Reflections on Kwame Kilpatrick's 28-year sentencing

November 4, 2009 interview with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

On Monday, Nov 1st, 2009, I received an unexpected call on my cell phone from former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. I hadn't talked with him for quite some time, but always let him know whenever we talked that I'd be available to provide him the opportunity to share what he felt comfortable to share when he was ready. 

He always said 'No doubt Ashahed. I will. I promise, you'll be the first I call."

You've probably heard by now that he was sentenced to 28-years in prison.

He has always loved and supported Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam. While most observers who have followed the saga and those in the know agree that he made mistakes, many believe his support of the Nation of Islam, and relationship with the Minister is one of the main reasons he was targeted so viciously by law enforcement and other business and political foes both Black and White. 
Many will continue to debate that issue as well as whether such harsh sentencing was warranted.

When he called, he told me he would be in Chicago in a couple of days and wanted to know if I'd be available to sit down for that interview he promised me. On Nov. 4, 2009, he made his word bond. Myself and Videographer Warren Muhammad met him early in the morning at a luxury hotel downtown for the interview.

One thing stands out to me is when he said: "Sometimes your gift takes you to a place that your character is not prepared to handle." I wish there were more people (especially publicly elected officials) on this planet with the courage to be so honest.

Another thing I remember is that he said he trusted me and The Final Call more than the mainstream media to share his thoughts because he was confident that we would 'get it right.'

Below is the link to the FCN interview and segments are also available for viewing on YouTube. Check it out and share your thoughts if you like.

[Archive] Kwame Kilpatrick - Exclusive FCN Interview (Nov. 2009) 

Rev. Horace Sheffield, III calls on Pres. Obama to address Kwame Kilpatrick's 28-year sentence

Minister Louis Farrakhan (L) and Reverend Horace Sheffield, III (R) leader of the New Destiny Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan prior to a May 2013 meeting of spiritual, political and community leaders to deal with revitalization efforts for the city. (Photo: Andrea Stinson  for The Final Call)

DETROIT--The Rev. Horace L. Sheffield, III, Chairman of the Detroit Ecumenical Ministers Alliance, releases the following statement with regard to the sentencing and punitive measures reached by the U.S. District Court in the matter of Kwame M. Kilpatrick.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick
“Before I run the risk of sounding apologetic for the clearly inexcusable conduct of former Mayor Kilpatrick let me first say this his abuse of the public trust and the tremendous ill it has caused that no one, not even me, believes or advocates that it be excused or that he not to be punished. Mayor Kwame Kipatrick, as he even admits, was wrong and for that he should have been punished, and clearly he is being.

However, for him to be the only who has to be taught a lesson and made to pay for abusing public funds and the public trust is equally criminal. The very nature of Kilpatrick’s conviction, under the Federal RICO statute, means that what he did, he did with the aid and assistance of many others, and more than Bobby Ferguson. What about all the firms and businesses who paid to play, and are still benefiting from it? All of these entities prospered from what the Feds labeled as a criminal enterprise. Why aren't they being made to pay our public money back plus costs and fine? Surely, they testified against the former Mayor and Mr. Ferguson, and received consideration for it – not going to jail as well! But why should they be also allowed to keep all of the ill gotten and criminal gains? Why are they allowed to be so enriched at the tax payers and the city’s expense? Why isn't Kevin Orr pursuing them and asking them to pay us OUR MONEY back to help relieve our fiscal and image crisis?

If the supreme rule here is to prove that no one, not even Kwame, is or will ever be above the law, which is what many say is why the support his conviction and harsh sentencing, then why hasn't Lakeshore Engineering, who houses the police department in their building who is still profiting from this not been punished?  Why are these entities that willingly and knowingly chose to involve themselves in a criminal enterprise still being allowed to do business with our city? Simply put, why are they still in essence paid players when they paid to play? Should their testimony in court exonerate them? I don’t think so and I also think that they should pay the city back every dime and be prohibited from ever doing business with us again. 

Finally, my prayer today is, aside from the one that Detroiters will see the real agenda and wake up and make a statement against such imbalance by tipping the scale of justice when they vote in record numbers this November, and that President Obama will commute Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentence to a more reasonable just minutes before he leaves office.”

(Rev. Horace L. Sheffield, III, Chairman of the Detroit Ecumenical Ministers Alliance (DEMA) can be reached at  313-283-9587 or via e-mail: Sheffield3@aol.com)


Pan African Forum on REPARATIONS (NYC | D12)

Pan African Forum on REPARATIONS
Caribbean Nations [CARICOM] Raise Banner and Demand for Reparation

WHEN: Friday, October 11, 2013

WHERE: Sistas' Place, 456 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn [corner of Jefferson Ave]

6:00 PM:  Film Showing - DURBAN 400 (Historic Film on 2001 World Conference against Racism 
in Durban, South Africa)

7:00 PM:  Guest Speakers: DAVID COMISSIONG, Barbados Reparations Committee, CIKIAH THOMAS, Global African Congress - Canada, ROGER WAREHAM, December 12th Movement - United States

For information call [718] 398-1766