The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, December 12, 1989 - Page 5
Speakers allege Pittsfield
police brutalized citizen
by Heather Fee area earlier that night. try to understand everything tha
Daily Staff Writer "Sorry, but you've got the wrong happened to him related to the Pitts-
About 40 people expressed
outrage yesterday about an incident
involving Pittsfield Township resi-
dent Willie Simmons, who alleged
that township police stopped him
last month and said "Get out of the
car, nigger... Get out or we'll blow
Simmons told the crowd that po-
lice pinned him against his car and
held a gun to his head while they
searched the inside and trunk of the
car on Nov. 11 at 2:30 a.m..
Simmons, who was driving with
a 14-year-old Black male friend said
he questioned the officers as to why
they pulled him over. He said,
"What's the deal, what have we
done?" Eventually, he discovered
they were searching for a gun which
had been shot off in the Scenic Lake
person," Simmons said he told the
officers. "I went to Showcase Cin-
ema - I still have my ticket stub
- and I just dropped my sisters off;
you can call my house and check."
Police checked Simmons plates and
identification and eventually let him
Simmons and more than 10 other
people, including members of the
United Coalition Against Racism,
expressed their outrage to the Pitts-
field Township Board of Trustees
during a meeting last night.
Pittsfield Township Director of
Public Safety Ray Lecornu, who
was present at last night's meeting,
said he will interview Simmons on
Wednesday and determine whether to
open an investigation.
"When I meet with him, I will
field police," Lecornu said yesterday.
"I want to get to the bottom of it."
Simmons' wrote a letter to
Lecornu, who administers both the
Pittsfield police and fire departments,
earlier this month to protest the al-
When the Board opened the mi-
crophone for public comments,
members of the United Coalition
Against Racism, some concerned
University of Michigan students,
Simmons' mother, and a few citi-
zens of Pittsfield and Ann Arbor
spoke. Most people questioned what
the board was going to do in re-
sponse to the incident. Because of
the format of the meeting, however,
the board refused to answer questions
and only allowed statements from
Bush Helzberg watches Aaron Rochlen play ping-pong in the Club 600 of South Quad. Both are LSA first-year
.Campus readers react negatively to Detroit JOA
by Eric Phillips
The Joint Operating Agreement
between The Detroit News and The
Detroit Free Press has received
negative reviews from University
The 100-year JOA, which began
November 27, created many changes
for readers of both Detroit papers.
The Free Press now is the only
morning paper delivered in the De-
troit area. During weekends, readers
receive one paper, The Detroit News
t ind Free Press.
LSA first-year student Jim Lucas,
a Free Press reader, sees one advan-
tage to the JOA: "There still is a
Free Press. Without the JOA, The
Free Press wouldn't have survived."
But many students have criticized
the new arrangement. Some are
upset because their newspaper now
is delivered later in the morning or
in the afternoon.
"So far, I haven't liked the JOA
because the paper comes too late,
and I'm used to reading it in the
morning," said LSA junior Erika
Gravlin, a Free Press subscriber.
Larry Bohr, an engineering
sophomore, said, "We used to get
our News at three in the morning,
so whenever we went outside, it was
there. Now The News comes in the
afternoon, so we have tried to cancel
our subscription to The News and
change to The Free Press."
He added, "In The News, I liked
reading "The Far Side," but I guess
I'll give up "The Far Side" and get
the morning paper."
Others dislike the weekend
merger of the two papers into one
"It stinks," said LSA sophomore
Paresh Bhavsar, a News subscriber.
"I don't like the fact that they switch
sections between The Free Press
and The News.
"I don't like The Free Press
writers; I like The News writers, and
that's why I subscribed to The News
in the first place."
Gravlin also had complaints
about the weekend editions. "The
Sunday paper was a mess; it was too
chopped up, and it didn't seem to
flow. There was too much advertis-
ing, and stories didn't seem in-
depth," she said.
Joe Grimm, reader representative
for The Free Press, said the paper
has received complaints about con-
tent and delivery. "There's a lot of
confusion, and a lot of people are
upset that their regular Free Press
sections are not where they used to
be. We've had delivery problems
too, and that has exacerbated the sit-
"I've talked to a lot of people
who are switching to The Free
Press because they have to have a
morning paper. In the newsstands
The News no longer has an advan-
tage, either, because now both pa-
pers cost the same," he said.
Tim White, publisher of The
Ann Arbor News, agreed that the
JOA will hurt The Detroit News.
"Our research tells us that readers of
Detroit papers are what we call cycle
driven, meaning that they are largely
concerned with the time their news-
paper arrives. Therefore, I expect that
a lot of people are switching from
The News to The Free Press," he
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