Detroit Mayor Tells Reasons for Police Chief's Resignation

Chief Evans, right, stands by as Trent Brown of the Special Response Team questions suspects in 2009. (WDIV photo)

DETROIT - For the first time since Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans was forced to resign Wednesday, Mayor Dave Bing has opened up about what led him to make that decision.

"All of those things: the teaser, A&E and there were personnel issues…but I won't get into that. It was a combination of a lot of different things and it wasn't easy because he was my choice," said Bing.

Bing is referring to promotional video that was shot called "The Chief." The video includes footage of Evans touting his commitment to clean up the city and posing with an assault rifle outside a vacant city train station, patrolling and making arrests.

I was blindsided by it. I knew nothing about it. I didn’t want our city depicted like that. We get enough of that from national media. I didn't want anybody that worked this administration to project an image of our city like that.

In a comment posted on his Facebook page, Evans said he didn't understand the problem with a video promoting a reality show in which he would star.

"I don't get the big fuss! It's a producers product," he said in the post. "If the City doesn't like it there won't be a series Period! Does someone want to believe the streets aren't like that? LOL"

Bing had banned reality TV cameras from following officers after a 7-year-old girl was killed during a police raid in May, though the promotional video appears to have been shot over the winter.

In the botched May raid, a special response team was searching for a man wanted in an earlier killing. It was documented by a camera crew for A&E's reality television show "The First 48."

Bing didn't know Evans had approved a contract with the show, which had followed Detroit police and homicide investigators for several months.

Geoffrey Fieger is representing the family of Aiyana Jones, the 7-year-old girl accidentally in the raid.

Feiger said Evans’ resignation comes a week after he and the Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy sat down to discuss the Aiyana Jones case.

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"Not a factor for me right now. There is still an investigation and there's no final decision on that. Geoffrey Fieger is doing what Geoffrey Fieger does: he is about making money," said Bing.

The third thing that Bing referred to was personnel issues.

Evans has been in romantic relationship with police Lt. Monique Patterson, which he recently promoted.

"We had some issues that didn’t get corrected. I am not sure from a morale standpoint that things were going to change for the better, so I had to make a decision for the department, not for Warren Evans," said Bing.

Evans' relationship with Patterson was common knowledge – his Facebook profile picture shows him with the lieutenant -- and there is no internal police policy prohibiting such relationships.

"It's a shame when its problematic for two single adults to date," Evans said in a response to a comment posted on his Facebook page. "Shame on me for not hiding it! Or being married with a girlfriend on the job like so many others."

Bing and deputy Mayor Saul Green held a news conference Wednesday to announce that Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee was going to become the interim chief.

He had declined to elaborate on his reasons for firing the chief on Wednesday, but gave some answers during an unrelated news conference Thursday.

"It will blow over. He had to make a decision and he did. Some people agree and some people disagree, but the mayor was elected to run the city and make those kinds of calls," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

Bing appointed Evans to the post last July to replace James Barren, who was fired after less than a year on the job. At the time, Evans was the city's third police chief in less than a year.

Bing lured Evans to Detroit police in early July 2009 from his longtime post as Wayne County sheriff. Evans was tasked with finding ways to reduce crime in Detroit and to bring the city more into compliance with federal consent decrees related to police use of force and treatment of prisoners.

Under Evans, the police department used data and reports to target high crime areas. Drug seizures have been up, while the number homicides is down year over year.


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