Some police officers are furious that Detroit Mayor Dave Bing wants to nominate a convicted murderer to serve on a board that metes out discipline to cops and sets department policy, reports the Detroit News. Others argue Raphael B. Johnson, who served 12 years in prison for second-degree murder and is now a motivational speaker, is an inspiration and would be a good fit for the unpaid, four-member Board of Police Commissioners.
Deputy Mayor Saul Green said in a statement, “Raphael Johnson is an example of someone who has made the most of a second opportunity. He can play an important role in strengthening our connection to the community to better address public safety.” Johnson, 35, was convicted of murder as a teenager. Bing has said he wants to put Johnson on the panel, but has not formally submitted the nomination to the City Council. Some, including several officers who did not want to be quoted, fearing reprisal from the Mayor’s Office, say the nomination plan sends a bad message.