Category Archives: Security and Safety

“Trial date set for 2 men accused of killing Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed”

From mLive comes “Trial date set for 2 men accused of killing Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.”  From the opening paragraphs:

The two men accused in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Eastern University of Michigan football player Demarius Reed could face two separate juries at trials in June, a judge said Tuesday.

Judge Donald Shelton set June 23 trial dates for Ed Thomas and Kristopher Pratt, both 20 and from Detroit.

Shelton said there will be a double jury trial for the two men, but did not elaborate on why.

What’s a “double jury trial?” Is that two juries in one trial? Why not two trials?

“Laundry stolen out of washing machine at EMU residence hall”

Quite the dangerous caper reported in mLive last night: “Laundry stolen out of washing machine at EMU residence hall.” Here’s a quote:

EMU Police were dispatched at 8:33 p.m. Monday to the Putnam Residence Hall for a report of stolen laundry. According to the report, someone stole a resident’s clothing items out of a washing machine.

The theft reportedly took place between 9:30 p.m. Sunday and midnight on Monday, according to police.

The comments alone are worth a visit to the story. My favorite comes from EMU’s own Geoff Larcom and his spin that this is evidence that EMU police are “visible, known, and in fact relied upon at Eastern.” Sure, that’s what it is. Or else its evidence that you shouldn’t leave your clothes in the washing machine for too long….

“When May I Shoot a Student?”

A loyal reader sent me news of this New York Times Op-Ed piece, “When May I Shoot a Student?” which is a response from Boise State University professor Greg Hampikian to a bill likely to become law in Idaho that will allow guns on campus. Here are the opening paragraphs:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

I am a biology professor, not a lawyer, and I had never considered bringing a gun to work until now. But since many of my students are likely to be armed, I thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field.

I have had encounters with disgruntled students over the years, some of whom seemed quite upset, but I always assumed that when they reached into their backpacks they were going for a pencil. Since I carry a pen to lecture, I did not feel outgunned; and because there are no working sharpeners in the lecture hall, the most they could get off is a single point. But now that we’ll all be packing heat, I would like legal instruction in the rules of classroom engagement.

By the way, yet another advantage from my point of view for teaching online….

“Prosecutor’s office declines charges in Peninsular Place death”

I meant to post this yesterday: from mLive, “Prosecutor’s office declines charges in Peninsular Place death.” Remember the father of one of the tenants of Peninsular Place apartments who was killed in a struggle with his daughter’s roommates? That’s the case that isn’t going to be prosecuted.

There will be no charges in the death of 46-year-old John Lawrence even though the case has been investigated for almost a year as a homicide, Ypsilanti police announced Thursday night.

An email from Lt. Deric Gress said the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office had recently submitted their decision to the Ypsilanti Police Department to not charge anyone.

Gress said the prosecutor’s office cited a number of factors, including self defense on the side of the accused and medical issues on the side of the victim.

“I think the detectives felt the same way as the prosecutor’s office, … that although there may have been probable cause to arrest at the time of the incident, proving it beyond a reasonable doubt would have been difficult at best,” Gress added in a follow-up email.

I certainly don’t know enough about the case to have any idea if this was “the right call” or not, but it doesn’t exactly make me feel a ton more confident in Ypsi police or in that crappy apartment complex.

“Police: Men pull gun on EMU student after making fun of his pants”

I saw this story via an email alert and in The Echo, but I thought I’d share this article from mLive, “Police: Men pull gun on EMU student after making fun of his pants.” Now, I obviously don’t want to see anyone have a gun pulled on them by a bunch of random thugs driving around Ypsi for any reason, and this is just another example of the sort of petty crime and dumb stuff that gives this town a bad name. It’s frustrating.

That said (and I am glad the EMU student ran away and reported this to the cops), am I the only one who is wondering what exactly was the deal with this guy’s pants?

