New report details 'abusive' surveillance of former Detroit police commissioner

Jan 23, 2014

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The former chairman of Detroit’s Police Board of Commissioners was the target of inappropriate surveillance, according to a new report.

The report, from Detroit’s Office of Inspector General, confirms that Jerome Warfield was the subject of police surveillance on “multiple occasions” in early 2013.

Former Detroit interim police chief Chester Logan ordered the surveillance. The stated reason for the operation was to confirm that Warfield actually lived in Detroit.

But the report says Detroit’s city law department had already investigated, and settled, the question of Warfield’s residency months earlier.

It concludes that the surveillance represented “an abuse of authority, as well as a waste of city resources.” It recommends the department change its policies to make sure similar incidents don't happen again.

But Detroit’s current police chief, James Craig, disagreed that the operation rose to the level of “abuse.”

In a letter to the Inspector General, Craig admitted it may not have been the wisest use of resources. But he said there’s no evidence of wrongdoing, or that the department should change any rules.

“It appears that your findings were inconclusive as whether former Chief Logan was aware of a legal opinion on this issue,” Craig wrote.

“I do not find the need to institute any changes to the existing policies of the Detroit Police Department.”

Craig took over Detroit’s historically troubled police department in mid-2013.

Warfield has since resigned from the Board of Police Commissioners, which exercises civilian oversight over the police department.