Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig called out city leaders nationwide for playing a large role in the crime waves rocking Washington, D.C. and elsewhere across the country, one day after a brazen shooting in the 14th Street nightlife district of the nation’s capital.
Craig, who retired in June and announced an exploratory committee for a Republican bid against Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022, told “The Story” that Washington, D.C., police chief Robert Contee sounded the right tone in response to the latest shooting there.
“I got to applaud the chief out of D.C. He’s saying what so many chiefs are saying around the country. Some are afraid to say it. It’s bigger than just him,” Craig said.
Contee said Friday he is “mad as hell” and hopes Washingtonians are too, adding that the scene of the shooting – one mile north of the White House – is not somewhere people should be feeling unsafe.
“The real issue is, we have a vicious cycle of bad actors that do things, no accountability and they end up back in communities,” he said, adding that the suspect is likely someone with a prior record known to MPD.
Craig said Contee was correct when he said politicians “cannot coddle criminals” and expect a positive outcome.
“It’s time a change – people need to be bold, o lead from the front. It’s not happening in D.C., it’s not happening in Chicago,” Craig said.
“Let’s stop the bleeding now,” he added.
“Short term what must we do? That criminal justice system is broken,” he said.
Craig argued that “malfeasance” by local and state leaders has a lot to do with the crime rise. He pointed to issues specifically in St. Louis, where, among several other controversies, the Democratic district attorney is under fire for appearing to relax penalties for criminals.
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“Proactive policing works,” added Craig. “We are in trouble unless something changes.”
Meanwhile, Philadelphia marked a grim milestone of 314 murders so far this year, boosting to the top of the list of the 10 largest US cities’ murder rate per capita. Progressive Democratic Mayor James Kenney recently wrote a letter to the city council saying he would “welcome additional state resources” to combat firearms trafficking there, according to WPVI.