“Emotional testimony heard at court hearing for 2 men accused of killing Demarius Reed”

From mLive, “Emotional testimony heard at court hearing for 2 men accused of killing Demarius Reed.” Basically, the story is about what I believe is not the actual trial but a “preliminary hearing” about the case against the two guys charged with murdering Demarius Reed.  Needless to say, it was tough for family and friends of Reed in the courtroom.

“EMU police hosting neighborhood watch meeting for Ypsilanti’s LeForge Corridor”

From mLive comes “EMU police hosting neighborhood watch meeting for Ypsilanti’s LeForge Corridor.”  Here’s a quote:

Eastern Michigan University police are hosting a neighborhood watch meeting at the Student Center Auditorium, 900 Oakwood St., at 4 p.m. Thursday for residents who live in off-campus housing near LeForge Road.

Representatives from the Ypsilanti Police Department and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office will be at the forum. The newly formed neighborhood watch’s territory will encompass University Green, Huron View Apartments, Eastern Lofts, Peninsular Place and Riverrain Apartments, according to EMU police Chief Bob Heighes.

Great idea, but the obvious problem here is that neighborhood watch groups tend to be made up of people who have an investment of some sort in the neighborhood. It’s made up of people who feel some ownership over the place, and usually it’s made up of home owners. The problem here is most of the folks living in these apartments see their housing situation as temporary at best, which perpetuates the cycle.

“EMU student president: Plea for mandatory safety ordinances has fallen on ‘deaf ears’”

From mLive comes “EMU student president: Plea for mandatory safety ordinances has fallen on ‘deaf ears.’” In the nutshell, EMU Student Government president Desmond Miller has presented a proposal to the Ypsilanti City Council that would (among other things) require these apartment complexes near campus to have surveillance cameras in public areas. He thinks City Council is ignoring him, while mayor Paul Schreiber’s take seems to be we need to think this over. Here’s a quote:

“I am not adverse to something like that in the city,” Schreiber said. ” I don’t want to rush into an ordinance right now because I think it’s very far reaching. I think there are areas we can concentrate on.”

Schreiber said he isn’t too keen on an ordinance that would require cameras at apartment complexes.

“I’m not real fond of that because it brings up questions of who looks at it, what’s done with the info,” Schreiber said. “I think there are a lot of issues there with that. i think there are less issues with looking at very specific areas that might benefit from use of cameras. A city-wide camera ordinance, I’m not thrilled about.”

I would worry about this too. In the name of safety, it’s dangerous to go too far in the other direction.

“EMU embarks on new era of off-campus policing: ‘The university cannot remain an island’”

A pretty long and pretty good article from mLive the other day, “EMU embarks on new era of off-campus policing: ‘The university cannot remain an island.’” Basically, it’s about how EMU is adding cops to the department and will be expanding its patrols to areas near campus.

Generally, this seems like a good idea and probably one that is overdue, to be honest. I do worry a bit about expanding/making the borders between Ypsilanti jurisdiction and EMU jurisdiction (I can imagine a story a year or so from now in mLive where Ypsi locals are complaining about the “over-reach” of EMU DPS), and I also worry about Ypsi using this as an excuse to cut funding for police. But like I said, it seems like a good idea for now.

“EMU detective to assist Ypsilanti police in Julia Niswender homicide investigation”

From mLive “EMU detective to assist Ypsilanti police in Julia Niswender homicide investigation.” Here’s a quote:

“[Ypsilanti Police] Chief Tony DeGiusti asked us if we would be willing to look at the case to have one of our detectives look at it and review it just to get a different perspective on everything they’ve done,” [EMU Police Chief Bob] Heighes said.

Heighes said a fresh set of eyes could potentially turn up something different.

“We’re hoping that by having one of our detectives, perhaps we can get another break,” Heighes said.

I’m kind of surprised something like this hasn’t happened already and I wonder if at this stage, a year later, much more can really be done and/or discovered here. I guess we’ll see.