Flashpoint: Experts talk White Boy Rick, Detroit Homecoming


DETROIT – In this week's episode of Flashpoint, Devin Scillian was joined by attorney Ralph Musilli and Detroit Crime Historian Scott Bernstein to talk about the case of Rick Wershe, or "White Boy Rick."

"I don't know (why Wershe is still in jail)," said Musilli, who is Wershe's attorney. "Everybody else that has been put in jail under similar circumstances as his, committed a crime before the age of 18, sentenced under the old law, the 650 Lifer law, they're all out, he's in."

Musilli said White Boy Rick was only involved in the drug trade because he was lured and recruited into it by the FBI, Detroit police and the DEA when he was 14 years old as an informant. Musilli argued White Boy Rick was too young to do anything malicious.

Bernstein said Wershe is still in jail partly because he has told everything he knows. He said Wershe helped take down the biggest "dirty cop ring" in Detroit history and other rings, which is coming back to bite him.

Devin said murderers have gone free after serving 10 years less than Wershe.

Musilli said young individuals who have been sentenced before the age of 18 have to be given a chance at release.

Click on the video above to see the full conversation about White Boy Rick.

Devin also met with some of the attendees of the Detroit Homecoming, which brought dozens of successful Detroiters back to the city.

"I was really excited to be invited," said Lauryn Williams, a Summer and Winter Olympic medalist. "I said 'sure, a change to come home to Detroit, a chance to learn more, I'm there.'"

Williams said Detroit is like Spring because it's growing and flourishing. She said it's being totally remodeled.

"The energy is incredible," said Sarah Endline, Founder of Sweetroit. She said the comparisons with Brooklyn are real and talked about what's happening in Detroit.

Michael Dorsey, Co-founder of Detriot XPAC, said Detroit has brought together an amazing group of people to network and plan together to help the city. He said the depressing story of bankruptcy is the story of yesterday and that Detroit is moving on.

Jim Hayes, of Detroit Homecoming, said the company is working to turn the energy in Detroit into something that helps the city. He said they're tracking over $240 millions worth of investments out of the event.

You can watch the full conversation in the video below.



The homecoming panel returned to talk about attracting and retaining attracting minds in the Detroit area.

Hayes talked about how hearing peoples' stories is so heartening and energizes the city. He said the momentum will continue to build because the results have been so positive. Seven people that returned for the Detroit Homecoming last year bought homes in the city afterwards.

Williams said she's often asked about Detroit and that returning will help her inform other people that the city isn't the same as it is sometimes portrayed in the national spotlight.

Dorsey said there's a tremendous amount of opportunity in the city and that people who never left are resilient in making connections with those who return.

The full third segment is posted below.