Cop who bragged about assaulting Detroiters retired to avoid internal probe

The Detroit cop who called Detroiters “garbage” and bragged about assaulting children retired this week to avoid an investigation into his social media comments, Police Chief James Craig announced Thursday afternoon.

Officer Daniel Wolff’s comments on Facebook were first reported by Motor City Muckraker on Jan. 3, prompting an internal investigation that Craig said likely would have led to the cop’s termination.

In a letter announcing his retirement Wednesday, Wolff claimed there was a “tragic misunderstanding” about his statements, which he made while out on disability.

In one Facebook post, Wolff complained that “you can’t walk up to a kid or asshole and smack him in the face like we did” because of the widespread use of cell phone cameras. He also said the city he serves is “just a nasty place” and bragged that he used to strike residents with “handcuffs in the head.”

Chief Craig said the comments “were egregious” and don’t represent the vast majority of police officers. Chief Craig said the department “quickly opened an internal investigation,” but Wolf refused to speak to internal affairs.

“I told him he had until Monday at 3 p.m., and if he did not cooperate and make himself available, I would quickly suspend him without pay. In essence, that’s akin to a termination,” Chief Craig said at a press conference Thursday.

In Wolff’s retirement letter, he insisted he wasn’t referring to all city residents as garbage.

“I refer to the criminal element alone,” Wolff, who worked for 21 years as a Detroit police officer, wrote. “I am referring to the same element wishing to bring nothing more than harm to our citizens who are good, honest and exceptional people.”

Wolff worked out of the second precinct.

Wolff, a fanatic Donald Trump supporter, said on Facebook that he’s tired of “politically correct cry-baby soft ass snowflakes” and made a “personal pledge” to “do my best to offend at least one person a day with a harsh comment. … I want to make someone cry today.”

When I told him that Internal Affairs was investigating, Wolff responded, “Please do. I’ve been trying to get fired for years you cunt. Help me you ass.”

By retiring, Wolff will still receive his full pension and benefits.

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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.