Daily Briefs

Gov. Whitmer calls for end to chokeholds, other police reforms

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Monday for an end to the use of police chokeholds and limiting no-knock warrants.

The recommendations come as states have been considering ways to prevent racial bias and address police brutality in the wake of George Floyd 's death. The move follows efforts earlier this month to expand a commission that sets policing standards.

The Democrat's plan calls for categorizing racially-motivated 911 calls harassing individuals as hate crimes, requiring ongoing training for law enforcement to maintain a license and directing state health officials to recommend best practices for police when dealing with a person with mental illness, according to a news release.

"All Michiganders, no matter their community or the color of their skin, deserve equal treatment under the law," said Whitmer, adding her plan would ensure police "treat all Michiganders with humanity and respect."

Earlier in June, Whitmer added civilians and the director of the Department of Civil Rights to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

Law enforcement officials who were supportive of that change said Monday that they'd be open to considering new ideas.

State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper said in a statement that he's committed to working with Whitmer "to increase accountability and improve transparency in order to build community support and trust."

Regulators deny quick approval  of new Great Lakes pipeline

Traverse City, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan regulatory panel on Tuesday refused to grant quick permission to run a new oil pipeline beneath a channel that connects two of the Great Lakes, deciding instead to conduct a full review.

Enbridge filed an application in April with the Michigan Public Service Commission to relocate a segment of its Line 5 that extends beneath the Straits of Mackinac, which links Lakes Huron and Michigan.

The Canadian energy transport company wants to replace dual pipelines that rest on the lake floor with a new pipe that would be placed in a 4-mile-long (6.4-kilometer-long) tunnel to be drilled in bedrock beneath the waterway.

Enbridge asked the state commission to approve the plan immediately, arguing that the agency in effect had already given permission by allowing the original Line 5 in 1953. But during an online meeting Tuesday, the panel disagreed on a 3-0 vote.

Members concluded that the proposed tunnel pipe "differs substantially" from the twin pipes that were laid 67 years ago, requiring a new easement and a 99-year lease of public trust property.

The project "involves important factual, policy and legal issues best resolved through a proceeding that includes discovery, comprehensive testimony and evidence to provide a robust record," the commission said in a statement. It scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 24.


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