-- In my white friend's home, a woman concerned with her white boyfriend's mental stability called 911; Ann Arbor police came and were physically abusive with him; they restrained him on the floor, his arms folded back, and he was forcefully removed from the house. There was no specialized psychological personnel in attendance.
—In another white friend's home, a white woman called AAPD complaining of assault by an African-American man who was also living there. When cops showed up, the man and my friend were calmly speaking in the living room. The police immediately cuffed the man; when my friend asked, “Why did you cuff him?", the cop who cuffed him said, “He looked dangerous." The man was taken outside to be questioned, still handcuffed, in front of all the neighbors.
-- An African-American Ann Arborite noticed an AAPD patrol car following her and her family day after day. She stopped to ask the officer why he was following her, and he answered that he was "trying to get to know who's living in the neighborhood." He also
admitted to having received complaints and was disciplined in another jurisdiction for discrimination.
--An African-American woman, a student at UM, has a boyfriend who goes to Wayne. They were stopped for speeding when he was driving her back to Ann Arbor. They were made to leave the car and were searched, police (maybe A2 but not sure of jurisdiction) made comments about the boyfriend's tatoos, and told my friend something along the lines of "do you really want to lose your degree, hanging out with this Detroit guy?"
-- An older African American man told of his son who came to visit and was stopped by police (not sure of the jurisdiction) and searched on the way because he was speeding. As the son was leaving, the man advised his son to set his speed on cruise-control, so as not to go over the limit. On his way home, the son was stopped for being 5 miles below the speed limit.
--Sometime in 2019 a co-owner of Zingerman's spoke at city council saying now and then his Black employees arrive late for work because of "driving while black" (racial profiling).
"All is not perfect in Ann Arbor," he stated.
--In 2020, a young homeless man spoke at city council stating that in his visits to the Delonis Center shelter, he has learned from multiple homeless people that they are being targeted by AAPD.
Incident occurred on Michigan Ave., Canton, 2003. African-American male going 8-10 miles over speed limit. Trooper pulls him over making the man turn over his registration, license, and insurance.
Trooper: Where areyou coming from? (Man becomes fearful) Where do you live?
Do you have any drugs in car?
Trooper: Are you sure?
Trooper: Can I search your car really fast?
Trooper gets dog out! Dog sniffing everywhere.
Trooper: What's in the briefcase. Man opened and showed him.
Dog still smelling - found nothing.
The trooper behaved in an unfriendly, condescending, suspicious, and racist manner.
A second trooper who was on the scene was friendly - the man believes it was because he knew the other trooper was out of line.
The man was in trauma for 2 weeks afterwards. He still asks, Why the dog?
4 AAPD incidents from the Black Student Speakout in the UoM Union in Jan. 2015.
--A student said she had worked as bartender at Dream Nightclub. There were themes on different nights: Hip-Hop, Latino, Jewish, Gay, etc. The only time AAPD showed up were for Hip-Hop and Latino nights. A lot of police cars parked on the street and officers got out and harassed people. The owner or mngr. would have to go out and politely ask police to allow people to enter the nightclub.
--A young man who said he worked at UoM said an AAPD officer knocked on his apt. door last week at 4am, waking him up. The cop said he had a few noise complaints and he was checking to see where the noise was coming from. (The apartment was totally quiet.) This white officer seemed very nervous. The man was questioned for 5 min., asked mundane questions like did he have people over, etc. During this uncomfortable interrogation, the noise from a party in a nearby apt. was obvious.
--A student said he was walking to a party and was yelled at by officers and interrogated for no reason. They said he “fit the description of…”
--A student said she and some friends were walking to a party. Officers stopped she and her friends and brought a dog out of the car. I couldn’t hear part of the story but the cops shut the party down at around 11pm. She said she hates walking around with a “target on her back.”
UMich. Campus Police
(Same ‘cop culture’ as AAPD and the rest of the country. Now UoM has Chief Seto who was the A2 chief for many years.)
--Story of U. of Mich. student jailed for 3 months for the crime of forgetting his campus gym day pass. Reported in a twitter feed:
Justin [Gordon] worked on my staff for two years as a student and was exemplary. When I tried to hire him to teach a class after graduation, the hire got blocked because of his criminal record — apparently he can’t work at UM as a non-student for ~10 years. What kind of justice is that?
Three months in jail, a threat of expulsion that after great struggle became a semester suspension, a ban from university housing, and a multi-year block on being hired at UM after graduation.
All triggered by going to a campus gym as a student without a day pass.
This same student MC’d the university‘s DEI event with Jesse Jackson and President Schlissel, co-founded a group that was featured as the opener for Angela Davis for the university’s MLK Symposium, and was promoted by the U in multiple other ways to advance DEI messaging.
