Daron Caldwell—falsely accused of a series of shootings and murders at Hart Plaza in 2004, the Coalition organized protests, made public statements, and brought significant public attention in this high profile case to the patent unfairness of Caldwell’s arrest. As a result, Caldwell was released and the charges were dropped.
Charles Wafer—this young man was charged with drunk driving and was already on probation. Upon their arrest he and one other African American male were brutally beaten by Ferndale police. The other young man was charged with fleeing and eluding and assault against a police officer. Though the young man thought he had no redress in this issue, the Coalition, upon being contacted by his family members, helped him obtain an attorney who prevailed in securing probation for him under the “Holmes Youth Trainee Act” wherein all charges will be expunged after Mr. Wafer reaches age 21. He received no jail time in this matter. Consideration is still being made for civil action in this case.
Charity Hicks—A young woman was celebrating a birthday party in her hotel room. She was contacted by hotel officials, who demanded that she leave the hotel room she had properly paid for. She was made to sit on a bench in the Warren police station half-dressed in the presence of male officers. The attorney was able to secure probation with her, and she was connected with a civil attorney who will help her pursue civil action against the City of Warren.
Maurice McClain—this 17-year-old young man was ‘found’ hung in his Wayne County Jail cell; he had been moved to the adult section of the jail. aided in securing legal representation; set up meeting between family and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in order to push them to provide information which had heretofore been not coming; held demonstration to bring attention to this apparent murder; worked with members of the family to debrief and counsel them, helping them to handle the trauma and strategize; also helped them access sources of economic support, including housing, health care and educational opportunities.
Byron Ogletree—this young man was a victim of a public strip and body cavity search following a traffic stop. Following a stop for a cracked windshield, he was arrested and had a gun placed to his head. He was subsequently charged with assault of a police officer. We filed a complaint with the Detroit Police Commission and gave public exposure via our radio program. We continue to act as court watchers in this case, and continue our investigation and advocacy efforts, especially regarding the efforts of the Detroit Police, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to supposedly eliminate drugs in Southwest Detroit. However, this activity has resulted in civil rights violations of many African American men who are now bringing their cases to the Coalition for assistance.
We have also had successes in quelling Greektown security guard beatings of the homeless, by contacting the media and securing their involvement—there was a major story on the phenomenon in the Metro Times, the area’s alternative weekly; and on NBC affiliate WDIV in Detroit.