Articles Posted in Uncategorized

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently has approximately 600 detainees in Michigan that have been identified as “vulnerable” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These detainees are spread out between three jails in Calhoun, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties. Approximately 160 of those deemed vulnerable have been released already. The ACLU is looking to have the remaining 440 or so vulnerable detainees released amid this pandemic. To accomplish this, the ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit calling for the immediate release of these detainees because of the nearly impossible conditions and serious public health risk that these jails have. Social distancing is not an option for most all detainees when they are locked and housed in tight quarters with each other. index2-300x129

Who Is The ACLU?

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded 100 years ago in 1920. Initially a group of civil liberties activists, it is now an organization that has over a half a million active members and supporters. The ACLU has 54 state affiliate offices nationwide, along with an office in Washington, DC. The ACLU in Michigan was formed in 1959, some four years after activists for social justice joined and pushed the ball forward towards officially organizing into a state office. Currently, the ACLU tackles social justice issues with its legal team unafraid to go to court when necessary. The current target of the ACLU is ICE and their detainment of so many undocumented people during this dangerous pandemic.

The United Auto Workers (UAW) have been a staple in the American car industry, serving as a labor union to auto workers in the USA and Canada since 1935. The UAW is headquartered in Detroit, MI and has almost 400,000 active members. It is estimated that there are over 600,000 retired members of the UAW. The influence and power of the UAW is vast, and so are the perks for its leaders. It looks as if its main leader took it excessively too far. Former UAW president Gary Jones has been indicted on charges ranging from conspiracy to embezzle union funds to aiding racketeering as well as tax evasion. Jones became the 14th individual charged in this investigation and its highest ranking accused of wrongdoing. This is uncharted territory for the UAW as an organization as they have maintained a clean image since their beginnings. cars-on-the-street-1-98669-m

Original Case Details

It is alleged that Gary Jones, along with other upper tier union leaders used union money to pay for luxury travel, high-end cigars and spa treatments. He is said to be responsible for over $1 million of embezzlement from the UAW. Jones and others are said to have covered their tracks by submitting fake vouchers and false receipts to receive payments. This scandal first broke in 2017 when former lead labor negotiator for Fiat Chrysler Alphons Iacobelli was indicted breaking the clean image that the UAW had once been known for. The UAW released a statement: “All UAW members including the UAW leadership are and should be angry about the charges of former UAW member Gary Jones and his alleged actions. This is a violation of trust, a violation of the sacred management of union dues, and goes against everything we believe in as a union. Jones and all who betrayed the trust of our union should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law with no exceptions.”

In a scene reminiscent of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a glowing green ooze was seen pouring out of a hole in a retaining wall on I-696 just north of Detroit in late December. Exit 19 to Couzens Avenue going eastbound on I-696 was closed pending investigation and testing of the green ooze. It was discovered that the ooze was leaking from underground storage of these chemical by a business called Electro-Plating Services Inc. that was situated just above the freeway. The storage of these chemicals was found to be illegal to begin with and the investigation that followed led to the federal indictment and conviction of the owner of Electro-Plating Services Inc. freeway-6663-m-300x224

What Is The Green Ooze?

An investigation into what the green ooze actually is determined that there were numerous toxins in the soil and groundwater at the site, at very high levels. One of the toxins discovered at the site in high levels was hexavalent chromium. This chemical is associated with kidney and liver damage and can also cause cancer. Two other toxic chemicals were also present, Trichloroethlene (TCE) and cyanide. It was discovered that instead of properly disposing of these chemicals offsite, the company simply stored the chemicals in drums underground. The basement of the facility was leaking and led to this green ooze spill on eastbound I-696. Luckily, state officials have made the conclusion that the green ooze has not made it into drinking water and poses no risk to do so.

One aspect of criminal law that is often overlooked is the concept of self-defense. In the state of Michigan, an individual can use deadly force without having an obligation to retreat if they have an honest and reasonable belief that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent death, great bodily harm or sexual assault to yourself or to another individual. The defendant must make an affirmative defense to prove the following elements: Personal-Safety-Guides-Protect-Yourself-Against-Sex-Crimes-Pic-300x199

A. The defendant was not engaged in a crime of the time deadly force was used.

B. That you are somewhere you’re legally allowed to be and

This year, the 4th of July holiday falls on Monday, which means many people will be enjoying a long weekend. More people will be celebrating, having parties, and likely enjoying a few adult beverages. It’s a good time for most folks, but it’s important to focus on safety whether you’re having a few beers or planning a fireworks display of your own! american-eagle-with-flag-407636-m-300x225

The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act makes it legal to purchase bottle rockets, roman candles, and other fireworks that can leave the ground and shoot into almost any direction. This means that any time you’re shooting off fireworks, there is a risk to adults, children, and even animals or property. Naturally, the more powerful or large a firework is, the greater the risk of injury.

