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  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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A day in the life

DPD's daily crime report shines a light on the city's violent side

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Winthrop Street, where a man died on a stranger's front lawn.

For about a year now, the Detroit Police Department has done something it's never done before — it sends out a daily report chronicling the previous day's major crimes — the shootings, the stabbings, the carjackings, the armed robberies. It's an ongoing narrative of the worst behavior of the city's worst residents.

There's not enough time or space to report all the incidents that, in Detroit, are considered comparatively minor — the burglaries (more than 7,900 so far this year by mid-July), the assaults (more than 15,000), the stolen cars (more than 6,500), the rapes (more than 520). And some violent incidents are left out entirely if a detective says he wants it kept quiet while it's being investigated. 

What's finally released, then, is an imperfect but revealing measure of the substance behind the city's longstanding reputation for violence.

"It's just to be transparent," says Sgt. Eren Stephens, a spokeswoman for the department, of the daily reports. Chief Ralph Godbee, she says, "believes that if it helps the citizens help us fight crime, let's put it out there."

Each entry is its own brief story, written in cold, flat police jargon whose vagueness sometimes poses more questions than answers. A recent description of three suspects wanted in an early July shooting reads: "Suspect #1: Black male, wearing an orange shirt. Suspect #2: Black male. Suspect #3: Black male, armed." Be on the lookout.

The vague language is deliberate, Stephens says. Sometimes an investigation is ongoing, and releasing too many details could compromise it. Sometimes the police don't have more information because the victim won't talk. Or can't anymore. 

"It could be that they didn't see anything, it could be that the individual was not available at the time to give the information, so a lot of times we just want to let the citizens know this is happening in that area, so be aware."

And sometimes, the police run into the notorious street code that says snitching on a murder is almost worse than the murder itself. A report of a July 22 shooting notes that, "The victim has refused to cooperate at this time. The circumstances pertaining to this incident are unknown. Suspect: Unknown, possibly driving a vehicle."

"Unfortunately you have some citizens who will just not supply information to Detroit police because they want to handle it themselves," Stephens says. "Or they're just scared of retaliation. Sometimes the victim refuses to prosecute, and we don't have a case."

Some people might read the reports and find less crime going on than they expected; some might discover there's more. What stands out is how constant the violence is, how much fresh fodder there is to fill daily reports, how little information the police have to go by in many cases. And how many of the crimes are truly random.


Each day chronicled in the reports blurs into the next as each day brings fresh crime. So any random date, say July 15, is as good a glimpse into the city's violent side as any other.

That day, a Sunday, would be another very hot day in a summer full of them. By the following morning at least a dozen major crimes had taken place in Detroit — several shootings, a few carjackings, and two men killed, edging this year's total murders close to 200.

That Sunday's mayhem began exactly one minute after midnight, near Hayes and Harper on the east side, when two women who knew each other started fighting with their fists. The 55-year-old grabbed a knife and inflicted a deep cut on her 52-year-old acquaintance, sending her to the hospital in serious condition. 

Two hours later, at Plymouth at Forrer near Greenfield Road, an 18-year-old was standing outside at 2 a.m. when he heard nearby gunfire and suddenly felt a sharp pain. No description of the shooters, no clues as to why. He was the first of several that day hit by stray gunshots.

Across town, a 36-year-old man was driving on the east side near Houston-Whittier and Chalmers at around 2:30 a.m. and thought the middle of the night was a sensible time to get gas in a bad neighborhood. He pulled into the Citgo on the corner, got out of his 2008 Chevy Impala under the station's bright lights, and a man who was hiding in the shadows, wearing a red baseball cap and a ski mask despite the heat, came over, pointed a gun, and drove off with a free car. The victim wasn't harmed. He was among the lucky handful that day to face a gun and walk away.

The three guys sitting in a car on a darkened Fairport Street at East State Fair at 2:45 a.m. were not so lucky. A car pulled up alongside them, and someone pulled out a gun and sprayed the three men with bullets. The two 26-year-olds eventually made it to the hospital; the 33-year-old did not. "Suspect: unknown and armed," the report states.

 For whatever reason, a 44-year-old man was awake enough at 4:25 a.m. to be standing outside on Seebaldt just off Tireman on the west side. Suddenly, as the police report puts it with comic passivity, "he received gunshot wounds to the body," leaving him in temporarily serious condition at the hospital. This was one of those shootings in which the victim apparently comes down with selective amnesia when the police arrive. "The circumstances pertaining to this incident are currently unknown," the report admits. 

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