Case of slain Detroit dancer, Tamara Greene, gets another hearing

Greene's family had sued Detroit, former mayor Kilpatrick, claiming they corrupted her murder investigation

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®


The case of a slain exotic dancer in Detroit will get another hearing.

The on-again, off-again case of Tamara Greene's murder was at the heart of all of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's legal troubles. Now, it's back on again.

This past fall, Judge Gerald Cohen dismissed the suit against Kilpatrick and the city of Detroit. He said Greene's family's case lacked evidence to go before a jury.

The suit, filed on behalf of Greene's children, claimed Kilpatrick and the city denied Greene's family its civil rights by squashing the investigation into her death at every turn.

Read more: Kwame Kilpatrick's legal woes refuse to go away

Attorney Norman Yatooma has fought the case for nearly fives years now. He believes the appeals court's decision not to only hear the case but to do so in expedited fashion speaks volumes for his effort.

"The rulings in this case have been absolutely outrageous, absolutely preposterous," said Yatooma. "It is absolutely unimaginable that the appeals court won't overturn them."

The judge ruled there needed to be evidence of a citywide policy which prevented any investigation into Greene's murder.

There was an investigation but testimony in numerous court cases showed officers who came into contact with the Greene case file ended up unemployed or demoted. In some cases, the officers were fearing for their lives.

"Six cops punished for daring to do their job and investigate this case. That in itself is a trial and we didn't get it," Yatooma said.

Detroit city attorney John Schapka did not return Local 4's call for comment.

Kilaptrick's lawyer, Jim Thomas, said he expected the appeals court to hear this case. He believes Judge Cohen had it right and he is looking forward to defending Kilpatrick and winning that case, too.

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