Michigan Chapter NCBL Case and Project Docket 2015

Restorative Justice Project – The Michigan chapter, in collaboration with the Wayne County bench, prosecutors, defense attorneys and the ACLU is engaged in ongoing efforts to implement an approved restorative justice project for youthful offenders.

Black Lives Matter – Michigan chapter representatives have been active both nationally and locally with individuals and organizations operating under the Black Lives Matter banner. Michigan has had its share of police killings, the latest occurring two days before Christmas when an unarmed black man was shot to death by a Dearborn police officer. NCBL is part of a new coalition emerging in response to that killing.

Mass Water Shut-offs – The Detroit water department is engaged in ongoing termination of water services for thousands of families – most of them black and poor. Resistance is occurring on a number of levels through litigation, legislative advocacy, public education and street protests/civil disobedience. NCBL members are at the forefront of litigation and legislative efforts. The chapter also prepared a written legal analysis for use by grassroots activists resisting the water shut-offs.

In re Hon. J. Cedric Simpson – Judge Simpson is a black trial judge accused of interfering in the arrest of his law clerk for drunk driving. The Judge is also accused of making false statements during the hearing on charges against him. The Judicial Tenure Commission recommended that the Michigan Supreme Court permanently remove him from the bench. In reaction to astonishing evidence that critical exculpatory evidence was withheld during the hearings on the charges, the court remanded the matter for further proceedings. Michigan NCBL has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Michigan Supreme Court in support of the Judge.

Tribute to Chokwe Lumumba – NCBL members were featured speakers during a special tribute to Chokwe held at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Hearing on Police Practices – NCBL members participated in a special hearing on police practices organized and conducted by the ACLU of Michigan.

Jackie Robinson West Little League – Michigan NCBL members have played a leading role in NCBL’s campaign to have the national championship title restored to the team from Chicago that was, and remains a point of pride for the African World.

Back-to-School Know Your Rights Session – Several Michigan NCBL members participated in a special workshop for low income and homeless families that provided attendees with information about the rights of public school students. The event was organized by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Michigan.

In progress and upcoming…

Black Movement Law Project Training – Michigan NCBL is hosting a special training session on January 30th for legal observers and others who provide support services for Detroit movements for justice.

Lawyers for Water Rights – Michigan NCBL attorneys will appear with other lawyers at a press conference on January 15th to provide legal analyses that counter those presented by government officials who claim a water affordability plan for Detroit would be illegal.

Water Rights Teach-In – Michigan NCBL will participate in a day-long teach in for activists and others who seek justice for crimes committed by state government against the people of Flint who are dealing with the consequences of official decisions to allow them to consume contaminated water.

People’s Tribunal – Michigan NCBL has endorsed a tribunal that will indict and try public officials responsible for the water crisis in Flint.

Support for Rev. Edward Pinkney – Rev. Pinkney is a long-time activist in predominantly black Benton Harbor. He was convicted of election fraud after a travesty of a trial, and he is regarded by many, as a genuine political prisoner. NCBL will respond to his calls for public assistance with harassment and intimidation he claims he has endured while incarcerated.