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    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Stir It Up

New tactic for crime?

Detroit cops to target gang members with 'cease fire' strategy

Photo: Larry Gabriel, License: N/A

Larry Gabriel

Detroit Chief of Police Ralph Godbe, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute George Kelling at WSU's City Under Siege forum.

Last spring I got all excited after reading a book titled Don't Shoot, by David M. Kennedy. Subtitled One Man, a Street Fellowship and the End of Violence in Inner-City America, the book details how Kennedy and others developed and employed innovative strategies that significantly lowered gun violence and street-corner drug dealing in Boston, Baltimore, Cincinnati and other such cities. I wondered why aren't we doing that right here in Detroit.

I got my answer last week at Wayne State University's two-day event "City Under Siege: A University Forum on the Crime Crisis in Detroit." There, I found out that we are trying Kennedy's approach in Detroit. Or we'll be doing so soon. It turns out that, while my mind was reeling at what I thought was a disconnect between policing in Detroit and in those other cities, folks here were actually putting together the plan to make that connection a part of the city's Preventing Youth Violence program. In fact, at the time, a neighbor on my block was writing the grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice to implement the "cease-fire" initiative. The application was successful, and the DOJ granted the city $1.5 million to fund part of the initiative for the next three years. 

It wasn't the focus of the forum, but Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee told me that the team from Kennedy's Center for Crime Prevention and Control in New York would be in Detroit in three or four weeks to begin consulting with the Detroit team. This approach doesn't get overnight results — anything that purports to do that should not be trusted — but it starts in one neighborhood and builds from there. It's not just reacting to crimes that have already been committed; it's about preventing crimes from happening in the first place. In Don't Shoot, Kennedy wrote about the realization that brought him to the cease-fire strategy while working in Boston in the early 1990s:

"Two clear themes ... were emerging ... One was the ignorance gang members had about the legal risks they faced. The other was how scared they were." 

Apparently gang members who grow up in the crime-ridden hood don't realize just how illegal the things that they do are and what penalties they potentially face, especially at the federal level. The federal angle is key here, but I'll get into that later. The other thing is that the majority of the gang members are not really badasses. They are in the gang for protection, and they act tough because that's what they think they're supposed to do — an act of solidarity with their partners in crime. It could be just one guy in a gang who drives the action by committing or exhorting others to commit violent acts.

Those don't seem like earth-shaking revelations, but they've led to strategies that seem to work. Kennedy's idea was simple, identify the worst guys out there — pretty much everybody in a neighborhood knows who they are. The point is that there are actually not that many of them.

The cease-fire program targets the bad guys. Police build a portfolio on them, which is typical. What is not typical is that police then call them in for a meeting. The meeting may be attended by significant others such as parents or other family members, the minister at the local church, family members of murder victims – anybody that police think has a chance at reaching them. The police explain to the gangbangers the effect they are having on their community and let them know that it will no longer be tolerated. Police pull in various social service agencies and have someone who can walk the offenders through how to get help, be it substance abuse or job training or other aid. 

This sounds a little Pollyanna-like, but there is an iron fist in the velvet glove. The impetus to change is underscored by the threat of federal prosecution. Police let these guys know that if they commit another crime police will come down on them hard with federal charges. Federal charges mean that the perpetrators will not be going to state prison with their homies. They are going to federal prison far away where they don't know anybody and won't get a warm welcome from friends.

The program is a partnership that extends from community members all the up to the federal government. It creates a better relationship between police and community members, who by and large have little trust for each other under the status quo. These better relationships grow from a realization that police are not trying to send everybody in sight to jail; the goal is to stop the shooting and therefore the fear so that normal community behavior can take place.

Another angle on this is that much of the violence is driven by bullshit beefs and retaliation. Stuff like: You're going out with my partner's ex-girlfriend so that means I have a problem with you; or, we think you shot at one of our guys last week so that means we're going to shoot at you; or, you stepped on my new kicks so I've got to shoot you for it or lose status with my guys. The bottom line is these are things that someone can learn to let go.

The second half of Don't Shoot is dedicated to a related strategy to get rid of open-air drug markets. Kennedy describes how he convinced police to investigate street-corner drug dealers, build a case on them — and then not arrest them. Police call them in, show them that they have enough evidence to arrest them, and then tell the drug dealer to stop it. It they go out on the corner again they will get the book thrown at them. This is also accompanied with community members and social services support. It seems to work. 

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