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Murder...and a Mayor?

Uh oh.

Nothing about the Tamara "Strawberry" Greene tragedy has ever sat right with most Detroiters I know: not then-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's impassioned denials that he threw a stripper party at the official mayoral residence — despite claims to the contrary from everyone from city cops to EMS techs; not the way state Attorney General (and then-friend of Kwame) Mike Cox so hastily dismissed the party rumor as "an urban legend" after a "thorough" five-week investigation in 2003, only to give it a "second look" five years later; not the way Kilpatrick fired a deputy police chief for investigating the party rumor and then made up a lie about his reasons after the fact; not the way Alvin Bowman, the veteran homicide detective investigating Greene's murder, was thrown off the case, demoted and then attacked by Kilpatrick's police chief appointee for his later contention that a police officer killed the exotic dancer; and definitely not the way the murder was strangely, unceremoniously hustled into the "cold case" files even while the probe into Greene's death was still hot.

(Even the sergeant who ran the cold case unit is alleging he was targeted for trying to solve the crime.)

And, sadly, there was more. Members of the mayor's own security team fled town, saying they feared for their lives as a result of political forces trying to squelch the rumors. Other officers said they were harassed and told to keep quiet about the party and the alleged attack on one of the strippers by an angry Carlita Kilpatrick. Medical files that purportedly showed a woman was treated for injuries resulting from that alleged attack went "missing." For years, taxpayers who pay the top police brass in this town to keep them safe and to level with them about the threats we face got nothing but foot dragging, curt denials and demotions of any officer professional, courageous and decent enough to even go near the case.

Now, we get this gem from Warren Evans, Mayor Dave Bing's newly appointed Detroit police chief, as he announced the task force:

"I'm not really comfortable why certain things didn't continue, why certain things stopped at the times they did," he said. "There may be valid reasons, but I can't see them."

I don't claim to know much about law enforcement, but when the chief of police and former Wayne County Sheriff says he's at a loss for any valid reason for why the case was (mis)handled like it was during Kilpatrick's tenure, I tend not to think of this as just another case of bureaucratic incompetence.

I hope this new joint task force finds out who killed this woman, who was 27 and a mother of three when she was shot down. And then, if the evidence proves a City Hall connection or cover up, I hope they find and jail every single person involved. Because if there are those who were or are in city government who helped hide any connection her death may have to the ex-mayor and his "rumored" party, they too have Tamara Greene's blood on their hands.

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