LANSING — Today, the Michigan Democratic Party is releasing a new video shedding light on an incident from 2013 in which then-police chief James Craig fled the scene of a carjacking. Now that he’s running for governor with claims that he “led from the front” throughout his law enforcement career, Craig tried to change his story when the Detroit Free Press scrutinized how his actions didn’t line up to that message, saying that he actually “wasn’t looking to drive away and get to safety.”
Titled “Fleeing From the Front,” this video documents Craig’s cover-ups about his ability to lead Detroit police department and keep Michigan’s largest city safe.
WATCH the new video here and read the full transcript at the bottom:
Along with accounts that Craig did indeed flee the scene, the video also features extensive coverage surrounding the pledge he made in 2013 to go through the process to “become a fully [Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standard] certified law enforcement officer” which would’ve allowed him to make arrests and serve warrants. In a recent interview with Detroit Free Press, Craig claimed that he “never told…anyone else that it was my plan to be accredited.”
Between Detroit and his second-to-last job as Cincinnati’s police chief, Craig was uncertified for the final decade of his law enforcement career.
MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:
“First, James Craig made a promise he would become a fully certified officer so that he could personally work to keep Detroit safe and then broke it. Then he changed his story, about abandoning his duty to protect and serve by fleeing a carjacking. Now that he’s trying to convince Michiganders to give him even more responsibility, Craig knows that his ‘lead from the front’ claims stand on ground that only gets more shaky with each passing day, so he’s trying to cover it up. Michiganders deserve better.”
JAMES CRAIG: This is exactly what it looks like. Leading from the front and making decisions.
JAMES CRAIG: What Detroiters have come to learn and Michiganders are learning now is that I lead from the front.
REPORTER 1: Through his people, he says that he does believe that it is important to be certified.
REPORTER 2: The DPD says chief Craig voluntarily intends on completing the process to become a fully MCOLES certified law enforcement officer.
REPORTER 3: But now some are claiming he’s not technically a police officer.
REPORTER 4: The chief is not a certified police officer. They need to be certified in order to make legal arrests.
REPORTER 2: How can Detroit’s police chief James Craig effectively cut down on crime when he’s not even a certified police officer?
MAN: You don’t want a police chief that when you come up to him and need someone arrested or some help to say, “I’m sorry. I can’t.”
REPORTER 5: Police chief James Craig drove off to get away from a would-be carjacker instead of arresting him. When someone began running toward him, he accelerated out of harm’s way.
REPORTER 2: He couldn’t arrest the guy because he wasn’t certified. Instead, like anyone else, he fled the scene to avoid the violence.
JAMES CRAIG: This is exactly what it looks like.