In the years leading up to Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy filing, as local leaders scrambled to keep a city afloat that couldn’t even afford street lights, thousands of rape kits somehow went untested, preventing countless rapists from being prosecuted. In 2009, 11,000 untested kits were found in a Detroit police storage unit. Two thousand of the kits have been tested since then by Detroit prosecutors, and now local leaders are turning to private donors and businesses to raise the funds to finish the testing and prevent future sexual violence. Of the 2,000 kits that were tested, a DNA match was found for 670 of them. These results have lead to the identification of 188 (!) serial rapists and the conviction of 15 of them. The other 9,000 kits remain nauseatingly untouched all these years later, despite how many women could be spared from future attacks if the results put repeat offenders behind bars — and despite the fact that those 9,000 victims who submitted the rape kits have yet to see any kind of justice. How many other murders, rapes and violent crimes have happened as a direct result of the city failing to do its job by testing the kits on time?
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A conference for “men’s rights activists” will no longer be held at the Hilton Doubletree hotel in Detroit, Michigan, June 26 – 28 due to a sudden and unexplained change of venues.
The manager of the DoubleTree confirmed to the blog Motor City Muckraker that the MRA conference would no longer be held there. As of right now, it’s unclear whether it was a Change.org petition not to support a hate group that persuaded the Doubletree, or the widespread information about MRA misogynists following Elliot Rodger’s murder spree in Isla Vista, California. Keep reading »
Earlier today we learned about the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
On November 2, the Michigan man shot McBride in the face through a closed and locked screen door at his home when she knocked on his front door earlier this month after getting into a car accident nearby. Wafer claims his gun went off accidentally and also that he believed she was an intruder. Prosecutors said there was no sign of a forced entry at all.
After two weeks of frustration for civil rights activists, Detroit prosecutors have finally charged Wafer. MSNBC spoke today with Renisha’s mom and dad, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, who have stayed out of the public eye these past few weeks. Keep reading »
Perhaps there will be justice for Renisha McBride after all. Detroit prosecutors have officially decided to charge Theodore P. Wafer, 54 (above left), with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old McBride. The young women knocked on Wafer’s door the evening of November 2nd, likely looking for help after she allegedly got in a car wreck neary. Wafer claimed that he thought McBride, who is Black, was an intruder, and shot her in the face as she stood on his front porch. Wafer is also charged with possession of a firearm during the attempted commission of a felony or commission of a felony. Prosecutors say there was not enough evidence to back up Wafer’s claim of self-defense. [AP]
Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the Detroit City Council meeting yesterday. DJs, strippers, and club owners descended on the council, begging to be left alone. See, Detroit’s city government is trying to put regulations on the adult entertainment industry and has proposed that dancers stay at least six feet away from patrons onstage and 18 inches away when they’re on the floor—meaning that there can be no intentional physical contact. So long, lap dances! I’m not a guy, but what’s the appeal of paying to be six feet from a naked woman when there’s free internet porn? There are 33 strip clubs in Detroit and many of the dancers are parents putting themselves through school or people who just have limited job choices. One single mother and dancer said, “All of us are young. There’s nothing else out there. There’s no jobs.” The executive director of the Association of Club Executives in Michigan and California says the clubs bring in over $3 million a year to Detroit. Religious figures from Perfecting Church and Second Ebenezer Church (how evil villain-core are those names?!) came to support the city, and the government hired a Tennessee attorney who’s apparently the master at closing strip clubs to consult for a mere $75,000. [Freep] Keep reading »