New ACLU video shows how city jerked around anti-shutoff protesters in court

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A still frame from the new ACLU viceo.
  • A still frame from the new ACLU viceo.

In July last year, anti-shutoff protesters were picketing the Water Board headquarters downtown, and also blocking trucks at Homrich, Inc., a company paid millions to execute the shutoffs. When several of them were arrested for blocking the trucks, they became the Homrich 9. As foes of the emergency manager, they sought a trial by jury, believing that the jury system was the last functioning vestige of democracy in Detroit.

What happened next was called by one observer "outrageous, ... allegedly illegal, ... and despicable."

Essentially, the city used "a long string of legal maneuvers" to drag out the trial, further postpone the trial of five defendants, and, finally, order the jury to stop deliberating in the trial of the two who got to court Marian Kramer and Bill Wylie-Kellerman. The defense attorneys allege the tactics used by Detroit's Law Department were unethical and illegal. The antics were so extraordinary, the judge presiding over the case even expressed dissatisfaction. 

That story is told in this new video released by the ACLU, which shows the lengths the city went to in response to nine activists who wanted to place their fates in the hands of a jury of their peers. See if it doesn't make you wonder what kind of funny business is going on here. 




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