Lawsuits against city prompt a need for a review of city procedures

In recent weeks we have reported on recent settlements on city lawsuits and criminal charges involving some police officers.
It made one commenter on our website to remark: “What in blazes is going on here?”
We couldn’t agree more.
While not getting into specifics, you have to wonder how things have broken down. Sure, there are some unscrupulous people looking to win the “Hamtramck lottery” – as some have come to call those taking advantage of the city to gain a windfall of money.
Part of the problem is that it costs an insane amount of money to defend against lawsuits, so the easiest – and cheapest – solution is to settle lawsuits.
All cities are vulnerable to this.
The other observation is that some city employees apparently need cultural sensitivity training.
Again, we do not mean to point fingers because there are many nuances involved.
Now that we have a new city manager, it behooves us to take another look at how we do things, and how we are interacting with each other.

Sept. 21, 2018

6 Responses to Lawsuits against city prompt a need for a review of city procedures

  1. Roadman

    September 21, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Some of the recent stories that have appeared in the media regarding regarding the questionable conduct of officers who have served on the Hamtramck P.D. or are still serving:

    In 2012, the Hamtramck NAACP chapter called for a civilian police oversight board to be established in Hamtramck – Nothing was done.

    At about the same time a joint demonstration of local black and Yeemeni-Americans protested police misconduct in Hamtramck – Nothing was done.

    In 2017, at a Hamtramck Community Initiative meeting of Hamtramck City Council candidates, numerous questions were posed of the candidates about police misconduct and the possibility of a civilian oversight board to address this critical issue of public interest, although the candidates were receptive to the issue being raised – Nothing was done.

    In 2018, at a OneHamtramck mmeting, the issue of problems with the Hamtramck P.D. was addressed and later presented to City Council – Nothing was done.

    City Council cannot continue to bury their collective heads in the sand over the ongoing problem of police misconduct – it needs to be addressed ASAP!

  2. John Dory

    September 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    The lawsuits and criminal charges are a cause for concern.

    Obviously the Chief of Police has primary control over that department – however the City Manager and City Council have some degree of additional control over those operations.

    Since the criminal charges have been brought by the Justice Department there has been NO official response from the Chief Moise, the City Manager, or City Council.

    Surely a town hall meeting or some type of resolution on the City Council agenda can be initiated to create a discussion to address well-founded public concern over how the Hamtramck P.D. is run.

  3. Gary Krantz

    September 26, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    As long as the city administration does not address the lack of minority representation in its police, fire, and code enforcement division staffing, we will continue to see the comparisons of Hamtramck to Ferguson, Missouri raised by critics – and that comparison is far from implausible.

    There has never been a Yemeni-American or Bangladeshi-American fireman or police officer on Hamtramck’s active staff.

    The recent indictment of a former Hamtramck police officer on federal civil rights violations based on on incident occurring in 2014 underscores the need for both better hiring practices by the city and a manner for citizens to complain effectively about police misconduct. The indicted officer apparently had an extensive questionable employment history and the alleged victims sustaining assault injuries all members of minority communities.

    City government needs to take leadership to address police misconduct directed at oppressed minorities.

  4. Ed Wilson

    September 29, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you for this needed editorial.

    There has been a large number of lawsuits the city has had to grapple with in the last several years.

    However references to the “Hamtramck Lottery” or unscrupulous litigants suing the city is not well-founded.

    The city has had the opportunity to fight claims they CLAIM are meritless but has chosen to offer settlements. This shows me they have a lack of confidence in defending their positions in court.

    Bad city government is the problem. The state receivership did not help things, either.

  5. John Dory

    September 30, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    @Ed Wilson:


    The city has an attitude of “blaming the victim” in addressing lawsuits.

    Surely, a driver or other vehicle occupant who has his face pistol-whipped by a police officer during a traffic stop has a right to have his claims heard in court.

    Look at other Metro Detroit cities with comparable populations, and it is rare to see the number of police misconduct suits as high as the City of Hamtramck.

    Police officers are often victims of internal politics and a number have sued the city successfully for employment law or civil rights violations.

    Hamtramck citizens deserve better government than they have had the last several years.

  6. Gary Krantz

    September 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    @Ed Wilson:

    Yes, bad city government is the problem – however the lack of minority representation in city government is a root cause.

    It is prevalent at all levels.

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