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Justice delayed


After giving the matter considerable thought, News Hits has concluded that Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Isidore B. Torres must be an awfully busy man. First of all, he still hasn’t scheduled a trial date regarding the civil suit Arnetta Grable filed against Detroit police officer Eugene Brown, who shot and killed 20-year-old Lamar Grable in 1996. Secondly, Torres has not ruled on whether he will release what has become known as the “Shoulders report,” though he’s had about seven months to reach a decision. And finally, the judge did not return News Hits’ phone calls inquiring about the above.

It’s a good thing that Grable, who has been waiting nearly five years for her day in court, is also a busy person. She needs to be. If she doesn’t keep herself occupied, Grable says she gets depressed about the interminable delays.

After public outcry last year over fatal police shootings, police chief Benny Napoleon asked Deputy Chief Walter Shoulders and two commanders to re-review three fatal shootings and one wounding by officer Brown. The city has since refused to make the report public. Attorney David Robinson, who represents Arnetta, requested the Shoulders report in November and Torres still has not released it.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” says Robinson. “We are in a holding pattern.”

Rather than cry over what she can’t control, Grable spends her time doing what she can to help other parents who lost loved ones to police gunfire. Earlier this month she was in Orlando, Fla., with 112 other families from around the country organizing Families Against Murder by Law Enforcement (FAMLE).

The group plans to set up an attorney referral service, a grief-support system, legal defense fund and local FAMLE chapters in major cities.

“We hope to do a march on Washington by all the families that have been victimized by the police,” says Grable. “That is one of our major goals because we want to be heard.”

News Hits hopes that Torres soon clears his busy calendar for Grable’s case. If not, he may be the first Wayne County Circuit Court judge to help motivate a march in Washington.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or