• Chiefs Godbee and Evans, Mayor Kilpatrick had affairs with women who oversaw police misconduct
• At least 50 police killings, rapes, frame-ups from 1999-2012, most during federal “consent decree” oversight,
DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced the retirement of Police Chief Ralph Godbee Oct. 8, amid allegations that Godbee had an affair with a subordinate, Officer Angelica Robinson. He had promoted her to the Internal Affairs division of the Detroit Police Department, which investigates allegations of police misconduct.
Bing said he regretted Godbee’s departure.
“I got to know Chief Godbee quite well with his tenure, and respected him as a leader, who was also well respected in the community and in the Police Department,” Bing said.
Earlier, Godbee and his predecessor Warren Evans each admitted to affairs with Detroit Police Lt. Monique Patterson, who was the DPD liaison to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ has overseen the DPD regarding police misconduct since 2001, after DPD ranked highest in the U.S. for the number of killings by police per capita.
Patterson’s counterpart in the DOJ, Sheryl Robinson, a contractor with Kroll International, was fired in 2009 after her affair with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was exposed. She had led the federal oversight of DPD for six years.
Question of criminal liability for dereliction of duty
Media reports have not focused on the individuals’ possibly criminal dereliction of duty, but instead on the “sex scandal” aspect. Not one Detroit officer has been charged with murder during federal oversight, although at least 50 people, including 7-year-0ld Aiyana Stanley-Jones, have died at the hands of Detroit police since 1999.
Dennis Crawford was shot to death by Detroit police officers Barron Townsend and Laron York in 2004. Townsend was later involved in the killing of Tommie Staples, Jr. the father of five, in 2007. The officers were never charged in either death.
“I thank you for reminding others of these senseless crimes at the hands of our very own police force, ‘Detroit’s Finest,’” the mother of Crawford’s son commented. “Dennis was shot 15 times and he had no weapon at all. My son, who is now 20, has continued to suffer from the loss of his father through adulthood. As a mother, it’s very hard to keep my son from becoming a product of his environment. I fear that the judicial system does not analyze or own up to its contributions to the behavior patterns and emotional guilt of children who have lost parents (or loved ones) at the hands of those who have taken an oath to serve and protect.” http://voiceofdetroit.net/2010/10/25/ella-bully-cummings-killer-cop-chief/
Godbee held top roles in the DPD under three mayors and four police chiefs.
He headed former Mayor Dennis Archer’s Executive Protection Unit from 1995-1999.
Officer Eugene Brown served on that unit. An internal police review of his killings of Rodrick Carrington, Lamar Grable, and Darren Miller in 1995, 1996, and 1999 recommended that he face criminal charges. Then Police chief Benny Napoleon ditched the report until the Michigan Supreme Court ordered its partial disclosure. Brown was promoted to sergeant and has never been charged. http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2011/05/detroit_police_department_seek.html
Godbee was later Commander of the Ninth Precinct, Commanding Officer of the DPD Risk and Policy Management Division, and Commander of the Eastern Operations Unit. He was appointed assistant chief in 2007.
He is best-known as the face of the DPD after Detroit Officer Joseph Weekley and a military-style “Special Response Team” raided the home of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in May, 2010 and shot her to death in front of her grandmother, father, aunt, and little brothers and cousins. http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_9272.shtml
The little girl’s family asked police officials at least to come to their home to issue an apology, but neither Godbee, who was acting chief at the time, Chief Warren Evans, or Mayor Dave Bing ever did so.
Just prior to the child’s killing, Detroit police officer Brian Huff was shot to death inside what then Police Commission Chair Mohamed Okdie said was commonly known to be a drug house operated by the police.http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/03/04/more-brutality-and-corruption-likely-under-police-chief-ralph-godbee-said-former-police-commission-chair/
While two police chiefs and a mayor bedded those responsible for oversight of police conduct, the following has occurred during DOJ oversight:
Jan. 1, 2001: Jerome Knox, 30 shot to death with one hollow-point bullet in the back, by Officer Arthur Leavell. His mother won a $2 million court settlement.
