Detroit Firefighters Union boss slams police over criminal investigation

Concerns voiced over first responder safety

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - What's been a percolating feud between the chief of police and the president of the Firefighters Union escalated Thursday with the threat of criminal charges.

Firefighters Union president Mike Nevin is responding to Detroit Police Chief James Craig's comments that he could be charged with interfering with an investigation.

Internal affairs even wanted to read Nevin his Miranda rights this week and question him. Nevin's attorney declined. On Friday, they spoke openly about why he thinks the investigation is payback.

"We're not getting where we need to be expeditiously and I call bull----," Nevin said.

For months, Nevin has been commenting about the understaffing of police, fire and emergency medical services and, last week, he called out Detroit police for a slow response time to a homicide that he said left firefighters in harm's way.

Nevin said the city is lying about its crime statistics, reclassifying them in different categories to make the city seem less dangerous.

"I am not going to play footsies and lollygag along with an administration to go along with a false narrative that everything is all right in the city of Detroit when it's not," he said.

"They're trying to silence him by threatening him with a criminal prosecution," Nevin's attorney Michael Rataj said.

Craig said a Facebook post that has since been deleted is the real reason for the investigation into Nevin.

"Not only undermine a criminal investigation -- in this case, a homicide -- but to put a witness to a homicide in harms way," Craig said.

Nevin said even jail won't stop him from talking.

The Facebook post in question included the identities of two witnesses. When the investigation concludes, the findings will be presented to the prosecutor, but Nevin said he's willing to go to jail.

Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.