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Surprises from the Annals of Downplayed Incidents: Detroit.

By ROCHELLE RILEY [Detroit Free Press, 23 June 2010] – Otis Mathis should have resigned [his position as president of the Detroit public school board] when it was discovered that he was functionally illiterate. Murray should resign for actually saying out loud that fondling yourself in a business meeting could be anything but objectionable.

But more important, Detroiters have got to stop mistaking these types of sad men for leaders, stop giving our children the idea that these men represent what they should be.

If we want Detroit to be better, then its leadership must be better. That can’t happen if the conversation is about what you can get away with and not what we allow children to see and hear.

The board is trying to downplay the incident, claiming that it shouldn’t affect whether the board — or the mayor — will be in charge of schools.

Good luck with that.

Continued at the Detroit Free Press |

By BEN SCHMITT and JOE SWICKARD [Detroit Free Press, 8 August 2008] – While two veteran cops described Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as angry, cursing and assaultive as they tried to serve a subpoena last month, two mayoral bodyguards did not recall it that way.

detroitruinsIn fact, they told Michigan State Police they did not see the mayor shove one Wayne County officer into his partner on the front porch of the mayor’s sister’s house, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The bodyguards, members of Kilpatrick’s executive protection unit, did not write reports on the encounter, in which Kilpatrick is charged with two felony counts of assaulting police officers…

The police bodyguards — Officer Roberto Maldonado and Sgt. Jefferson Travis — downplayed the incident or said they couldn’t tell what happened, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the mayor’s pending criminal and political hearings.

One told State Police his view was blocked when Kilpatrick faced Brian White, a sheriff’s detective assigned to the Prosecutor’s Office. The other bodyguard told State Police there was no assault of White — just some heated words…

Last month, defense lawyer Jim Parkman said the July 24 incident, as described by White and his partner JoAnn Kinney to 36th District Judge Ronald Giles, was “totally impossible.”

The pair “can’t even get a simple story right,” Parkman said, adding there would be opportunities “to see what the other side of the story is.”

White and Kinney said they were at Ayanna Kilpatrick’s home on LaSalle Boulevard to serve a subpoena in the mayor’s perjury case on Bobby Ferguson, the mayor’s friend. They said the mayor shouted through the screen door and then rushed onto the porch, where he grabbed and shoved White.

White and Kinney said that they had identified themselves to one of the bodyguards, who escorted them to the house.

They said they immediately left as Kilpatrick shouted vulgarities at them and accused them of harassing his family. They also said the mayor berated Kinney, who is African American, for riding in a car with a man named White.

Continued at the Detroit Free Press | Detroit in Ruins | More Chronicle & Notices.


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