Michigan

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated Jan. 20, 2020

Summary

Key:

Legislation Achieved

Some Progress

No Progress

  • Demilitarization

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    No knock warrants
    1033 program
    Military-style training
    SWAT data

    Michigan a

  • For Profit Policing

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Civil asset forfeiture
    Quotas
    Cost of misconduct

    Michigan b

  • Broken Windows Policing

    Minor offenses
    Objective justification for stops
    Reporting stop details

    Michigan c

  • Accountability

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    Reckless civil rights violation
    Independent investigation
    Qualified immunity

    Michigan d

  • Reinvesting in Communities

    Mental health response

    Education, housing, and community health resources

    Michigan e

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants. At the local level, Lansing's police department ended the use of no-knock warrants on July 15th, 2020. SB 1016, introduced in July 2020, aimed to ban no-knock warrants across Michigan, but it died in committee.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Military style training

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law refocusing training away from self-defense responses and towards community centered training like that offered by Blue Courage.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use. A 2013 bill to require this reporting stalled in the Michigan House of Representatives.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

Some Progress:

In 2019, the Michigan Legislature passed a bill with bipartisan support to limit civil asset forfeiture to those convicted of crimes or for possessions exceeding a value of $50,000 (excluding contraband).

Quotas

Some Progress:

It's illegal for municipal police officers to to have quotas for traffic tickets. However, the Michigan State Police do have quotas for traffic stops.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state/city general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

Some Progress:

SB 1046, signed into law in 2021, expands officer discretion to issue citations for most misdemeanors, and presumes citations in lieu of arrests. Similarly, the collective package of HB 5854, HB 5855, HB 5856, HB 5857, and HB 5844 eliminate mandatory minimum jail sentences in the Motor Vehicle, School, Railroad, and Public Health Codes. Another package of legislation also signed into law in January eliminates license suspension for violations of the law unrelated to dangerous driving. Furthermore HB 5853 reclassifies traffic misdemeanors, like driving a vehicle without an exhaust muffler, as civil infractions. In 2019, the third most common reason for a Michigan resident's imprisonment was lack of a valid license.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).

Reporting stop details

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law requiring comprehensive reporting of police stops (noting location, race, gender, whether force was used and whether a firearm was found).

Pending Legislation: Part 5 of the Michigan Attorney General proposal for Police Reform mandates comprehensive reporting, but this is just a proposal for reform and not yet a law.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights.

Independent investigation

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law instituting an independent prosecutor within the state’s Department of Justice for instances of police misconduct.

Pending Legislation: Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) has proposed reforms to policing in Michigan, including an independent prosecutor for misconduct. She has called on the legislature to adopt these reforms, but no legislation has been introduced.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

No Progress:

Michigan has not yet enacted a law creating and funding a mental health task force available to respond to crisis calls (in lieu of police). In 2008, the state allocated funding for MCOLES, Michigan's police training standards division, to train law enforcement officers in issues of mental health. Though the state created a policy guide for mental health responses in 2017, Michigan has yet to institutionalize the inclusion of trained professionals in mental health crisis situations.
SB. 1162, introduced in October 2020, would have created the Office of Social Work and Police Partnerships within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The office would have created and overseen "an advisory council and grant program to social service and law enforcement agencies to hire social workers, licensed practical counselors, or psychologists to respond to crises ¾ connecting residents with mental health, substance abuse, housing, and other services. The office would also ensure cross-training between law enforcement officers and social workers and evaluate the programs." The bill died in committee.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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