Judge in bond decision ‘cowardly’
Detroit – Friends, relatives, and former employees of the murdered Detroit Police Sgt. Elaine Williams didn’t crush a word on Friday when she scourged the judge who bailed her alleged killer.
“There’s a word for people who hide. It’s cowardly,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said during a vigil for Williams, a mother of two and a 14-year-old Detroit Police Department veteran, who died on Was killed June 2, 2019 in Garden City at home she shared with her life partner Eddie Ray-Jr. Johnson.
Johnson was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Wayne County Circuit judge Lawrence Talon on April 1 ordered the defendant to be released on a leash for an unknown illness, reducing the defendant’s loan from pre-trial detention to a $ 100,000 / 10% loan has been.
The judge’s decision was outright postponed Monday during a press conference at Detroit Public Security Headquarters – an issue that continued during the Friday prayer vigil outside headquarters when several speakers called the judge a coward and begged him to overturn his decision .
“Today’s purpose is to seek justice for Elaine and, hopefully, to send a strong message to Judge Talon and other judges,” said Master of Ceremonies Joanna Ali-Johnson, a former Detroit police officer and civil employee of the division.
Williams’ attorney Raymond Burkett did not return comments, while Talon said via email that he could not speak about his decision while the case was active.
“Since this is a pending case, I cannot discuss it at the moment. It would not be fair for those involved,” said the judge.
Craig said during the vigil on Friday, “We’re officials. We can’t hide. It’s so much disrespect.”
Williams’ sister LaKeisha Kemble said her sister’s criminal justice system had failed.
“I hope everyone who listens will feel outraged,” she said. “Not just because she was my sister or because she was a police officer. But because she was human.”
Kemble wept as he read a passage from the book of Revelation in the Bible: “He will wipe every tear from your eyes, and death will be no more, there will be no more sorrow, or weeping, or pain, for the former things are.” passed away. “
Assistant Police Chief Todd Bettison said he wanted Talon to reverse his decision to give Johnson bail.
“Eddie is right now at home chilling,” he said. “I want him locked up. I want the judge to reconsider.”
Annie Holt, deputy chairwoman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners, said she supports current efforts to overhaul the cash bail system, which she and other advocates are punishing for being unfair against the poor.
“Most of us support bail reform because we’ve seen the courts criminalize poor people,” said Holt. “But most of us don’t want reforms that send violent criminals back into the community.”
Captain Keeth Williams, who was Elaine Williams’ friend but not related, said, “I’m very, very angry with this judge. But I’m angrier with the system because the system failed Elaine.
“That man Eddie is a coward and nothing prevents him from running,” he said. “It is an insult to each of you, to each of us, that this man is on a leash.”
Williams added Talon’s decision sends a bad message to victims of domestic violence.
“If you can’t make a better decision, you shouldn’t be sitting on the stand,” he said. “This sends a message to all other domestic violence victims that we can release the coward who did this to you.”
A video was played during Friday’s ceremony showing Elaine Williams caring for Detroit High School students.
“We have to respect each other, your parents and yourself,” said Captain Williams. “You never know what a smile or a hug can do for someone.”
Ali-Johnson asked the crowd to sing “Justice For Elaine” five times to represent the five times she was shot.
“Let’s hope and pray that Judge Talon hears us,” she said.
After Friday’s vigil, about 20 people protested outside Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, singing “Lock him back up” and “Justice for Elaine”.
“We’re here to message the judge,” said Teesha Bess, Elaine Williams’ cousin. “The judge put $ 10,000 into her life. Her life is worth more than $ 10,000.”