Tag Archives | Michigan

Insane Clown Posse and the ACLU Case Dismissed Against FBI

I bet you never expected the ACLU and Insane Clown Posse (ICP) to join forces, but it’s true! Back in January, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan teamed up to file a lawsuit against the FBI, who in 2011, classified Juggalos (fans of ICP) a hybrid gang.

Juggalo Jerry and a helper check out the sound board. (by Jake Metcalf)

Juggalo Jerry and a helper check out the sound board. (by Jake Metcalf)

via ACLU.org:

DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, along with the Detroit music duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP), filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Juggalos, or fans of ICP, claiming that their constitutional rights to expression and association were violated when the U.S. government wrongly and arbitrarily classified the entire fan base as a “hybrid” criminal gang. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Juggalos and the two members of ICP.

“The Juggalos are fighting for the basic American right to freely express who they are, to gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police,” said Michael J.

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Cops Arrest ‘Elderly Hipster’ On Child Porn Charges

PIC: Oakland County SD (PD)

PIC: Oakland County SD (PD)

I always thought the hipster look was intentionally childish. Seeing a 63 year-old alleged pedophile dressed like a third-rate Urban Outfitters model is sending me into some kind of horrifying “The Child is The Father of The Man” kind of wormhole. Dude looks like a beef jerky Michael Cera.

Via The Smoking Gun: 

Meet Bruce Howard Fonda.

The 63-year-old Michigan man is facing several child porn charges for allegedly e-mailing illicit videos to an acquaintance In Idaho. Arrested last week, Fonda is locked up in the Oakland County Jail.

Internet meme in five… four… three…

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Michigan Township Presses Felony Charges After Man Speaks Too Long At Public Meeting

Naturally, they say the man’s arrest wasn’t planned. Having been a small town reporter for a while myself, I can just about guarantee that’s a lie. The city aldermen on my beat planned everything about their meetings in advance. All of the discussions, voting, and everything else that happened was just for show. I’ve heard of people being ejected from meetings, but never charged – especially with a felony. Clever  – and by clever, I mean insidious – way to keep him from voting, too.

Via BoingBoing.net:

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Police Bust “Drug Fueled Sex Party” At Michigan Masonic Temple

freemasonsWWMT in Southwestern Michigan has a strange story which seems to be beyond their abilities to report:

Battle Creek Police make a bust at the Masonic Temple, sources have described as a drug fueled sex party. Police sources describe the scene on Michigan Avenue out of control, and arrests were made.

It’s a secretive organization, sitting right next door to the Battle Creek Police and county courthouse. “Thank you for calling the beautiful Masonic Temple. For renting our facility, please call Charlie…” says the automated voice message, when you call the Masonic Lodge.

Sources told us the first officer to walk inside, was shocked to find a couple performing a lewd sex act, along with drugs, multiple nude women and men videotaping it all behind these closed doors.

We make a call to Charlie, and told him what police sources described. Charlie said Freemasons don’t go on camera, but told Newshchannel 3 they did not know about the multiple arrests.

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The “Right to Work” for Lower Wages and Less Representation in Michigan

Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC)

The moneyed elites *ahem* engines of the economy are finally seeing success in Michigan, as a union-busting law effecting millions of workers is passed, kneecapping the fund-raising for union organizations by dividing workers against each other (Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks has a very thorough and accurate rundown). This is a boon to the “burden shifting” robber baron industrialists, as union membership in Michigan was finally starting to rise again, after a steady decline since 2007.

Contrary to all the paid advertising, several myths persist about how unions work. Nobody is ‘forced’ to pay union membership in Michigan. The law states they are only required to do so when the union provides a service such as contract negotiation and representation, but the new law would allow anyone to receive those services without contributing into the workers’ collective funds. Once again, the “Right to Work” has been misleadingly named and propagandized, and has also convinced some conservative workers that their hard-won unions are taking their dues and using them for some leftist political agenda.… Read the rest

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Michigan Police Device Can Reveal Drivers’ Phone Data, Texts and Pictures

Photo: Cellebrite

Photo: Cellebrite

CNET reports:

The Michigan State Police have a handful of portable machines called “extraction devices” that have the potential to download personal information from motorists they pull over, and the ACLU would like to know more about them.

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

The problem, as the ACLU sees it, is that accessing a citizen’s private phone information when there’s no probable cause could create a violation of the Constitution’s 4th Amendment, which protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures.

To that end, it’s petitioning the MSP to turn over information about its use of the devices under the Freedom of Information Act. The MSP said it’s happy to comply, that is, if the ACLU provides them with a processing fee in excess of $500,000.

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“Emergency Manager” Replaces Elected Officials in Michigan Town

Lighthouse of Benton Harbor, MI. Photo: Russell Sekeet (CC)

Lighthouse of Benton Harbor, MI. Photo: Russell Sekeet (CC)

Santiago Esparza writes in the Detroit News

Benton Harbor — In a move believed to be the first under sweeping new state legislation, Emergency Manager Joseph Harris suspended decision-making powers of city officials Friday.

Officials only can call meetings to order, adjourn them and approve minutes of meetings as part of the order issued Friday.

The action is likely the first since Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law in March a new statute that grants more powers to emergency managers appointed by the Treasury Department to take over distressed schools and communities.

At least one elected Benton Harbor official was sanguine about the order. “It doesn’t bother me,” said City Commissioner Bryan Joseph. “I’m in favor of it.” Joseph said he has watched financial mismanagement for decades, which was one of the reasons he ran for election in 2008.

“This is sad news for democracy in Michigan,” said Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO.

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