Ex-Deputy Chief to DPD: Release public info!

police departmentWhen Detroit police sent out an urgent media message early this morning about two missing sisters, ages 10 and 12, we were not among those notified.

Detroit police removed us from their media list recently because a public relations official, Sgt. Michael Woody, declared we had “disdain” for his department, which is far from the truth. Police have declined our requests to be returned to the list, which means we cannot access daily public records on missing children, fugitives and violent crimes – the kind of information that is critical to a safe community. 

“Sergeant Woody’s response is capricious, arbitrary and contrary to the law,” Jamie Fields, an attorney and retired deputy chief of DPD, wrote to new police Chief James Craig, who also has ignored our requests. “United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart stated, ‘Restraint of the press reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.'”

Read the full letter. 

Fields, a former candidate for Detroit Police Commission, is a strong advocate for transparency, civil rights and police reform.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.