Detroit Police Chief Craig to Newsmax TV: ‘Evaluating’ Whitmer Challenge

Detroit Police Chief Craig to Newsmax TV: 'Evaluating' Whitmer Challenge (Newsmax TV/"Stinchfield)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Tuesday, 11 May 2021 09:47 AM

Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who has announced his retirement, told Newsmax TV he's "certainly evaluating" challenging Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer but as for now, he's focused on ensuring an orderly transition for the department he's headed since 2013.

"A lot of people have reached out to me, and I'll be making an announcement after my retirement date, within weeks of that, and then everyone will know where I'm headed," Craig told Newsmax TV's Grant Stinchfield Monday.

His comments come after sources in the Michigan Republican Party told Newsmax's John Gizzi that Craig, a career police officer who has been the chief in Cincinnati and in Portland, Maine, would declare his candidacy.

Michigan's GOP Chairman Ron Weiser and Republican Governors Association Chairman and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey have reportedly held meetings with Craig, advising him to challenge Whitmer, who has been serving as governor since 2019 and has come under fire in recent months over her COVID shutdown orders.

Craig, who has been a police officer for 44 years, started his career in Detroit before heading to Los Angeles, and before serving as chief in three cities. June 1 will be his last day on the job, according to reports.

The veteran chief, who has been called a "cop's cop" by many people, told Stinchfield that he is still weighing his options, but he is "deeply passionate as a public servant and a leader."

"What I see going on today, I'm not going to sit back idly by," he said, "I know a lot of Michiganders, both those on the left and right, want me to run for public office. So, I'll be making a decision."

Meanwhile, Craig has taken a firm stance against rioting occurring in Detroit like has happened in several other U.S. cities, and as a result, the city has not had the problems other major metropolitan areas have faced.

"Certainly we built some key trust-based relationships with the people that live in Detroit," said Craig. "We have relationships with our activist community. But what we will not tolerate, we will not negotiate and we will never retreat when some outside anarchists come in and try to promote violence. Detroiters don't want it, I didn't want it, our men and women didn't want it."

And as a result, Detroit "did not burn" and there was no looting, said Craig, and the protests were peaceful except on those days when "anarchists tried to incite violence. They were attacking our cops with weapons and we deployed force. We deployed it effectively and we sent a message."

Meanwhile, the violence is playing out in other cities because of their leaders' "lack of courage," said Craig.

In Portland, Oregon, "these anarchists were screaming about federal agents being in Portland to protect federal buildings … Portland caved in and the next day there were more riots."

And now, Portland's mayor is calling for an end to the protests because businesses are leaving and the tax base is diminishing, said the chief.

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