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Detroit Chief Says City Hasn’t Had Riots Because His Cops Don’t Retreat

Detroit, MI – Detroit Police Chief James Craig on Tuesday said his city hadn’t been plagued by the same riots that have left other major cities in ruins because his police department doesn’t retreat.

Chief Craig told FOX News that he had learned his lesson during his time on the Los Angeles Police Department and referenced the Rodney King riots.

“We don’t retreat here in Detroit,” the police chief told Tucker Carlson on July 28. “We’re just not gonna do it.”

“You saw the images … of streets where there was lawlessness, looting, burning,” he said. “No sign of police officers. We weren’t giving up ground to the radicals. We just didn’t do it.”

“I saw what it was like after Rodney King in Los Angeles,” Chief Craig explained.

“And so, but not only that, Detroiters,” he continued. “Detroiters are fed up with these radical protests. I’m not to talking about these peaceful protests … [I mean] these misguided radicals that have tried to incite violence in our city.”

“They said, ‘We’re not going to put up with it.’ And so we got a couple of things. We got a great police department, great leadership, but we have a community that stands with us and said, ‘enough is enough,” the chief bragged to FOX News.

Then he cited a recent example of how having a unified city helped keep the peace recently after a potentially-controversial officer-involved shooting.

The incident started at around 12:30 p.m. on July 10 as Detroit police gang officers were conducting surveillance in the area of San Juan and McNichols.

The officers were investigating suspects believed to be connected to murders which occurred Fourth of July weekend, according to Detroit Free Press.

The officers observed Darnell Sylvester sitting in a vehicle, and they determined that he had an outstanding federal drug warrant.

While officers were arresting the fugitive, Hakim Littleton arrived on scene.

Bodycam video shows Littleton reached in his pocket and pulled out his gun.

Chief Craig said that a witness heard Littleton say that he wasn’t going to let police take Sylvester.

“[The suspect] then removed a blue-steel, .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol and began to fire several rounds at the officers over the shoulder,” the chief told reporters at the time.

The video shows Littleton fired two shots directly at the head of an officer standing only a few feet away.

Both shots missed, and Chief Craig said that the officer immediately attempted to tackle Littleton.

“Despite being fired upon — and you saw it with your own eyes — he continued to advance,” Chief Craig said. “He doesn’t even have time to take out his weapon. He wanted to serve, putting his own life in jeopardy.”

The officers then returned fire and shot the suspect.

Littleton was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Sylvester was arrested and no officers were injured.

Chief Craig said he put the video out almost immediately to quell unrest in the community after a “self-proclaimed, misinformed, misguided leader of this radical fringe had the audacity to try to change the narrative.”

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan commended the police chief’s quick release of the video which calmed the outraged community and helped avoid violent riots, FOX News reported.

“And this guy today, this same misinformed leader, is calling for my resignation,” Chief Craig ranted. “Detroiters will have nothing of that.”

“So when you talk about what’s different here, we have a city that has stood together and oh, by the way, I know there’s a lot of conversation about the mayors in some of these big cities,” the chief said. “Our mayor stands with this police chief, stands with this police department [and] we are not going to tolerate this uptick in violence. That’s key.”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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