Detroit police did nothing as neo-Nazis shoved me to the ground. James Craig should never be governor.


Jessica Prozinski sits on the ground after she was shoved by members of the National Socialist Movement during Motor City Pride in Detroit. - JIM URQUHART/RUETERS
  • Jim Urquhart/Rueters
  • Jessica Prozinski sits on the ground after she was shoved by members of the National Socialist Movement during Motor City Pride in Detroit.

The following letter was sent by reader Jessica M. Prozinski.

I’m the woman who was shoved to the ground — in full view of police — by neo-Nazis during the 2019 Motor City Pride festival in Detroit.

For me, when I hear James Craig’s campaign slogan “lead from the front,” I remember his officers leading members of the Nazi party down Woodward Avenue. They did nothing when I stood in the path of the neo-Nazis (as all good people should) and their leader Burt Colucci shoved me to the ground. In the video, a cop car with lights flashing is right next to me. The officers did nothing to help me, nor to arrest Colucci. Instead, they provided safe passage for the hate group right up to the gate of the festival.

Colucci was recently arrested in Phoenix for threatening Black people. If this had happened in Detroit, would Colucci have received a personal police escort?

Craig’s “both sides” attitude towards neo-Nazis is not the only reason he should never be governor. Craig is a climber. He is the sort of person who holds no principles that won’t be sold. You know the type. Self-promoters like him should never be allowed near public office.

In the broadest context, Craig climbed to his position as chief of police on the backs of the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Formerly all-white police departments were integrated in order to try to chill out, deceive, and buy off the movements seeking social change in the '60s.

Craig has used this position of power to slander and physically attack, arrest and hospitalize the frontline fighters against racism today, the Black Lives Matter movement.

Craig’s candidacy for governor is based on an appeal to white voters who are afraid of Detroit. This is a man who has gone on Fox News and blamed crime on a court system that gives second chances to juvenile offenders.

Craig sized up the forces of progress and reaction in America in the Trump era, and placed his bets on the Trump movement. Soon after stepping down as police chief, Craig came out as a Republican who voted for Trump both times.

Craig has made a living and a name off of collaborating with the worst impulses of America to bet on police, prisons, and repression rather than education and opportunity.

We all have a duty to deconstruct the parts of an irrational and unjust system, not make our private peace with it for personal gain. Craig is a born politician with a lust for personal advancement. It’s gross. Let’s not reward this small ambition. We have a world to win.

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