Video spots man leaving mobile home fire that killed 1, Detroit waits for Chauvin trial verdict, snow in April

After George Floyd's death last year, protests draped across America's cities as demonstrations in some of the country's largest urban pockets brought out thousands of people.

Sometimes, those demonstrations devolved into violent unrest. Other times, they remained peaceful. Now, on the tail-end of a trial of the cop who knelt on Floyd's neck, cities are wondering what sort of response their citizens will have to the outcome. 

"I have no reason to believe that whether he's acquitted or found guilty, that there will be violence," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

But that doesn't mean many don't have expectations for the jury's decision. In Detroit, which has the highest percentage of Black citizens, activists want to see a conviction.

"For the African-American community we are looking for a guilty verdict," Pastor Mo Hardwick said. "It means to our community that you respect us. I don't care what type of a person it may have been, you respect life, and you respect an African-American life just as much as you respect anyone else." 

The role that police play in communities has been on something of a trial in the realm of public opinion for years. Claims of racism coloring the way that law enforcement responds to different people have driven concerns of police violence to the forefront of cultural and social issues. 

The validity of the group that's spearheaded that campaign, Black Lives Matter, is also somewhat on trial in the case of Derek Chauvin, said, attorney Arnold Reed.

"Just by the mere fact of the person being African-American in most instances, they have a different experience with police officers than whites," he said. "You contrast that with the white experience, and you are going to have views in that jury room that are going to clash."

Reed said a crucial moment for the prosecution was when Chauvin didn't take the stand to testify. But another factor is the predominantly white makeup of Hennepin County, where the trial is taking place. That could also play a role in deliberations. 

The trial took place over 14 days. Reed doesn't expect a verdict to arrive quickly.

Suspicious fire at Roseville mobile home complex kills 1

A fire at a Roseville mobile home Monday morning started at about 10 a.m., about the same time that residents got a whiff something was wrong. One neighbor looked over and saw smoke and fire billowing from the home. The resident was still inside.

"I noticed her car was still there. I was hoping she was gone, but later found out she was in there when the fire went up," said Karl Ali. Firefighters did their job to contain the fire to one unit. They also found a body they assume was female, but could not identify since it was burned beyond recognition.

There are clues to what happened, including footage of a man walking away from the home with a bag. Police say he also lived at the trailer, which has been the home of several domestic abuse calls to law enforcement. 

Only a couple of minutes after the man leaves the home, the house goes up in flames. Police still haven't located the man, but would like to speak with him regarding the fire.

99% of Beaumont's Covid patients aren't fully vaccinated

Of the about 800 coronavirus patients housed at Beaumont Health's hospitals, less than 0.01% have gotten both doses of the vaccine, Dr. Matthew Sims, the hospital chain's director of infectious disease research said. To be declared fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since someone received their second shot.

"It is extremely rare that we get a fully vaccinated patient come through," Sims said. "The people in the hospital are either unvaccinated or some of them have gotten one dose."

Those figures align with what the rest of the world is seeing - that vaccines are effective when administered. While there are people who have tested positive for the virus even after getting a vaccine, the rate is normal. And among those that do catch the disease after getting inoculated, the symptoms aren't severe. 

Most of those patients are between the age of 30 to 50 since those groups only became eligible for the shot at the beginning of the month. Since then, more than 45% of the state has gotten at least one shot.

Whitmer visited father in Florida

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer went to see her ill dad down in Florida about a month ago, despite public health recommendations from her office to reduce travel as much as possible during the pandemic.

The governor's press secretary issued the statement after a publication reported on Whitmer's visit, which is the third public official in state government to have reportedly left Michigan to travel. 

Republicans blasted Whitmer for the move, calling it a "blatant display of hypocrisy." Both Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel and another staffer also went on vacations to Florida and Alabama.

In Tiffany Brown's statement, Whitmer's trip was no longer than two days, both her and her dad are vaccinated from the coronavirus and the governor gets tested for the virus regularly.

Michigan invests $97 million into recycling

A group of environmental, political and business leaders in Michigan announced an initiative Monday to invest in recycling infrastructure and eventually triple the state’s recycling rate.

The NextCycle Michigan initiative has committed $97 million since last year in state and private funds to recycling projects with partners such as Goodwill Industries, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Henry Ford Health System and Meijer.

These funds are to be used to support efforts to recycle products and divert materials in manufacturing from landfills.

The state also has awarded $4.9 million in Renew Michigan Grants for 45 communities in the state. Both of the efforts will help the state lay the groundwork for ambitious sustainability goals such as carbon neutrality by 2050, said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

--- Associated Press

What else we're watching

  1. On this day in history, the first game ever played at Tiger Stadium commenced in 1912. The corner of Michigan and Trumbull has served as the historic original home for the Tigers since.
  2. Detroit's walk-up vaccinations begin today. The city is boosting access beyond appointments to accommodate anyone who wanders into a pharmacy or the TCF Center for a shot. 
  3. It's 4/20 - the unofficial holiday of pot enthusiasts everywhere. The event High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan is kicking off its first-ever public judging of some of the state's best products. About 284 entries were submitted.
  4. Special elections are going to be held for Michigan's 8th and 28th Senate seats. The 8th, previously held by Pete Lucido, will have its primary election held on Aug. 3. The general election will be on Nov. 2.
  5. A total of six million vaccines have been administered to Michigan residents since the state first got access. That includes administering one million in just the last 11 days.

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Daily Forecast

Snow? In April? Yes, the weather rumors are true. It is expected to snow tonight after temperatures fall to the mid-30s. You can also expect some rain before and a lot of cold tomorrow.

Apple to let Parler back on App Store after approving a ‘content moderation policy’ update

Apple said Monday it approved an updated version of Parler and that the app will be available again soon in the App Store. 

Parler, the social network known as a conservative alternative to Twitter, was removed from the App Store and Google Play in the days following the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Google and Apple removed the app over "objectionable content." 

In a letter to two U.S. lawmakers, Apple said Monday it stands behind its decision to remove the app but that Apple’s Review Team has now approved an update that will allow users to download the app again. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) had written to Apple last month asking why the app was still banned.

Tim Powderly, the Senior Director of Government Affairs with Apple, explained in his letter that Parler was initially removed from the store "regarding failure in its content moderation efforts, as well as its desires stated at various times to not moderate content at all."