Last year, more than 20,000 individuals signed an online petition calling for repeal of the state’s consumer-grade fireworks law due to not only fire and injury concerns, but even the noise and distraction caused by fireworks. In 2015, there were 67 emergency room visits as of July 8th that were linked to injuries caused by fireworks; one man died after holding a large mortar fireworks shell to his head, according to news reports.

Last week, an Uber driver allegedly ran a red light and plowed into a bus. According to San Diego police, the Uber driver en route to pick up a customer when the crash occurred, however, a spokesperson with Uber said that was not the case. The man driving for Uber was arrested for driving under the influence. iStock_000009751642_Full-2-300x253

The accident occurred just before midnight, however there were no passengers on the party bus according to news reports. The driver of the bus escaped injury, however the Uber driver suffered a shoulder injury and the front of his vehicle was demolished. The man failed a field sobriety test, and also had to be Tasered as he was reportedly combative with police officers.

The Uber driver now faces charges that include driving under the influence and resisting arrest. Uber released a statement regarding their disappointment about the accident, saying the driver had been removed permanently from access to the Uber platform, and the company’s zero tolerance policy for using or DUI while driving on the platform.

Recently, 31-year-old Keri Cache of Oakland, CA was arrested after she allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence. According to news reports, a 28-year-old man was struck by Cache as he was outside of his vehicle checking a tire. The victim reportedly careened down an embankment along the freeway after being hit. iStock_000001825952_Large-300x225

An off-duty Berkeley police officer claims he saw Cache in her Chevrolet Malibu on eastbound Interstate Highway 80 as she was driving at about 75 mph in the slow lane and weaving back and forth. Soon after she crashed into the victim’s Toyota which was pulled over on the shoulder of the highway.

According to the officer, Cache continued on and did not stop at the scene of the accident. He then alerted authorities and continued his pursuit of the Malibu as it exited the highway, then pulled into a grocery store parking lot where Cache allegedly drove in circles before leaving. After exiting the parking lot, CHP reported she ran a red light and returned to the Interstate, where she was eventually apprehended by an officer and pulled over.

On Saturday afternoon January 30, a Delray Beach man reportedly plowed through seven vehicles on Congress Avenue in Boynton Beach as they were stopped at a red light. According to news reports, 47-year-old James Dean Martin was driving under the influence when the incident occurred. iStock_000008348064_Large-300x200

Martin allegedly attempted to navigate his Ford pick-up between two lanes of traffic that were stopped at the light; Boynton Beach police were called to the intersection after witnesses reported the incident. Police charged Martin with DUI and driving on a suspended license. He was transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.

None of the motorists were injured in the incident, however spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said victims and witnesses had to detain Martin until police arrived on the scene.

On Sunday evening, a sheriff’s deputy was marking a DUI arrest in Hillsborough County when his parked patrol car was struck by a car driven by an impaired driver. News reports say the incident occurred at about 10:30 p.m. in Tampa. The driver of the vehicle who sideswiped the patrol car, 49–year-old Todd M. Casey, kept going. Deputies did catch up with Casey. iStock_000001825952_Large-300x225

Sheriff’s deputies were in the process of arresting 36-year-old Michael Probst when the incident occurred. When deputies did apprehend Casey, they noticed his speed was slurred, that he smelled of alcohol, and had red, glassy eyes. Upon administering breath tests, it was found that Casey’s BAC (blood alcohol content) registered .181 percent on one test and .196 percent on another. In Florida, the legal limit is .08 percent, therefore Casey’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit.

Casey was cited for not moving over when passing an emergency vehicle; he was charged with DUI with property damage.

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year for children and teens (and even some adults), but it can also be one of the most dangerous occasions. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, Halloween is the one day of the year when children’s’ risk of being struck by a car and killed doubles. As a parent, it’s important to keep your children and yourself as safe as possible so you can enjoy Halloween again next year.

Our unofficial firm mascot, Waldo, dressed in his "Peppy the Pirate" costume.

Our unofficial firm mascot, Waldo, dressed in his “Peppy the Pirate” costume.

Whether a child or adult, it’s fun dressing up in costume and trick-or-treating door to door, or attending a Halloween party at someone’s home, a church, or other location. The Michigan State Police reminds everyone to be extra cautious, and to be aware of the potential risks. Here are a few tips for trick-or-treaters:

Contact Information