He worked for optiMize as a student, but when I tried to hire him to teach a class after he graduated, the hire got blocked. I was told the U's policy won't allow us to hire anyone for some time after they've been convicted a felony — I believe it's 10 years.
Even though he had already worked for years as a UM student employee!
I’ve since learned I was one of five people who were prevented from offering him post-graduation employment.
What kind of justice is this? Why were armed officers even called on him in the first place?
And why did we punish him so harshly even after his already-unjust jail time?
UM is a great institution in many ways. But if we want our future to be bright, we must be willing to speak openly about ways in which the university needs to change to align with our ideals. I strongly believe this is one of them.
—A black man I know was physically abused by cops on campus. Don't have details.
—A doctor I know was administering medical assistance to a man at a protest when a 6’8” campus officer [West] wrenched her arm back so hard that she’s had phys. therapy on and off ever since. He forced her to stand in a corner for a long time.
—From Black Student Speakout: campus officers surrounded black fraternity members outside practicing for a show. 6 cars. A cop said he knew they were practicing for the show. No brutality, but made them feel unwanted and watched.
—On Thursday May 26, 2016 I attended a fundraiser at Dominick’s restaurant in A2.
Upon leaving, I noticed a black woman I’d met at the event on the street in her car with a UM police SUV, lights flashing, behind her. Her friend, observing from the sidewalk, told me she was stopped for putting on her seatbelt while starting to leave her parking space. I leaned in the car and the woman told me that the first thing the white cop asked her was, “Is this your car?” The friend recruited others (1 or 2 attorneys from the fundraiser) to also observe. She was given a ticket. I was told some weeks later that she had to go to court and paid a stiff fine. As a white person with an unfortunate speeding history, I can say that not one cop has ever asked me the question, “Is this your car.”
—A woman I know is helping black youth who get in trouble with the AAPD. She states that young black people who get arrested with a minor infraction are sent by the judge downstairs to get a drug test. If it is positive they automatically get 30 days in jail for which they are charged $99.00 a day. So, they end up owing the county $2970.00 when they get out and that does not help poor kids.
Also, she is now trying to help one youth who is in jail to get his insulin shots as they do not give them to him. (White youth may also get this treatment.)
—An African-American single mom I know is a UoM prof. She’s been researching countries to find out where humane policing is in practice. She’s become very afraid for her young son’s future under our current police system and is willing/planning to give up her job to move to a safer country. (This concurs with the fact that American police culture is the same everywhere, and that we in A2 don't have an especially kind, non-racist, and service-oriented A2 force. The use of the word "force" says so much.)
—Oregon story. Not related to A2 except that they share the same US ‘cop culture.’ A good friend who lives on the west coast attended a peaceful anti-war protest. Her boyfriend was beaten badly by cops and has been confined to a wheel chair since (3 years). The couple met with an attorney in hopes of filing suit against the cops. The attorney said he would no longer attempt to sue police for this reason - his words: “it’s impossible to win since the American public now gives unlimited power to police because they think police work is extremely dangerous and difficult — when, in fact, for the majority of working hours, cops have nothing to do.”
—White male AAPD cop stopped black mother and child in auto on 5th downtown near liberty.
—A friend saw a white AAPD cop put a very young Af-Am boy in handcuffs at Arborland. 8/26/16
—An African-American college student walking to catch a bus was stopped by an officer driving. He was asked why he wears a backpack and what’s in it.
—August 2016. House kitty-corner from Speedway gas station - woman says heavy cop presence is due to extra lanes added for turning have caused many accidents. A couple officers are parked off-road on Mich. Ave.
—White man working in Speedway area: “I was away for a few yrs. and when I returned I noticed there are a lot more cops in Ypsi. I’m riding a bike now, trying to get my license back.”
—Af-Am man, maybe age 30, washing his car at car wash. YPD has been regularly stopping people at the Speedway intersection since the end of 2015, about every other day, weekends, too. 2-3 cars. 10-11am and other times. “There’s nothing we can do. They’re the cops.”
—A white friend was getting gas at the above named intersection in the summer of 2016. He sees and hears a white man across the intersection out on the street yelling at multiple cops making stops, “You cannot randomly stop cars! It’s unconstitutional!” etc. When my white friend was driving away from gas station, THREE county sheriff vehicles pulled up and surrounded this man.
—Dec. 2016. At 12:05am two Af.-Amer. men walked east through the Normal Park neighborhood. After a few minutes of walking, lights flash behind them and a white YPD officer states for them to turn around, stand away from each other, raise hands in air, then place them behind their heads.
A 2nd white YPD then arrives and mentions something about a stolen car. Both men are frisked by the cops. A third squad car pulled up to see if the YPD needed additional back up. Squad cars drive away.
There are many, many more incidents -- we wish we could report all of them.