DETROIT – Detroit police Chief James Craig said someone else signed his signature on a document that led to a sergeant fired for cowardice in 2014 being reinstated.
Sgt. Ronald Kidd was suspended Sunday after Craig said he failed to respond to a shooting that killed Officer Rasheen McClain. Body camera footage shows Kidd a block away from the scene saying, “We should take cover,” when he should have been responding to the house to take command, according to Craig.
“I’m going to speak for one of my assistant chiefs,” Craig said. “He saw the video before I did. Assistant Chief James White. He was so angry. Halfway through it, he realized what was going on. He got up and walked out. He said, ‘When the chief sees this -- not good.’”
It’s clear Craig wants Kidd off the job for how he handled the situation Wednesday.
Kidd was fired in 2014 after he did nothing while his female partner was beaten, according to the Chief.
“How do you stand by and watch your partner take a beating?” Craig asked.
The chief said he lobbied for Kidd’s firing at the time. But Kidd ultimately entered into a plea agreement with the department to come back on the job, documents show.
Craig said even though his name is on the paperwork approving Kidd’s return, he didn’t sign.
“I hate to use the word ‘forged,’ because that constitutes a crime,” Craig said. “I would just say that someone signed my name and it was not my signature.”
Craig said he only uses green ink to sign his signature. On Kidd’s paperwork, Craig’s name is signed in purple.
The investigation into Kidd is ongoing, Craig said. The department could also refer him to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for charges, officials said.
Kidd has been a sergeant for about a year and a half, officials said. He is currently suspended with pay.
“I will tell you -- I have received contact from people in the organization,” Craig said. “They’re angry, frustrated and want him fired. I quickly suspended him. We will be moving very quickly to address this case.”
McClain, a 16-year veteran of the force, was fatally shot Wednesday after responding to a scene on Wyoming Avenue. Craig said Kidd should have been at the scene where McClain and his partner, Officer Phillippe Batoum-Bisse, were shot.
“There’s an allegation of neglect of duty," Craig said. "Serious enough to immediately open an investigation. That’s why I initiated the suspension.”