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A closer look at police killings in Michigan

On June 15, 2021, a bill was passed in Michigan requiring police officers to wear body-worn cameras. The bill requires law enforcement officers who carry firearms or devices to wear BWCs on duty. From 2021-2022 approximately 41 people were killed by police in Michigan, of those killings, only 9 out of the 41 killings had body cam footage. 


According to police have killed 486 people in the United States so far in 2022. There have been only 8 days so far in 2022 that police have not killed people in the United States. Black People are 2.9x more likely to be killed by police in the United States. In the state of Michigan, police have killed 9 people so far in 2022. In Michigan black people are 3.8x more likely to be killed by police than white people in Michigan. 


Michelle Walker spoke on her stance on police being required to wear body cam footage. 


“As a young Black woman there are many things that I have to worry about on a day to day and being murdered or beaten by police is one of them,” she said. I believe that requiring police officers to wear body cameras is a good thing and will help a lot of people with their encounters with police”


16 of the victims and since the law was passed in Michigan were black, only 6 of the 16 victims have body cam footage that has been available. 15 of the victims were in the age range of 18 to 29. 


Michigan has seen a surge in police killings from 2020-2021 with 17 police killings in 2020 and in 2021, 24 police killings. 


The death of 26-year-old Patrick Loyola, who was shot in the back of the head by Grand Rapids Police officer Christopher Schurr after a scuffle following a traffic check on April 4, brought about widespread attention.


The officer's body cam footage went dark during key moments of Loyola’s death. Approximately 42 seconds before the officer shoots him.


In connection with the shooting death of Loyola, Schurr was charged with second-degree murder. He entered a not-guilty plea and was given a bond of $100,000 with the additional requirement that he be prohibited from acquiring or possessing a handgun, using drugs, or acting aggressively in any way.


A Washington Post study revealed that the number of fatal shootings reported to the FBI was significantly underestimated. The FBI database only listed a third of departments' fatal shootings.

Many local police departments are not required to report incidents to the federal government


In 2014 President Obama requested $263 million to support the development of 50,000 body-worn cameras for state officers. This request came about due to the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner which sparked a growing call to end police violence.

The parents of Brown actively promoted the use of body cameras by all law enforcement personnel. 

A poll conducted by Pew Research shows a sharp difference to the grand jury decisions of the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. 


In the case of the decision regarding Michael Brown, 50% of people believed that the Grand Jury decision not to charge police officers in the Michael Brown shooting was the right decision while 37% believed that the Grand Jury made the wrong decision. 


In the case of the decision regarding Eric Garner, 57% of people believed that the court made a wrong decision, and 22% of people believe that the judge made the wrong decision. 


Garner’s Death was filmed and Brown was not. 


The Detroit Police Department is responsible for 23 of the victims and of that 23, only 7 of the victims had body cam footage. The Detroit Police Department has a reputation for using heavy force there have been calls to defund the Detroit Police Department and requests for a federal investigation into officers' use of excessive force. 


According to From 2000 to 2014, federal control of the Detroit police was in place. In order to avoid litigation alleging excessive force by cops, abuse of witnesses, and illegal incarceration circumstances, the city signed the consent judgments.


The Detroit Police Department is currently being sued for $50M in the shooting death of Ki’aza Miller who had schizophrenia and was shot and killed in her own home in November. Police were called to Miller's home on the west side of the city on November 10 after her mother said that Miller's daughter had hit both her and her 7-year-old son in the head. Officers from the Detroit police department encircled her home and eventually forced open the front door, killing her.


The Michigan State Police Department is responsible for 19 of the victims and of the 19, none of the victims had body cam footage. 9 of the victims were black and 2 of the victims were white. 


These two police departments of all departments were the top police departments responsible for the killings of the victims. 


Brian Williams, 72, who is a resident of Detroit says that the police department has a long-standing history with police violence. 


“All the way back to the civil rights days especially in the 1960s the police department and their violence escalated. I remember when some protestors were down at Cobo hall, they weren't doing anything but protesting peacefully for their rights as Black Americans, I believe that was in 1968 the police just started attacking them” Williams said.   


Despite the fact that a law mandating the use of body cameras by Michigan Police officers was passed in 2021, there are clear inconsistencies.


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Tags: #violence #killings #police #analysis #murder #gun #michigan #detroit


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