Judge Strikes Down Dearborn Law Banning Non-Residents at 2 Parks
A judge on Tuesday struck down an ordinance barring non-residents from two parks in Dearborn, but upheld the ordinance at 35 other parks in the Detroit suburb.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Marvin Stempien said the Dearborn ordinance was illegal in the case of two parks developed with state funds because the law stipulates that they be open to the public.
Stempien said he would rule Monday on two constitutional challenges, one contending that the ordinance was racially motivated and the other that it would result in blacks being illegally searched and detained in the parks.
Dearborn, on Detroit’s southwest border, is home to Ford Motor Co. and a mix of mainly European and Arab ethnic groups, with fewer than 100 black residents, latest census figures show. Detroit’s population of 1.2 million is 63% black.
Dearborn voters approved the ordinance banning non-residents from 37 of the city’s 40 parks last fall. The three parks not covered by the ordinance are in or near the downtown, away from residential areas.
The ordinance was challenged by the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People and by the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.