MASON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan residents with conditions that could impede communication with law enforcement, such as deafness or autism, can now apply to have a designation associated with their information that comes up on officers’ computer systems during traffic stops.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson promoted the so-called communication impediment designation that took effect this month during a news conference Monday in Mason. She also discussed measures to allow residents more access to appointments at branch offices that should reduce backlogs by Labor Day.READ MORE: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
The designation wouldn’t appear on identification cards or documents, but it would appear on the Law Enforcement Information Network used by police to create safe and productive interactions.
Benson attributed the change largely to the efforts of community advocate Xavier DeGroat, whose own experience with police at a traffic stop spurred him to create better interactions between people with autism like himself and law enforcement.READ MORE: 2022 Ford Fireworks: City Of Detroit Provides Information On Closures, Restrictions, & Parking
“I am one of those individuals that has strived for justice for my own self being pulled over here about five years ago, being told by a police, ‘Hurry up, hurry up, get your insurance card,’” DeGroat said. “With the sirens going off, I didn’t know how to react properly to the officer.”
With DeGroat’s leadership, the Legislature passed two bills unanimously to create the designation.
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