Charlie LeDuff interviews Detroit mayoral candidate Napoleon - Fox 2 News Headlines

Charlie LeDuff interviews Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon

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Charlie LeDuff interviews Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon Charlie LeDuff interviews Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Six weeks from tonight we'll know who will become the next mayor of Detroit. Benny Napoleon or Mike Duggan.

On Monday, Duggan had his opportunity to speak with FOX 2's Charlie LeDuff. Now, it's Sheriff Napoleon's turn on the hot seat. He promises a cop in every square mile of the city. He calls his challenger a criminal. He says the only real Detroiter on the ballot is him.

CHARLIE LEDUFF: Sir, what does an old school cop know about running a major metropolis?

BENNY NAPOLEON: First and foremost, I'm a little bit more than an old school cop. I do have a law degree. I've been a college professor, worked in the real estate business. I ran the largest department in city government with the second largest budget behind the water department so I think that qualifies me to run city government when I've only run at least a third of it.

CL: This town is dying.

BN: No.

CL: For something fresh. Are you something fresh? Or are you a retread?

BN: Certainly I've been in this community a long time. I think fresh has its place, but also you have to have institutional knowledge. You have to understand what has worked and what has not worked I believe at the end of the day Detroiters are going to do what they have done consistently, 100 percent of the time, they are going to elect a mayor who understands them, who appreciates them that they know and they trust.

CL: Now, you just said what they have done for the last 40 years. That goes back to Coleman Young which means elect a black person.

BN: No, I said they would elect someone that they know and that they trust.

CL: And they don't know Mike Duggan? Or trust him?

BN: That's up to the people to decide. But I just believe that between me and Mike, yeah, they know me better and they trust me more.

CL: Would you vote for him?

BN: No.

CL: Why?

BN: This alleged turn around of the DMC was done through fraud, kickbacks and bribes according to the justice department.

CL: Oh. Fraud, kickbacks and bribes?

BN: That's what he said. And a $30 million fine? He called them technical violations.

CL: You're calling them a settlement?

BN: I call it a crime. In my world, when you start talking about bribes, kick backs and things like that, that's criminal.

CL: Give us a real plan.

BN: The plan is we're going to change this community square mile by square mile. We're going to make it safe. We're going to create jobs. We're going to clean it up. We've got to educate our children. Those are the four core things.

CL: But those are really hard. I mean, everybody says that.

BN: We need to focus on making this city safe. I did that. I was the police chief in this town, and in the three years that I was the police chief, crime was reduced over 30 percent. It is a proven method to reducing crime. Community policing. Crime prevention. Problem-oriented policing. Directed enforcement and data driven approach to crime. If anyone wants to stand here and tell you we have another police officers, we don't.

CL: Resume. Let's do your resume. Chief of police.

BN: You can start back further than that, but go ahead.

CL: Chief of police, so you brought crime down.

BN: Yes.

CL: But also at that time you had some discipline problems. For instance, lots of cocaine was missing out of lockup that we never found.

BN: That's not true. Do your research. Nine people went to jail for that.

CL: Did they go to jail for that?

BN: Absolutely.

CL: Did we ever find the cocaine?

BN: Well, we didn't find the coke. The coke was sold.

CL: Under your stewardship, the department was put under federal oversight because of excessive force.

BN: No, it was not. The feds were called in and they were asked to look at some shootings that occurred in this community. And when they got here they investigated everyone of those questionable shootings and they determined that everyone of those shootings was justified. Not one person was charged, not one person was questioned and there was any accusation that we did an investigation that was improper. What they said was, we have some conditions of confinement that have to be corrected. We had known that for 30 years.

CL: Is that including locking up potential witnesses to homicides.

BN: Our policy at the time was that all witnesses were detained on the scene or even taken to headquarters. They were not arrested, they were detained to be interviewed for a murder. A capitol offense.

CL: Let's talk about that new jail and your piece of it. Your fingerprints are on that jail.

BN: No way.

CL: I've got some paperwork.

BN: Show me, Charlie. What paperwork?

CL: You've asked for the jail to move forward. You came up with the fiscal analysis which would show we could save money.

BN: And that's true.

CL: Those are fingerprints.

BN: If the jail were built the way it was promised to be built, we would have saved this community a significant amount of money every year.

CL: Who is to blame on that?

BN: That has to come out of the county commission and the county executive's office.

CL: Ficano.

BN: We have to move forward. That's behind us, Charlie. We have to get past that and do the right thing and build a new jail somewhere, because it is going to save the taxpayers dollars.

CL: Let's talk about the current jails. We had a guy walk out assuming someone else's identity. We had a guy with a dull comb attack a deputy. What does that say about the facilities that we have now?

BN: I have declared a state of emergency several times this year because I'm working people ridiculous overtime. Fifty hours in addition to their 40-hour work week. People are tired, they are agitated and it is a real serious issue. I'm not telling you anything that I've not made the county aware of. The county commission and the executives have to deal with that.

CL: Let's go in there and take a look at how real people live. We're just a block from your friend's church.

BN: Yes.

CL: A block from a college campus.

BN: Yes. Unacceptable.

CL: How are you going to fix this?

BN: Charlie, you just have to have the will to do it. You have to understand this is a problem, living in the neighborhood, living in the community and recognizing that this is not acceptable for our children, it is not acceptable for our seniors, it is not acceptable for people to have to live. This is a major city and this is unfortunately not uncommon. Look at the contrast. You go down that street, look at this beautiful house.

CL: Let's see if a baby lives in there.

BN: Look at this beautiful house, well-kept, flowers, and look what's right next door. We have to clean this community up. Her children deserve better.

CL: When the emergency manager scrubs those books and the people make the grand sacrifice, can you tell me how you're going to stop the bloodsuckers who ate this city to its death from coming back and doing that?

BN: We will make sure we're open for business and have transparent business and don't do anything in the dark. Unfortunately folks have been allowed to do things in the dark that are now coming to light.

CL: Fair contracting?

BN: Absolutely.

CL: No preferential treatment?

BN: No. That's illegal.

CL: It happens all of the time.

BN: Not to me it don't.

CL: In this town, you know. .

BN: I understand, but those days are gone.

CL: If you don't beat Mike Duggan, can you we put the career in that hole?

BN: No. Why would you figure that? I'm still going to be the sheriff. I've got three years left on my term, dude.

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