Jan. 2001: Chief Benny Napoleon clears three-time killer cop Eugene Brown. The family of his victims Lamar Grable and Darren Miller, won $6 million after a jury verdict, and $3.5 million in a settlement, respectively.
2001: Casino patron Willie Hamilton brutally beaten by Officer Thomas Donahoe, sued five times previously for brutality. Donahoe acquitted.
2001: Officer David Krupinski acquitted for shooting Errol Shaw, Sr. to death. Shaw was deaf and could not hear police orders to drop the rake he held in Aug. 2000.
Oct. 1, 2001: Mark Boyce shot twice in the back to death, by Sgt. Kevin Kemp, a 25-year veteran, outside a west-side bar. Both had been inside the bar drinking. Boyce’s weapon was never found. Witnesses said Boyce was running from Kemp when he was shot. Atty. Geoffrey Fieger later won a $1.425 million court settlement in the case. Kemp retired without charges.
Oct. 5, 2001: 19-year-0ld Talayna Carpenter shot in the head and blinded in one eye by Detroit Police Officer Terrance Watson as she waited in her family’s van for her younger brothers. Watson was charged and acquitted.
Nov. 14, 20o2: Victor Gonzalez severely beaten in the head by Officer Robert Feld, who had been sued at least five times in previous brutality cases, including the beating of Cornell Squires in 1998 and his father’s subsequent fatal heart attack. Feld finally charged, allowed to retire.
June, 2003: Terms of DOJ oversight of the DPD finalized in two consent agreements, after a two-year review.
Feb. 2004: Eight cops from the Third and Fourth Precincts, including William Melendez as ring-leader, tried by the U.S. for assaults and frame-ups, including one near-lynching. They were acquitted.
2004: Six killings by police, with 15 non-fatal shootings. Killings stepped up after the acquittal of Melendez and the other officers.
Jan. 2005: unarmed motorist shot to death by police as he waited with his stalled vehicle. Witnesses said the shooting was unprovoked.
Feb. 2, 2005: Wilbert Burks, 39, killed by police during a domestic violence call. “It was overkill,” a neighbor said. “They had over 28 shots and he never shot off a round.”
Feb. 12, 2005: Allante Lightfoote-Powell, 16, killed by cops in the basement closet of a vacant house after allegedly robbing a Foot Locker store.
Feb. 12, 2005: unnamed youth, 16-20, shot to death by cops in an alleged shoot-out next to a home with young children
Feb. 2o05: Two men wounded by police in other alleged shootouts.
July 3, 2005: Anthony Scott, 25, shot to death in his car by police who claimed he had a knife. Others in the car said he did not reach for it.
Aug. 7, 2005: James A. “Poppa” Stone died in custody at the Second Precinct after pleading to go to the hospital for three days. His grandson, also jailed there, had an asthma attack screaming for help for his grandfather. He was not taken to the hospital either.
Feb. 1, 2006: Rosetta C. Williams, killed by Kevin Collins at church. after police failed to arrest Collins earlier for assaults on Williams’ daughter.
Jan. 2006 through June 2006: Detroit officers Michael Parish and Michael Osman rape dozens of Black men, conducting illegal anal cavity searches for drugs on the streets. Four judges dropped trumped-up charges against the victims, including Byron Ogletree, who faced 38 years in prison and testified at City Council along with others. Neither cop charged; Osman promoted.
Oct. 3, 2006: Inspection by federal monitor’s office shows that only 15 percent of Detroit police car videotapes are functional.
Nov. 26, 2006: Brandon Martell Moore, 16, unarmed, shot to death in the back by off duty police officer and previous two-time killer Eugene Williams, moonlighting as security guard.
Nov. 26, 2006: Unidentified young man shot to death in a hail of gunfire by police after a store robbery.
Feb. 12, 2007: Artrell Dickerson, 18, shot in the back and killed by officer Kata-Ante Taylor after a friend’s funeral. Eyewitnesses said Taylor “stood over him and executed him. There was no gun nowhere near him.”
