court where a woman accused him of choking her in a July assault that was caught on camera.

"(He) grabbed me by my neck pushing me into the car," Evanne Coleman testified. "Aaron had told me before we go into this liquor store if you tell anybody I’m going to blow your head off." Surveillance video from a liquor store on Detroit's east side shows the two tussle and what appears to be Salter holding a gun.

Salter has been on FOX 2 several times after his 2018 exoneration. We've highlighted his good deeds in helping other exonerees while using some of his settlement money from his wrongful conviction. But now he's charged with armed robbery, unlawful imprisonment, assault with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence, running from police, and a gun charge.

Here's what the judge had to say about Salter's case.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

After a chilly start to the day, temperatures will rebound back into the low 80s Tuesday. It will be one of the last hot days for the week as temperatures tumble into the 70s and 60s in the second half of the week.

What else we're watching

  1. A rarity in wild life was caught on camera this September when a black bear with white fur was spotted in the Upper Peninsula. Sometimes called a "spirit bear" in indigenous lore, the chances of a white-colored black bear is about one in a million. See images here.
  2. It's National Voter Registration Day Tuesday with a pivotal general election less than two months away. Learn more about the initiative here.
  3. Mayor Mike Duggan will hold a press conference Tuesday to give an update into the city's challenge to the US Census count of Detroit. Look for updates later this morning.
  4. FOX 2's own Josh Landon checked out a cafe in Waterford that's been serving food for decades. The LA Cafe in Waterford has been in business since 1996.
  5. The Detroit Lions will leave the safety of Ford Field for Minneapolis this weekend for their first away game of the season. They'll be playing the Minnesota Vikings. All four NFC North teams are 1-1, though the Lions have set the bar for points scored by about double the other three teams.

Request to vacate 2000 murder conviction of Adnan Syed granted by judge

A Baltimore judge on Monday ordered the release of Adnan Syed after overturning Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee — a case that was chronicled in the hit podcast "Serial."

At the behest of prosecutors, Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn ordered that Syed’s conviction be vacated as she approved the release of the now-41-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars.

Phinn ruled that the state violated its legal obligation to share evidence that could have bolstered Syed’s defense. She ordered Syed to be placed on home detention with GPS location monitoring. The judge also said the state must decide whether to seek a new trial date or dismiss the case within 30 days.