Poplin: Did justice prevail 
in Aura Rosser case?

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Do you trust politicians? The media? Law enforcement?

Your likely answer is “None of the above.” It seems that no one trusts anyone these days. We assume elected officials will say anything to get elected, the media will slant everything toward ratings and policemen will do whatever it takes to never have to say “I’m sorry.”

In this issue, we specifically ponder what society expects, and has come not to expect, of those hired to “protect and serve.” When Aura Rosser, a black woman, was shot and killed by a white Ann Arbor policeman in November, was justice served?

The same question is being asked in communities around the country where black citizens have been killed by white law enforcement. The local case has been less incendiary than the one in, say, Ferguson, Mo. — there’s been no violence associated with the decision not to indict the Ann Arbor policeman involved — but make no mistake about it, the shooting of Rosser has been a furious topic in many local circles.

The author of our story, Michael David Marshall, is the son of a lifelong Detroit policeman. But he’s also a young black man, and much of the violence that’s in the news these days has been perpetrated on people who look just like him. We think he’s done a wonderful job involving the community in this local story, with an eye toward the parallel national debate.

We say he’s been evenhanded in his coverage, but that decision, ultimately, is up to you. Let us know how he/we did. But more importantly, let us know how Ann Arbor has done in the aftermath of Rosser’s shooting.

The author, Kyle Poplin, wonders whether Ann Arbor’s reputation of liberalism and acceptance has made it take a few things for granted. What do you think? Share your take on the shooting of Aura Rosser.

Kyle Poplin

Kyle Poplin is co-founder and editor of The Ann magazine.


  1. Avatar

    Wo Od

    March 1, 2015 at 1:15 am

    The situation was sad. I won’t say she died in vain. But what might would ease some pain would be for Reid not to be reinstated with any law enforcement agency anywhere because of a number of reasons. 1) he proved himself as to be more of a coward before a man with honor. 2) what if a similar situation happens again. Chances are he’ll freeze up. No good sissy!!! Detroit officers go thru facing weapons far more than Klan Arbor, but not one officer has been accused for shooting a woman with a knife, sissies!

  2. Avatar

    Alan Haber

    March 1, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    i’m glad you ran this. The friend of Aura who spoke of coerced testimony, is not the only one.

    The writer should have at least noticed the central demand of opposition to the prosecutor report…that has done the dissatisfaction of which he spoke: Conduct an independent investigation of the killing of Aura Rosser, civilian oversight of the police now, on this case. The police cannot investigate themselves in a situation like this.

    • Avatar

      Michael David Marshall

      March 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      I felt Wo Od did a better job of explaining it than I could and that it would mean more coming from him. I definitely think civilian oversight is a salient part of the issue. I and readers of the article would like to know more about it.

      Do you have a link to any written proposals explaining what exactly it would entail or how it would be implemented? Or are you familiar with another city or government that has an organization such as what you’re referring to?