Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans resigned on July 21, according to city officials, amid dual controversies over his appearance on a reality show and a relationship with a fellow officer.
“We appreciate the time and dedication that Warren Evans has given to the Detroit Police Department,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. “He has put the department on a path to reducing crime.”
Bing hired Evans as police chief in June 2009. Since then, Bing has credited Evans with trimming the city’s homicide rate by late 2009. Bing did not give a definitive answer to why Evans was let go, but said the performance of the Detroit Police Department was not a factor.
“I don’t want to say he did a bad job. He didn’t. He did some very good things,” Bing told WWJ 950 in Detroit. “I don’t just get rid of people. I look at what their performance is and what their relationships are and I make a decision based on that. That’s how I came to the conclusion.”
Evans’ ouster may have been linked to his participation in a reality video about police work in Detroit. He came under scrutiny after a sleeping seven year old girl was killed when a weapon discharged during a raid that was conducted to execute an arrest warrant. In a six-minute video used to promote the show, Evans is seen riding through some of Detroit’s dangerous neighborhoods speaking about crime. When asked about the video, Bing told WWJ 950 that he was “blindsided” by the video and that he didn’t want Detroit to be seen in that negative light.
“We get enough of from national media,” Bing said. “I didn’t want anybody that worked for this administration to project this city like that because there are too many good things going on.”
Others, however, claim it was Evans’ relationship with fellow officer Lt. Monique Patterson which led to his firing.
According to Michigan Live, Officer Shanda Starks filed a complaint that Evans transferred her from the mayor’s executive protection unit and barred her from any other special operations units because Starks was gossiping about Evans and Patterson’s relationship.
According to Michigan Live, Evans responded on his Facebook page by saying, “It’s a shame when it’s problematic for two single adults to date. Shame on me for not hiding it! Or being married with a girlfriend on the job like so many others.”
Bing has named Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee as interim police chief.