Ash Daniels, senior organizer of the Care Not Criminalization campaign with Michigan Liberation, addresses a crowd of about 30 at a rally Saturday.

Activists call for mental health crisis unit in wake of deadly Detroit police shooting

Detroit – Local activists are calling for the creation of an independent mental health crisis response team following the fatal police shooting of Porter Burks just over a month ago.

About 30 people attended Saturday’s rally at the Adams Butzel Recreation Center despite snow, sleet and 35-degree temperatures.

It was organized by the Detroit Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm, community organizing groups like We the People MI Action Fund, Michigan Liberation, and Accountability for Dearborn, a group that demands transparency and eventually the Dearborn Police Divestment.

Ash Daniels, lead organizer for Michigan Liberation’s Care Not Criminalization campaign, said the state lacks adequate mental health facilities to provide care to those in need, and that black and brown communities are disproportionately affected by the lack of resources, she said.

“We need facilities where people can go and numbers outside of the police when people are in crisis,” Daniels said. “When the police show up in uniform, the person in crisis usually tends to become more aggressive. And as we’ve seen over the past month, the results don’t bode well.”

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