Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award | Ars Technica


Health officials in Michigan this week honored Dr. Eden Wells with the state’s top award for an eminent career in public health—despite that Wells is currently facing several charges in connection with the Flint water crisis, including involuntary manslaughter.

Source: Doc charged with involuntary manslaughter in Flint crisis wins top health award | Ars Technica

Two-Man Police Department Acquires $1 Million In Military Gear | Techdirt

An ultra-safe Michigan town of 6,800 has claimed more than $1 million in military equipment through the Defense Department’s 1033 program. The program allows law enforcement agencies to obtain anything from file cabinets to mine-resistant assault vehicles for next to nothing provided the agencies can show a need for the equipment. Most can “show” a “need,” since it’s pretty easy to type something up about existential terrorist/drug threats. Boilerplate can be adjusted as needed, but for the most part, requests are granted and oversight — either at the federal and local level — is almost nonexistent.This has come to a head in Thetford Township, the fourth-safest municipality in Michigan, and home to more than $1 million in military gear and two (2) police officers.

Source: Two-Man Police Department Acquires $1 Million In Military Gear | Techdirt

State Trooper Facing Murder Charges After Tasing A Teen Riding An ATV | Techdirt

Grimes had been driving about 35 mph on an ATV when Bessner — a passenger in a moving patrol car — fired his stun gun at the teen during a chase on Detroit’s east side.Grimes slammed into the back of a parked truck and flew off his ATV. The impact of the crash ripped gashes into his forehead, both cheeks and upper lip and dislocated his skull. Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival at St. John Hospital.

Bessner has a history of using excessive force and has been reprimanded before for using his Taser inappropriately, including using the device on handcuffed suspects. The investigation into Bessner’s conduct shows that over a four-year span ending in 2017, he had 40 use of force incidents, 17 pursuits and five car accidents.

Source: State Trooper Facing Murder Charges After Tasing A Teen Riding An ATV | Techdirt

Michigan Governor Unleashes “Citizens United on Steroids”


Less than six hours after its passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law this week a measure that, effective immediately, allows candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for super PACs, which can then promptly spend that money supporting those candidates—or attacking their rivals.It also allows consultants to simultaneously work for a campaign and a super PAC at the same time, making a joke of the supposed independence of the two groups.

Source: Michigan Governor Unleashes “Citizens United on Steroids”

Adult Movie Outfit is Most Litigious Copyright Plaintiff in U.S. – TorrentFreak

A report crunching more than six years of copyright lawsuits filed in the U.S. has revealed that porn troll Malibu Media is the country’s most litigious plaintiff. The company, which demands thousands of dollars from individual file-sharers, filed 4,332 lawsuits since January 2009, fifteen times more than its nearest rival. Overall, it’s estimated that 90% of file-sharing cases are settled out of court.

Source: Adult Movie Outfit is Most Litigious Copyright Plaintiff in U.S. – TorrentFreak

DEA Takes $16,000 From Train Passenger Because It Can

After scraping together enough money to produce a music video in Hollywood, 22-year-old Joseph Rivers set out last month on a train trip from Michigan to Los Angeles, hoping it was the start of something big.

Rivers changed trains at the Amtrak station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 15, with bags containing his clothes, other possessions and an envelope filled with the $16,000 in cash he had raised with the help of his family, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration got on after him and began looking for people who might be trafficking drugs.

Rivers said the agents questioned passengers at random, asking for their destination and reason for travel. When one of the agents got to Rivers, who was the only black person in his car, according to witnesses, the agent took the interrogation further, asking to search his bags. Rivers complied. The agent found the cash — still in a bank envelope — and decided to seize it on suspicion that it may be tied to narcotics. River pleaded with the agents, explaining his situation and even putting his mother on the phone to verify the story.

No luck.

Link (Techdirt)

Michigan Attorney General Slaps Reporter With Bogus Subpoenas For Doing Her Job

Why is it always the state Attorneys General? Time and time again we see examples of state AGs who seem to think they’re above the law and can abuse their position to attack those they dislike. The latest? Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. Apparently, he was none too happy that Huffington Post reporter Dana Liebelson was investigating juvenile prison conditions in the state, and had a representative from his office follow her for two hours across the state to slap her with two separate, but equally questionable, subpoenas, demanding all of her notes.

As Liebelson notes on her Twitter feed, she had had permission to visit the prisons, and agreed not to bring in a recording device. She noted that she followed all the rules that she was given for reporting from the prison — and yet, she immediately gets slapped with a subpoena demanding her notes.

And she wasn’t the only one. Another report notes that Schuette also sent a subpoena to Michigan Radio, demanding its recording of a prisoner/attorney interview.

Link (Techdirt)

Despite Losing Money Year After Year, States Still Wondering How They Can Hand Out BIGGER Subsidies To Hollywood

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me annually and let me get my checkbook! Losses continue to mount, but some very resilient states are still willing to throw more taxpayer money at the film industry. Michigan — a state that seems to be able to generate at least one fiscal horror story per year — is one of the nation’s most consistent losers. Two years ago, it bet the state pension fund on film-related subsidies… and lost. When the “investment” failed to generate a return, nearly $2 million was removed from the already-underfunded retirement pool. One small town pinned its hopes and dreams on a film project that promised 3,000 new jobs but instead fell apart, dragging the town towards insolvency.

Michigan has made some moves in the right direction after being burned so often by Hollywood and its fleeting, mercenary “interest” in its state. It paid out nearly $100 million in subsidies in 2011, but that number has dropped to $38 million for the coming year. Michigan House Minority leader Tim Greimel is pushing to bring that back up to $50 million, claiming that the program has been a great job creator — an assertion that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Link (Techdirt)