Daily Briefs

Suspended officer previously displayed Confederate flag

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan officer suspended after flying a Confederate flag from his pickup during a political rally had previously parked the vehicle displaying the flag in the police department’s lot.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Michael Peters was told at the time to stop doing so.

Peters was suspended with pay after he was seen off-duty driving the pickup and flag Friday around a group protesting Republican Donald Trump’s election as president. Peters also was seen drinking a beer in a restricted parking zone.

Detectives are investigating whether departmental rules and criminal law were violated.

Police Chief Jeff O’Brien said Monday at a news conference that he thinks Peters “understands the ramifications of his actions.”

The Associated Press was unable to find a telephone number for Peters.


Social worker, boss charged in death of Detroit 3-year-old

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a social worker and her boss with manslaughter and child abuse, alleging they neglected to do everything they should have to protect a 3-year-old Detroit boy who died.

Elaina Brown and her supervisor, Kelly Williams, were arraigned Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree child abuse and neglect in the death of Aaron Minor. Their attorneys didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Prosecutors allege that after identifying Aaron as vulnerable, Brown and Williams failed to provide a safety plan, ask police to conduct a safety check or file a juvenile court petition.

The boy’s decomposing body was found in his mother’s apartment in June while she was in a hospital psychiatric unit. She was charged with murder in August.

Brown and Williams have been suspended with pay.


Cox will be 1st woman to lead Michigan  House budget panel

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — For the first time in the history of the Michigan House of Representatives, a woman will lead the powerful budget committee.

Republican Rep. Laura Cox was named Monday as the next House Appropriations chairwoman by Speaker-elect Tom Leonard. Cox, who will take control in January, is a first-term lawmaker from Livonia.

Leonard says Cox “is the best person for the job,” and “no one is more qualified or better prepared.” Cox says she is “honored and humbled” by the pending appointment.

Cox currently is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Before becoming a legislator, she was a Wayne County commissioner and formerly worked as a U.S. Customs special agent.

Cox is married to former state Attorney General Mike Cox.