One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

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.

  • Print
  • Comment
Comments (10)
Post a Comment »
  • 1

    As heinous as the reality of the Kilpatrick reign was, you have to admit it's provided first rate entertainment.

  • 3

    I find it more laugh-worthy that this is the best, most timely story someone paid to be a journalist in a city so rich with news could come up with.

    I'm not the only one, either. The folks over at the Boggs Blog (folks who have been writing about the city for some time, it seems) have written some open letters to y'all (okay not the specific Eastside of Detroit-based y'all, the Royal Y'all). I know if someone wrote this to me (The Royal Me), I'd want to read it, and hopefully y'all will too.

    (nope, I'm not affiliated with the boggs center at all, but y'know, this makes me want to make some time in my schedule to get over there.)

    • 3.2

      You're nuts. This could develop into a huge story. It's already important in that it made apparent so many of the goings on in city government. Stuff like this is what needs to be cleaned up before the city can start going anywhere - so many money games, so much waste. And obviously the AG Cox investigation isn't considered satisfactory.

      I can't wait until the grand jury lowers the boom on some major players.

  • 4

    IMO this subject is not "laugh worthy", but Mr. Kilpatrick obviously thought so. He stole the city's money and now is "paying" it back at the rate of, what is it.....$6.00 a month? Nice. (and call me crazy, but I doubt Tamara Green's family and friends think re-opening the case is funny either).

    • 4.1

      KK's restitution is $6,000.00 per month and the Tamara Greene issue, still separate from KK's case since no definitive connection has been made yet, has never been closed. Unsolved homicide cases are never closed and there is no statute of limitations for murder.

  • 5

    The extent the story will be followed will be determined by how courageous the leaders of this state will be in not protecting it's own.
    There is no question in the conversations that Detroiters have that the party took place. The question is what top players were in attendance at the party? The guest list will include city, suburbs, state, political, law enforcement, and entertainment personalities.
    My guess is they are not that courageous. They protect their own.

  • 6

    This was a story that everyone knew had merit, but the fear that surrounded anyone that could fell into that category of "truth is stranger than fiction." We all want to see justice for Greene and her family, but it was going to take the unraveling of a twisted governement for it to begin to happen. Maybe now we'll all learn the truth.

  • 7

    [...] since we all love unfinished mysteries, I want all my fellow Lions football fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.