Tag: Inkster

Meet Jewell Jones, the 20-Year-Old Councilman Hoping to Change Inkster, Michigan for the Better

<span class='image-component__caption' itemprop="caption">Councilman Jewell Jones is the youngest person ever on the City Council of Inkster, Michigan.</span>
Councilman Jewell Jones is the youngest person ever on the City Council of Inkster, Michigan. (COURTESY OF JEWELL JONES)

Jewell Jones is a city council member who still needs to finish his homework each night, but he has big ideas for improving his community.

The 20-year-old made history when he was sworn in Monday as the youngest person to ever sit on the City Council of Inkster, Michigan, a town nestled on the outskirts of Detroit. Jones, who represents the city’s 4th District, is also a full-time student at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

A lifelong resident of Inkster, Jones began dabbling in local politics when he was about 8 years old.  “My parents would drag me around to different things in the community. I was very involved in my church,” Jones told The Huffington Post. “Serving the people in this capacity has always been pretty natural for me.”

In the past few years, he has been even more active and helped out on political campaigns for Michigan state Sen. David Knezek (D) and Inkster’s Mayor Hilliard Hampton.

Jones said that what started off as a joke with one of the councilmen in his district blossomed into a serious City Council campaign. “I told him maybe I could run and he kinda took it seriously,” Jones said. “And I went ahead and threw my hat in the race, got all the signatures that I needed to get on the ballot and this happened.”

Finding balance between the campaign and being a full-time student was the difficult part. On top of majoring in political science and finance, Jones is involved with several on-campus organizations — including the Army ROTC, Black Student Union and Student Veterans Association.

“I was taking it day to day, but it was just a daily challenge of seeing if I focus on the campaign right now, or should I focus on school,” the newly minted councilman said. “But my support system was really good.”

Some people have questioned his experience and ability to lead, Jones says, because of his young age. But he isn’t worried about being unprepared.  “I have quite a lot of responsibility and roles right now that I’ve had for quite some time now,” Jones said. “It kind of molded me to be good at this job.”

Jones, a junior at the university, still plans to graduate in the spring of 2017.

Knezek, who is the youngest senator in Michigan at age 29, says he met Jones when the councilman was 16 and immediately saw his potential for leadership.

“We need more Jewells in politics across this country. We need more young people who won’t simply settle for sitting on the sidelines complaining about how others are running things,” Knezek told HuffPost. “I was so happy when Jewell won and I look forward to working with him to make Inkster the best place to live, work, worship and raise a family. The future is bright with young leaders like Jewell Jones stepping up to the plate.”

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Floyd Dent Settles Police Brutality Suit with City of Inkster for $1.4 Million

Floyd Dent Receives Settlement from Inkster Police Department (photo via my13.com
Floyd Dent receives settlement from City of Inkster (photo via my13la.com)

Floyd Dent has settled his lawsuit with the City of Inkster for $1.4 million.

However for Dent, who was beaten by Inkster police in a shocking attack caught on video earlier this year, becoming a millionaire is less important than improving police relations with the communities they are supposed to serve and protect.

Given the choice, Dent would rather be broke and never have had this happen.  “Money isn’t everything,” he said. “You can’t buy happiness.”

Dent says he hopes something good will come from the incident, a new beginning for Inkster.  “The city of Inkster needs to move on and service the great citizens of Inkster,” he said.

The Defenders broke the story, exposing video of police officers punching, kicking, and using a Taser on Dent after a traffic stop. The Defenders also uncovered a second video of police apparently imitating and mocking Dent at the police station instead of immediately him to a hospital for his injuries.

“I’m bleeding and asking for a doctor and they are sitting there joking and high fiving. That’s unreal,” Dent said.

After the video was revealed, prosecutors dropped assault and drug charges against Dent and instead filed charges against William Melendez, the now-former Inkster police officer who punched Dent 16 times in the head.

Inkster also has a new police chief and two other officers were suspended. Now, with this a seven-figure settlement, Dent says a strong message has been sent about police brutality.  “Nothing like this will ever happen in Inkster,” Dent said.

Dent’s attorney Greg Rohl said the city stepped up to do the right thing for his client and for Inkster.

“At least some good can come out of all this,” Rohl said. “Floyd is proud of being the person that brought about this change.”

Becoming a millionaire may bring friends and relatives out of the woodwork, but Dent said the money won’t change him.

“There’s going to be be a lot of people ringing my doorbell. You know, long lost friends,” he said. “Do you have any plans for the money? No, not really, I’m going back to work. I miss work. I miss the people I work with.”

The settlement is not the end of this case. Dent still has to testify against Melendez in the criminal case.

Dent said he will tell the truth and let the justice system take care of it from there. He also knows his time in the spotlight is coming to an end, which is fine with him.

