Officer Eugene Miller - Shot and wounded wife - Detroit PD
On November 26, 2006, while moonlighting as a security guard at the Detroit Bel-Air Mall, Officer Eugene Williams shot and killed 16-year-old Brandon Martell Moore in the back. Williams was never charged for Moore's death. If not for reporter Diane Bukowski, Brandon's death would have gone unnoticed.
"Were it not for Bukowski, who pursued the case relentlessly, Brandon would have died without a trace. Thanks to her reporting, the community demanded answers."
[Gary Young. The Nation]
When Diane Bukowski, a white journalist for the black newspaper Michigan Citizen, heard the news on a black radio station, she rushed to the scene on the corner of Justine and East Davison. The first print reporter to arrive, she showed her credentials and started taking photographs. A female state trooper yelled at her from across the street, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” Bukowski again identified herself as a journalist. “I didn’t cross any police tape,” says Bukowski. “I was just doing my job.” The trooper grabbed the camera, deleted the photos, handcuffed Bukowski, arrested her on a single misdemeanor count of obstructing an investigation and took her to state police headquarters, where she was held for about an hour.
A WOMAN AGAINST THE SYSTEM
BY GARY YOUNGE, published in The Nation and by Agence Globale
December 19, 2008
(Nov. 17, 2010 – This article is being re-published due to a recent attack on Bukowski related to her conviction in this case.)
On election day James Willingham, 42, was driving home from the polls in Detroit around 3:30 pm on his motorcycle when he was allegedly hit by a police car with such force that he struck and killed a pedestrian, Jeffrey Frazier, and then crashed into a pole and died from the impact.
And so it was that as the polls were closing in Michigan and the nation began to bask in the warm glow of a post-racial society, a white woman was cuffed and fingerprinted because she tried to tell the world about two black men who had just been killed.
Extinguishing race as a meaningful category demands that we first get rid of the racism that gives it meaning. In that respect, the symbolic resonance of election night in Chicago — joyous as it was — can be understood only within the systemic neglect and harassment of that fateful afternoon in Detroit. The two scenes do not contradict but complement each other. A black man in the White House seemed so unlikely precisely because a black man in prison or dead at the hands of the police is so much more likely. What individuals do in the privacy of the polling booth pleasantly surprised some of us; but the outrageous things institutions do in plain sight no longer turn heads. Race describes the protagonists; power shapes the narrative.
“I’m happy that Barack Obama got elected,” says Arnold Reed, Bukowski’s attorney. “It’s a start. But he’s not the savior. He’s not standing on the corner of Justine and Davison. The battle that transcends race in this country is between those who have and those who have not. Diane’s reports have given a voice to those who have not.”
Given a choice between their account and Bukowski’s, I know which one I would believe. She reported on the murder of Brandon Martell Moore for the Michigan Citizen. Brandon, 16, was shot in the back by an off-duty cop as he left a mall. Brandon had never been in trouble with the law before. But the cop who shot him had. In 1971 Eugene Williams, who is black, was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident while under the influence of alcohol. In 1979 Williams shot and killed a 31-year-old man during a neighborhood brawl. Five years later he shot his wife, but she lived. Williams stayed on the force. The senseless death of a black teenager at the hand of a wayward cop is clearly not a newsworthy story in Detroit. The city’s two main newspapers needed less than 200 words to write up the whole story in which they failed even to mention Brandon’s name and quoted only the police.
So there is a reason the Detroit police don’t like Bukowski. She refuses to let them do their job the way they see fit. During her years at the Citizen she has broken several stories, including one about the “Booty Boys” — police on Detroit’s Southwest side were conducting illegal cavity searches of black men in public on city streets. She also broke the story of Eugene Brown, a cop who ran amok in black areas during the ’90s. Her work was used by federal authorities when they imposed a consent decree on Detroit police. Nonetheless, all these police officers, most of whom are black, remain on the force. “This is clearly an attempt to intimidate me,” says Bukowski of her arrest. “They are trying to cover up what happened.” Without her, they would get away with murder, literally.
Killings by Cops on the Rise as Detroit DA Refuses to Prosecute
Four killed in July alone; Green candidate to challenge Worthy in November.
The Michigan Citizen
News Report, Diane Bukowski
Posted: Aug 12, 2008
DETROIT — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appeared solo on the Aug. 5 primary election ballot, and families of children and men killed by the police during her tenure are asking why.
“In 2006 and 2007 we charged 36 Detroit Police Officers with felonies and misdemeanor offenses,” Worthy said. “Currently in 2008 we have charged officers with crimes. These cases reflect both on and off duty misconduct. The crimes range from felonies such as involuntary manslaughter, criminal sexual conduct, child sexual assault and domestic violence assault offenses.”
A blurry gas station videotape of the scene shows a figure running up to the officer’s car at the pump, then immediately running a good distance away towards the street, turning to face the officer and collapsing. Bell’s companion was later released without charges.
- On July 14, police killed a man they claim emerged from a house at Indiandale and 14th streets, pointing a gun at them. They alleged that he and three others were involved in an earlier drive-by shooting and carjacking. They said they arrested the three others, and tracked the fourth man with a dog to the house where they killed him.
It is not uncommon, however, for the prosecutor’s office to claim an investigation is ongoing when it is actually over.
In March, the families of the three men killed by Officer Eugene Brown in 1994, 1996 and 1998 confronted Worthy’s representative James Gonzalez, chief of the homicide unit, with the recently-released results of the Shoulders Report investigation into Brown’s conduct. The Report recommended that Brown be charged in the killings. Gonzalez said their office had had the report all along.
Detroit Officer who Killed Unarmed 16-year-old has Killed two Others
Black Press USA -
by Diane Bukowski
Special to the NNPA from the Michigan Citizen
December 20, 2006
DETROIT — The Detroit police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Brandon Moore at Detroit’s Bel-Air Mall Nov. 26 is Officer Eugene J. Williams.
-Fired from force in 1971 after a fatal hit-and-run accident while under the influence of alcohol. Reinstated 1974.