Friday, July 23, 2010

Mayor Bing Appoints Convicted Murderer To Board of Police Commissioners

In a surprising move, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has appointed Raphael Johnson, a convicted murderer, to the Board of Police Commissioners. The announcement of the appointment comes at a time when the Detroit Police Department (DPD) is still reeling from the abrupt firing of ex-DPD Chief Warren Evans.

Although published reports of the circumstances surrounding Evans' ouster are still developing, the most consistent accounts of his firing have been linked to poor morale amongst the rank-and-file caused by the following: a rumored relationship with a subordinate, allegations of a hostile work environment for at least one officer who gossiped about the relationship, the production of a controversial trailer for a reality TV show, and the death of a seven year-old girl by a SWAT officer during a raid.

If the morale of the DPD was poor under Evans, what is it going to be like if Detroit's City Council approves the appointment of Johnson to the Board of Police Commissioners? My opinion is that it is going to be the equivalent of a slap in the collective face of the department.

The Board of Police Commissioners is a civilian oversight panel consisting of five members who, by the city's Charter, are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council to perform an array of duties:

  • Review, evaluation and establishment of Police Department policies, rules and regulations
  • Review and approve Police Department budget
  • Act as final authority in imposing and reviewing discipline of employees of the Department
  • Prepare an Annual Report of Police Department activities, including the handling of crime, complaints and of future plans
  • Review and approve Police Department promotions


This appointment is a farce. Join me in opposing Johnson's appointment to the Police Commission by contacting members of the Detroit City Council and tell them to vote down this assignment.

Detroit City Council member contact info is listed as the following:

Council President Charles Pugh
313.224.4510 (office)
313.224.0230 (fax)
CouncilPresidentPugh@detroitmi.gov

Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown
(313) 224-2450
CouncilMemberBrown@detroitmi.gov

Council Member Saunteel Jenkins
(313) 224-4248 (office)
(313) 224-1787 (fax)
councilmemberjenkins@detroitmi.gov

COUNCIL MEMBER KENNETH V. COCKREL, JR
(313) 224-4505 (office)
(313) 224-0367 (fax)
CockrelK@kcockrel.ci.detroit.mi.us

COUNCIL MEMBER BRENDA JONES
(313) 224-1245 (office)
(313) 224-4095 (fax)
bjones_mb@cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us

COUNCIL MEMBER ANDRÉ L. SPIVEY
(313) 224-4841;(office)
(313) 224-0369 (fax)
CouncilmanSpivey@detroitmi.gov

COUNCIL MEMBER JAMES TATE
(313) 224-1027 (office)
(313) 224-0372 (fax)
councilmembertate@detroitmi.gov

COUNCIL MEMBER KWAME KENYATTA
(313) 224-1198 (office)
(313) 224-1684 (fax)
K-Kenyatta_MB@detroitmi.gov

COUNCIL MEMBER JOANN WATSON
(313) 224-4535 (office)
(313) 224-1524 (fax)
WatsonJ@cncl.ci.detroit.mi.us
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