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