Federal lawsuit accuses 4 Detroit McDonalds of using Project Green Light for false advertising

Posted at 10:32 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 23:16:43-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The green light is on, but Detroit police aren’t watching at 4 metro Detroit McDonalds.

The city is suing the owner for false advertising.

The McDonalds locations have all the signs that say they are a Green Light partner, but the city of Detroit says they’ve been kicked out of the program and are ignoring demands to take the signs down.

The McDonalds on 8 Mile at Woodward is one of the restaurants that police have sent cease and desist letters to.

As of right now those letters have gone unanswered.

The green light is supposed to signal that police are monitoring for anything criminal, but the city argues police haven’t been looking at the cameras for 2 years.

The 4 metro Detroit McDonalds at the center of a lawsuit leveled by the city of Detroit are:

  • The 10400 block of Gratiot at Knodell
  • The 14200 block of Gratiot at Seven Mile
  • The 9800 block of grand river at Livernois
  • And the 1300 block of west 8 Mile at Woodward.

All claim to be Project Green Light partners.

Under the Golden Arches of every single one of these locations are signs and the green beacon.

But a lawsuit filed in federal court by the city of Detroit claims that the signs mislead the public and undermines the city’s program because these restaurants aren’t part of the program anymore.

The agreement was terminated by the city in April for failing to maintain the camera equipment and lighting.

The cease and desist letters were sent in September.

We tried contacting the franchise owner listed as ECS Partnership. No answer.

The Green Light program was introduced in 2016 as a crime deterrent with officers monitoring the cameras in real time giving businesses priority on calls and increasing the chances for suspects to be caught.

The city says the signs are intentionally misleading and a trademark infringement.

Some customers are shocked by the allegations.

“It’s supposed to be connected right? Supposed to be connected so they can record things if something happens out here in front of the McDonalds. Because how things going on around here it’s crazy,” says Barbara Whitehead. “That’s like false advertising in the sense, right? False advertising because it’s up there flashing and it ain’t doing what it’s supposed to.”

This is the first time to our knowledge the city has taken legal action over the Green Light program, but it is city policy to not comment on ongoing litigation.