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Did Detroit Mayoral Candidate Misspeak When He Said ‘There Are No Organized Gangs’ in Detroit?

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, a mayoral candidate.

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Did Detroit mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon — the county sheriff — misspeak when he downplayed the existence of gangs in Detroit or was his statement on Facebook Tuesday misinterpreted?

“There are no organized gangs in this city because as head of the Detroit Police Gang Squad, we got rid of the Chambers Brothers, Young Boys Incorporated and other gangs,” Napoleon wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday. “We will put the thugs in jail and run others out of town who disrespect Detroiters and our neighborhoods.”

Some law enforcement in Detroit see if differently.

In August, newly minted Detroit Police Chief James Craig was quoted in the Free Press as saying: “I’m looking to bring back a gang suppression unit really quickly. I’m not sure what form it’ll take right now, but we will have a unit in place soon.”

Donald Dawkins, spokesman for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Detroit, told Deadline Detroit Tuesday: “There are gangs. ATF and DPD have active investigations into gangs.”

Dawkins said some are groups and organizations that “can be categorized as gangs” that control neighborhoods and are involved in robberies, drug trafficking and violent crime.

“We have some that are very closely knit,” he said.

To read the full story click here.


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