May 1, 2007: Detroit and Detroit Public Schools police attack protest against school closings, including students as young as fourth-graders. The students were pepper-sprayed, beaten, dragged by the hair across the street, and falsely charged.
July 7, 2007: Jevon Royall, 30, unarmed, shot to death outside his home in front of his family by police officers Edward Brannick and Michael McGinnis.
Sept. 2007: Davontae Sanford, 14, charged in the deaths of four people in a drug house after police solicit a confession without his mother or lawyer present. Hit man Vincent Smothers confessed to the killings, said Sanford not involved. Sanford is still in prison.
June, 2008: Tommy Staples, Jr., shot to death by Detroit police officers Barron Townsend and Steven Kopp (Townsend also involved in Dennis Crawford’s death in 2004). Staples’ family said police targeted him due to his monitoring of police stops of neighborhood youths. They won a $2.5 million settlement.
July 1, 2008: Shelton Bell, Jr., 16, shot to death by off duty cop as he fled attempted robbery. Shot ten times, including three times in the back.
July 14, 2008: Police killed an unidentified man they claim pointed a gun.
July 18, 2008: 35-year-old Robert Hill, shot to death after police rammed the bicycle he took to his niece’s home to defend her from domestic violence.
Nov. 4, 2008: Detroit police never investigated the deaths of Detroiters James Willingham and Jeffrey Frazier, after a high-speed state trooper chase, with no police car lights or siren on. Detroit police were on the scene.
Aug. 13, 2009: Detroit police chase ends in car explosion, death of woman driver.
Oct. 28, 2009: Imam Luqman Abdullah, leader of a mosque in the poor Black community, shot 21 times to death in a raid coordinated by a joint task force of federal agents, Detroit and Dearborn cops. No charges ever brought.
Nov. 19, 2009: DeJuan Hodges-Lamar, a college student, beaten by Officer Nevin Hughes and other Gang Squad members. Hughes had been sued eight times previously, costing taxpayers $677,000. Federal civil court trial on this incident
ongoing. Between July 2006 and June 2009, the city spent $19.1 million settling police misconduct cases. http://www.ethicsinpolicing.com/article.asp?id=6273
May 16, 2010: Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, shot to death by Detroit officer Joseph Weekley Jr. Officer Kata-Ante Taylor, killer of Artrell Dickerson in 2007, ran her body out of the house before her family could see or hold her as she died. Weekley charged with involuntary manslaughter while police pursuecharges of first-degree murder against her father and uncle in separate incident.
May 21, 2010: Damion Gayles, 20, shot in the throat by state troopers blocks from Aiyana’s home. Witnesses said the shooting was unprovoked. No Detroit police investigation.
June 17, 2010: Lyvonne Cargill and her family brutalized and shot at by police while cleaning up after a memorial birthday party for her son Je’rean Blake, killed in the incident police claimed led to the raid on the Jones house.
July 4, 2010: DeMarlo Hobbs, 31, shot to death riding a bicycle. Police claimed he had fired at a house the day before.
July, 2010: Unidentified robbery suspect, allegedly with gun, shot to death.
Sept. 2010: Police shoot man to death during manhunt for shooter of two high school students, then say he may not have been involved.
Sept. 17, 2010: Police kill 22-year-old-man, an alleged carjacking suspect, as he ran away, in a volley of gunfire.
Aug. 2011: Robert Coffee, 16, shot to death by retired cop fleeing the scene of a robbery. Coffee was shot 8 times. A gunshot wound to the back, which penetrated his lungs and heart, was likely the fatal shot.
March 23, 2012: Ian May, 18, shot to death, in the back of the head, by retired officer Lamar Nowell, fleeing the scene of an “inside job” store robbery.
June 15, 2012: Police in riot gear raid home of Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ grandmother Mertilla Jones, hitting her and her 14-year-old grandson and calling them racist and sexist names. A pre-trial hearing for Aiyana’s killer Officer Weekley was held earlier that day.