Police chief James Craig says Detroit can avoid a Minneapolis situation through honesty

Chief Craig says Detroit can avoid a Minneapolis situation through honesty

DETROIT – Police Chief James Craig said keeping the peace in Detroit is all about relationships, especially during some heated moments that are happening in the country.

READ: Ex-Minneapolis police officer arrested in death of George Floyd, charged with murder

Craig said that, as a leader, he often gets the credit -- but he said he can’t do it alone.

“If there’s no relationship, there’s no trust. If there’s no trust, no policing,” Craig said.

It may sound simple, but Craig said there are levels to keeping the peace in the city.

“When you think about what’s going on across the country today, I know that definitely, through my experience and really starting at a young age into this profession the importance of building relationships," he said. “I know the most important part of my role is setting an example, but keeping open dialogue and being transparent, with the community, that I’m working with,” Craig said.

READ: Detroit Police Chief James Craig calls the death of George Floyd ‘murder’

Craig said being open and honest is something he enforces within the department.

Reverend Wendell Anthony with the NAACP often works side by side with the police department.

“We’re able to call the police department and they respond," Anthony said.

Anthony said that’s vital, especially when dealing with tough issues, like police brutality and race.

“I think one of the reasons, that you have not seen, some of the activity, that you see in other cities, is because of the relationship,” Anthony said.

Craig recently talked about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A video showed former police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Craig said this is not OK.

Alia Harvey-Quinn with FORCE Detroit/Live Free Detroit, which is an organization of activists, credits Craig for speaking out against police brutality.

“He decided to break, the blue line, that line of silence. Coming from the Chief of Police, in a city as large as Detroit, and as black as Detroit, that’s powerful. It’s amazing, to see something like that happen. We’re hoping to see other officers and other police chiefs, across the country follow his lead and speaking out against police brutality,” Harvey-Quinn said.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard also spoke out against what happened in Minneapolis.

“The actions of all the officers involved are deplorable. This goes for the officer who caused the death as well, as those who stood by and did nothing," Bouchard said.

READ: Minnesota police arrest entire CNN TV crew covering George Floyd protests live on-air