“I want people to remember me as an honest person that wasn’t afraid to go against the officers that done this to me and i want people to know that I’m grateful,” he said.

article by Kevin Dietz via clickondetroit.com

Officer Charged in Beating of 57 Year-Old Man, Floyd Dent, During Traffic Stop in Michigan

Floyd Dent at Press Conference
Floyd Dent Thanks Prosecutors for Bringing Charges Against Michigan Police Officer

A suburban Detroit police officer who was seen on dash-cam video dragging a black man from his car before kicking and punching him repeatedly will be charged with two felony counts, a county prosecutor said Monday.

A drug possession charge against the man, Floyd Dent, 57, will be dropped, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. Dent’s treatment by Inkster police during a Jan. 28 traffic stop sparked outrage after the video was released by NBC affiliate WDIV.

“We cannot turn our heads when the law enforcer becomes the law breaker,” Worthy said during a news conference Monday. “The alleged police brutality in this case cannot and will not be tolerated.”

William Melendez, who allegedly punched Dent 16 times while keeping him in a chokehold during an arrest, will be charged with one count of mistreatment of a prisoner and one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, Worthy said.

WDIV had also later released a video that showed officers stripping Dent to his underwear and searching him while he was being held in jail.

If convicted, Melendez could face up to 15 years in prison.

Inkster City Manager Richard Marsh said in a statement that Melendez had been fired from the Inkster Police Department on April 15, “which I and others believe was in the best interest of our community.” Marsh said he wouldn’t comment further on the charges “in order to preserve the integrity of both the criminal and the civil actions surrounding Officer Melendez’s employment.”

Melendez is working part-time at the Highland Park Police department, according to WDIV. The department did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.

The case was independently investigated by the Michigan State Police and separately by the Wayne County Prosecutors Office.

Charges against Dent of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer were dropped after the video was released nearly two months after the incident occurred. A count of possession of cocaine remained, but Dent claimed the drugs were planted in his car. The drug charge against Dent was dropped “in the best interest of justice,” Worthy said.

article by Elisha Fieldstadt via msnbc.com

115 Year-Old Jeralean Talley of Detroit Now Listed as World’s Oldest Person

PHOTO: Jeralean Talley is escorted down the aisle after the church service honoring her 115th birthday at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, Michigan May 25, 2014.
Jeralean Talley is escorted down the aisle after the church service honoring her 115th birthday at the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, Michigan May 25, 2014. (PHOTO: Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

Jeralean Talley of Inkster, MI tops a list maintained by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s longest-living people. Gertrude Weaver, a 116-year-old Arkansas woman who was the oldest documented person for a few days, died on Monday.

Talley was born May 23, 1899. Asked for her key to longevity, the Detroit Free Press reports that she echoed previous answers on the topic.

“It’s coming from above,” she told the newspaper. “That’s the best advice I can give you. It’s not in my hands or your hands.”

Michael Kinloch, 56, of Wayne County’s Canton Township, is a General Motors engineer and longtime family friend of Talley’s through their church. He said Talley’s mental state is “is very sharp.”

“It’s unfortunate that other people passed away, but this has certainly elevated her. She’s feeling no pain. She just can’t get around like she used to,” Kinloch said.

Talley’s husband died in 1988 and five generations of her family have lived in the Detroit area. In 2013, her 114th birthday drew the attention of President Barack Obama, who said in a personal note that she’s “part of an extraordinary generation.”

Kinloch said he’s looking forward to taking Talley, despite her advanced age, on their annual fishing trip.

“We go to a trout pond in Dexter,” a community about 40 miles west of Detroit, Kinloch said. “She really likes that.”

article by Associated Press via abcnews.go.com

Michigan’s Jeralean Talley, 114, is now the Oldest Living American

Talley and godson Tyler Kinloch pictured with one of the seven catfish she caught at the Trout Farm in Dexter, Mich., on June 16, 2012.
Jeralean Talley and godson Tyler Kinloch pictured with one of the seven catfish she caught at the Trout Farm in Dexter, Mich., on June 16, 2012. (COURTESY OF MICHAEL KINLOCH)

Be nice, worship God and eat pigs’ feet: That’s how Jeralean Talley of Inkster, Michigan says she lived to celebrate her 114th birthday today — and be crowned the oldest person in the United States. Using census records, the Gerontology Research Group verified her title after the previous oldest American, Elsie Thompson, died at 113 in March. Talley is still a youngster, relatively speaking, compared to the world’s oldest person, Jiroemon Kimura, who is 116 and lives in Japan.

In a phone conversation on the eve of her 114th birthday, Talley told TIME, “I feel okay.” These days, the supercentenarian lives with her daughter Thelma Holloway, 75, and says she passes the time by watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Wheel of Fortune as well as listening to baseball on the radio – though she doesn’t have a favorite team. She can stay up as late as midnight and feasts on her favorite foods: potato salad, honey buns, McDonald’s chicken nuggets and Wendy’s chili.

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