The Story

All Eyes on Chelsea, Michigan

During the summer of 2020, youth-led protests, in sync with the nationwide anti-racist movement, were met with #SelectiveEnforcement from Chelsea Police.

Police issued tickets to kids, parents, and supporters, for walking in the street (and even for walking on the sidewalk) - a violation of their First Amendment rights. As a result, Chelsea was marked as intolerant, unwelcoming, and unsafe for People of Color and their allies.

Chelsea is the only city in Washtenaw County to have issued civil infractions to peaceful anti-racism protestors.

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Charges Were Dropped

On February 17th, 2021 Chelsea City Council voted unanimously to recommend Police Chief Ed Toth #DropTheCharges.

But Toth is unaccountable. He refuses to take direction from his boss the City Manager, from City Council, even the Mayor.

Chelsea Defendant Families, represented by Civil Rights lawyers from the University of Michigan and the ACLU, challenged the tickets in Court.

In her February 22nd ruling, Judge Anna Frushour criticized Chelsea's campaign of bullying and silencing its kids. She threw out the tickets on First Amendment grounds.

Now What?

An independent investigation by Whistleblower Law found that Chelsea had overstepped Best Practice guidelines in its #SelectiveEnforcement of traffic laws.

An operational audit by law enforcement professionals identified structural failures in Chelsea police policies and procedures, from firearms to First Amendment protections.

Investigators recommended reforms, including Improved Transparency, an end police surveillance and intimidation, and a Citizen Oversight Board to restore police accountability.

The M-52 Movement supports these goals.

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