Tuesday News Hit: Activists to meet with mayor, protests enter 11th day, man starts petition to recall Whitmer

Following the 11th night of protests in Detroit, a small band of activists plan to meet with the city's mayor and police chief Tuesday. Filling their discussions will be the list of 23 demands that demonstrators say they would like to see implemented within the city's police force. From defunding the police department and ending the cash bail system to dropping charges against protesters and outlawing the use of rubber bullets, the list runs the gamut 

"We're going to have conversations about 'are there things we both believe in and can work together on? Or are there not?' I'm not going to say Yes or No to any individual thing," said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan during a Monday press conference, adding "We're not excluding stakeholders, this is not 'we negotiate the city's future with one group.'"

Duggan and Chief James Craig weren't in favor of everything offered on the list. Craig doesn't agree with the push to "defunding the police" and believes the police department has a good relationship with the community. However, the mayor did say he was interested in removing the cash bail system, which some argue is discriminatory toward people with low wages. 

"If there is a sincere desire to make the criminal justice system better, the great majority are within city control," he said. "The question is could we build enough trust to work together to make things safer."

Tristan Taylor, one of the individuals who has been leading Detroit's protests told FOX 2 he would like to see a de-militarizing of the police.

"Military-grade weaponry of any kind, that's not what safe policing should be about," said Taylor.

While Detroit Police have been outfitted in tactical gear during early nights of unrest when protests were more unhinged and violent, both the protesters and the city's law enforcement have operated peacefully the last six days. Duggan decided not to renew the city's curfew which was initially put in place to discourage "outside agitators" from causing problems later at night.

Craig allowed protesters to stay outside in the city during the curfew as long as protests remained peaceful. On Monday, that trend continued when Taylor and Nakia-Renne Wallace led marches to the Algiers motel site where three Black unarmed teens were killed by three white police officers who were later exonerated during the 1967 rebellion.

"We don't have to live like this, that is a good message and I want them to keep walking," said one of the more experienced activists in attendance on Monday. "Some of us have taken the fight this far, and it is appropriate that these folks with younger knees carry this fight on."

City leaders across the country have already taken some drastic measures in the wake of mass protests prompted by the killing of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who had a white Minneapolis Police Department's knee pressed to his neck for nine minutes. The city council in Minneapolis elected to disband the police department over the weekend. Mayors from New York City and Los Angeles have said they plan to remove funding from their respective police departments and invest the money in other ways. 

State board approves petition language to recall Michigan governor

In his third attempt at getting petition language finalized, an Albion man has received approval and the green light to collect signatures for a petition to recall Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

Arguing the governor's executive orders forced businesses to close and may never reopen, Chad Baase now has a 60-day window to collect a little more than 1 million signatures from registered voters - a quarter of the vote total during the 2018 gubernatorial election. 

Baase's group will begin collecting signatures July 1 and is planning a July 4 event on the Capitol lawn. 

"She's made it to where there's so many businesses that will never be able to reopen because of her dictatorship, the way that she' executed her executive orders," Baase told WWJ. "It could have been done in a much more efficient manner to where the unemployment rate wouldn't be what it is." 

The governor's campaign team described the petition as a partisan attack.

Daily Forecast

Likely storms and possibly severe weather is expected to follow temperatures near the 90s on Tuesday

COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns prevented over 500 million coronavirus infections, according to researchers

Two recent studies indicate that lockdowns enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic helped to significantly reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

According to a recent study published in Nature, a scientific journal, lockdown orders implemented nationwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic prevented approximately 60 million people from contracting the virus.

“If we hadn’t shut things down, there would have been roughly 500 million more infections,” said Solomon Hsiang, director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley.