Judge gives Detroit Police Department the finger


Which, of course, is yet another reason why the upcoming Detroit City Council election is so critical. So much mess to deal with, so little time, so few qualified hands on deck.

Those who have been following Detroit closely enough for awhile know the city’s police department has been squirming under the weight of a federal consent decree since 2003. And those who have been paying attention could not have helped but notice that pre-decree DPD and post-decree DPD doesn’t seem to be all that different.  Maybe the view is rosier from the inside.

Of course, the purpose of a police department getting slammed with a federal consent decree is to let that police department know they’ve been screwing up in a major fashion for far too long and that they had best get their act together with a quickness.

Yeah, well.

As a recent Free Press story points out, that isn’t exactly what’s been happening for the past six years. Which is why U.S. District Judge Julian Cook has finally gotten so pissed off that he’s holding a hearing on the whole mess this Friday – and he’s inviting the press. So when was the last time anyone ever heard of a judge (besides Judge Judy) specifically saying he/she wanted the media in the courtroom? As a retired journalist with more than 20 years in the biz, one thing I did learn throughout my stint in the trenches was that we were rarely the guests of choice at most public events involving public corruption and scandal.

So when a judge throws open the doors and tells the local media to please cover this, then you know something is definitely up. And the sad/sick thing about it all is that there are a good number of really good cops in this city who have been trying their damnedest for as long as they can to hang in as best they can. They hung in through Clown Prince Kilpatrick, then were briefly elated in May when one of their most highly respected brethren was elevated to chief (Chief James Barren), only to see Barren canned by the newest new Detroit mayoral administration #3 out of a possible 4 administrations in one year thanks to the Clown Prince.

And now we suddenly have former Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans who replaced Barren for reasons nobody can apparently understand unless it was just because Barren was appointed by that other guy, Mayor #2 Cockrel who took over the reins after Kilpatrick went to jail. Of course Bing originally promised he was going to keep Barren when he was elected a couple months ago – and even now says Barren didn’t do anything wrong – but hey. Whatever, man. Whatever.

So you have officers who are trying their best without a whole hell of a lot of incentive to do so, who briefly had reason to hope things were going to get better but are now pissed off all over again, and then you have the deadweight idiots fucking up the game for everybody. Then  you have that massive, rubbery cloud hanging over them all, threatening to spill all the stench from DPD years past reaching way back before all this crap that led to the consent decree. Back when a white cop could crack a brother’s skull on his way home to the wife and kids and not even worry about it. An attitude which, of course, led to the ’67 riots. Or Rebellion. Whatever your phrase of choice.

Past as prologue, or some such.

And on it goes in our city as we continue to search for forward gear…

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux


~ by Keith A. Owens on July 14, 2009.

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