Wayne County assistant prosecutor resigns after ‘shoot em’ remarks about protesters


By Steve Neavling/MCM
By Steve Neavling/MCM

A Wayne County assistant prosecutor resigned today after coming under heavy criticism for a social media post that suggested police should shoot Baltimore protesters who were tussling with police.

Assistant Prosecutor Teana Walsh’s resignation comes just hours after her boss, Prosecutor Kym Worthy, defended her and said the remarks were “completely out of character for her and certainly do not reflect the person that we know.”

News of the Facebook post prompted widespread calls for her to resign, and at least one group said her “dangerous and irresponsible” comments warrant an investigation into her handling of criminal cases.

“For a county prosecutor to call for the summary execution of disenfranchised and angered citizens shows she has little regard for justice or due process,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, a watchdog and advocacy organization. “Kym Worthy must conduct a thorough review of Walsh’s conduct as an assistant prosecutor and should lead a discussion on the issues of police violence in Detroit.”

Walsh, who disabled her Facebook account, notified the county today of her resignation.

“This afternoon Assistant Prosecutor Teana Walsh called Prosecutor Kym Worthy to announce that she is voluntarily resigning her position with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.  Prosecutor Worthy has accepted her resignation,” Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said.

A press release from the prosecutor’s office added: “During her tenure in the office, Teana Walsh has been known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families. Her post was up on line briefly and she immediately took it down.”

Progress Michigan applauded the resignation but said the tough work isn’t done yet.

“We think it was appropriate for Teana Walsh to offer her resignation. Her comments are a perfect example of the mentality that has to be purged from the criminal justice system as a whole,” Scott said. “At the same time, we still believe that Prosecutor Kym Worthy should use this incident as an opportunity to lead a conversation about how law enforcement must be used as a tool for — not against — the people of this state. We urge Kym Worthy to take proactive steps to ensure that Wayne County citizens do not lose trust in the criminal justice system and to repair the bridges of accountability that have been broken.”

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.

  • falseprophet

    What was wrong with her statement. If a person is going to damage your persona property, business or person, shoot them first before they can inflict the damage on you or your property. Spineless sissy’s we are becoming. Hey rioters just come over here and destroy with no consequences. What a joke society is becoming. Don’t harm the looter, try to feel from his point of view.

    • Gregory Watson

      Very well-said, falseprophet.

  • maggiemay

    People get fed up and react, but she should have known better to use social media to voice her frustration.

  • baruchzed

    Her history on the job should be investigated and she should be barred from public office for life.

    • maggiemay

      Why? She just made the mistake of going public with what a majority of people are feeling.

    • javierjuanmanuel

      Maybe, but you must realize it was just words. She did not even aim a gun at anyone.

      Who else is banned from public work, pretty much every public union job you can do anything, not get fired. If you somehow manage to get fired, you still get a pension and health care worth about 3 million bucks.

  • bebow

    Wildly speculating, let’s say you were unable to resolve ambivalent feelings about continuing work in a particular position, whipping back and forth between staying the course and starting anew. Dissatisfaction with the known vs. Fear of the unknown. On and on. No clear answers. Your system might eventually intervene to settle the internal conflict by forcing you to let go of the outgrown situation you have loved with an action that slams the door shut. Problem solved.

    • Please, write a book. There’s a beautiful cadence to your prose.

      • bebow

        Thank you, GP.

  • Bruce Channell

    A prime example of what you say or write in social media coming back to haunt you!This person needed to be above reproach due to the job she had.If she had a job as anything but an ADA or in law enforcement she would have been able to say and do anything within reason and this wouldn’t be an issue.Had she decided not to resign there would have been an outcry for her job,and rightfully so!She took the high road,did the right thing,and resigned.