Wednesday News Hit: Washtenaw deputy filmed punching woman, Kwame's early release denied, gyms sue Whitmer

Tuesday afternoon, a video circulating on Facebook showed a disturbing video of a Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy repeatedly punching a woman before tackling her to the ground - a show of force that stirred outrage from audiences present at the scene. In the video, which appears to have been filmed by phone camera before getting posted online, tensions appear high as two officers approach a man and a woman separately. An altercation then breaks out between the two parties and officers ramp up their use of force on both individuals. Eventually, an officer wrestles the woman to the ground as a second deploys a taser on the man.

Both the man and woman, later discovered to be a couple, are currently being held at Washtenaw County Jail. Their daughter, Jaquisy Diggins wasn't pleased but what she saw. "The officer who hit my mother should be fired completely. not on the force none of that," she said.

The sheriff deputy has been placed on administrative leave as officials review what happened. Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton called the image "unsettling" and "disturbing" in a meeting with community leader Nate Frazier.

"But here's the other part: I can't make an official decision until I get all the facts."

Originally taking place Tuesday morning, officers were in the 2000 Block of Peachcrest in Ypsilanti responding to a shooting in which a 34-year-old woman had been hit. Diggins said there was a party in the street that night before an altercation broke out between attendants, which led to shots fired. When officers arrived, they sought a potential suspect in Diggins' home. The parents refused to leave the home as deputies set up a perimeter around the house - which eventually led to punches on camera.

The show of police force comes at a particularly sensitive time between white law enforcement and black residents. Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on Tuesday after another disturbing video showed a white officer from the city with his knee on a black man's neck who was already in custody. The man was later pronounced dead at a hospital. 

In a late news drop Tuesday, Kwame Kilpatrick will not be earning an early release from federal prison. The announcement comes following days of speculation that the former Detroit mayor would be set free after intense lobbying from Detroit activists and lawmakers. 

"Mr. Kilpatrick remains incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution-I in Oakdale, Louisiana," read a release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Kilpatrick, who is in his seventh year of a 28-year prison sentence, has appealed the ruling several times. Representatives Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and Karen Whitsett have both made pleas to federal officials to offer leniency to Kilpatrick, with Whitsett taking her requests as high as President Donald Trump. 

Trump reportedly told Whitsett that Kilpatrick would be among the 3,000 federal inmates set to be released from jail early, over concerns of COVID-19. In a news release issued Friday morning from the Ebony Foundation, several community leaders announced Kilpatrick was to be granted an early release. However, that is apparently no longer happening.

In coronavirus-related news, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has another lawsuit on her hands - this one comes from small gym owners, mainly in Metro Detroit.

About 120 gym owners have joined a suit against the governor, who argue they haven't been considered among the list of businesses that have been greenlighted to return to work among the COVID-19 pandemic.

"My clients aren't political - they aren't Democrats, they're not Republicans, they're business owners," said attorney Scott Erskine, Erskine Law PC. "My clients obviously are anxious to get back open and salvage their business."

While some gyms are teetering on the edge of going out of business, others have already closed. As bills continue but federal aid dries up, workout facilities have few options available to them. They have already laid out an in-depth plan to reopen - unveiling safety protocols that include appointments, operating at 25% capacity, and heavy-duty cleaning between clients.

"We are not just trying to force this down anyone's throat," said Greg Hill, who owns Ideal Core with his wife out of Lake Orion. "We're trying to make sure every single gym we represent is safe and legal."

Daily Forecast

Potential for a stray storm remains, but a mostly dry day is expected for Wednesday.

SpaceX, NASA, astronauts making final preparations: 'We're go for launch'

SpaceX is making final preparations for Wednesday's Demo-2 mission to launch NASA astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station on the historic mission.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he texted the two astronauts Monday and told them, “`If you want me to stop this thing for any reason, say so. I will stop it in a heartbeat if you want me to.' They both came back and they said, ‘We’re go for launch.’”