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Blind justice

We at News Hits are patient people. But one of us — and about 25 others — left Wayne County Probate Judge Milton Mack Jr.’s courtroom miffed last week after waiting two-and-a-half hours for him to rule on an issue concerning the estate of Lamar Grable, a young man who was shot and killed in 1996 by Detroit police officer Eugene Brown. A hearing was scheduled before Mack after Lamar’s mother, Arnetta Grable, refused to accept the $2.25 million the City of Detroit offered her and her family last month to settle the lawsuit regarding her son’s death. A guardian who was appointed to represent Lamar’s daughter’s interest in the case accepted the $2.25 million settlement and called for the hearing before Mack to see if he would approve the guardian’s decision. Well, that never happened. What did happen is Mack met with attorneys, Grable and the guardian — behind closed doors. The folks who showed up for the hearing — most are members of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality — sat frustrated, wondering what the hell was going on. The group gathered to show support for Grable, who fired her attorneys the previous week for not objecting to the guardian’s acceptance of the settlement. At about 4:30, we were told to leave the courtroom. Chants of "disrespect" resounded from the crowd as we exited. Melissa El, Grable’s new attorney, says Mack wants to give her and the guardian time to research whether a judge is prohibited from interceding in a civil settlement on behalf of a minor. Another hearing is scheduled next Thursday at 2 p.m. Maybe Mack will actually appear before the public next week and make a ruling. Maybe not. Either way, we’ll wait. Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or

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