Detroit Top Cops Asked For Mayoral Campaign Cash


Detroit police commanders were summoned to a mandatory meeting this week at which two deputy chiefs asked them to purchase $300 tickets for a re-election fund-raiser for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, reports the Detroit Free Press. Union officials called the request out of line and coercive. Commanders from each of Detroit’s 13 police precincts also were asked to sell one ticket each to their subordinate police inspectors, said Inspector Laura Isom, president of the Detroit Police Command Officers Association. “They were all put in an awkward situation, and they shouldn’t have to feel that way,” Isom said. “If you’re my boss and you order me to a meeting like this, that’s coercion to me.”

Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said commanders were told their participation was voluntary. Isom had been seeking written assurances from the chief that commanders weren’t being required to support the mayor’s re-election effort. “I don’t think the chief addresses the issue. I disagree with her. I think they were coerced,” Isom said. She said the meeting may have violated a state law which prohibits an elected official from coercing or attempting to coerce a public employee to pay or contribute anything of value to the person seeking office. One inspector attended the meeting and said he did not feel pressured to purchase the ticket. “Nothing was mandatory,” he said. “When they call a meeting, I go. No gun was held to my head.” Last month, Kilpatrick told the Free Press editorial board “we’ve never asked anyone to buy tickets.”


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