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Man who allegedly shot at cops in police custody

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Detroit Police Chief James Craig stands with union representatives during a press conference at the 7th precinct Saturday.

Detroit — A man who allegedly shot at police last year and cut his tether off before a court hearing Friday is in police custody, officials said Saturday. 

Ivory Traylor III, 31, has been taken into Clinton Township Police custody without incident, Detroit Police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said. He was located on Stair Street, just off of Gratiot and North of Metropolitan Parkway, around 2 p.m., Kirkwood said. 

According to Clinton Township Police, officers received information that he was inside an apartment at the location around 10:50 a.m., and they set up a perimeter around the apartment. 

"The Clinton Township Special Response team and Hostage Negotiation team were mobilized and responded to the scene," the department said in a statement. "Entry was made into the apartment and Traylor was taken into custody without injury to anyone involved."

The U.S. Marshalls Fugitive Apprehension team, who were also looking for Traylor, took him into custody so he could be transported to Wayne County Jail.

Just prior to Traylor's arrest, Detroit Police Chief James Craig and union representatives on Saturday gathered at the 7th precinct Saturday where he called out a Wayne County judge for the decision to let Traylor out on bond with a tether.

"The tether doesn't stop someone from committing violence," Craig said. "I'm not happy about it, and I plan to set up a time with Chief Judge Nancy M. Blount to talk about how this situation played out."

Traylor was charged with assault with intent to commit murder last year after he allegedly shot at three police officers during a May 17, 2017 foot chase.

The officers returned fire, hitting Traylor several times in the legs. Once he was wounded, officers disarmed and arrested him.

Traylor, who is believed to be suffering from mental illness, was originally charged on May 19, 2017 and held on a $3 million bond, after he threatened to kill more police officers. In October 2017, his bond was reduced to $100,000 and he was released on a tether by 36th District Judge William C. McConico.

Traylor cut his tether before a court hearing Friday morning, prompting a multi-county manhunt.

Craig said Traylor may be suicidal and the "judge's mistake in this situation tells the officers of this department 'we don't care about you.'"

"I think there's a perception that when police officers sign up they know they could be killed. They do not sign up for that. They do sign up knowing their inherent risks, but when we have someone that is part of the criminal justice system that's not working in unison, that is a problem for me," Craig said. 

On the day of the original shooting incident, Craig said he met with Traylor's mother who was not angry at officers for shooting her son, but that "the system failed him,"

"He is suffering from mental illness and because he hasn't been treated, we are here today," Craig recalled the mother saying. 

Police officials Friday put out a memo for officers to  be on the lookout for Ivory Traylor, 31, who was charged with assault with intent to commit murder last year after he allegedly shot at three police officers during a May 17, 2017, foot chase.

Craig said the judge should have referred Traylor to a mental health facility before reducing the bond.  

"This judge had the authority and even if he wanted to reduce the bond, he could have remanded Traylor to a mental core where there could have been an evaluation and decision made to his suitability to be released back into the community. This is a public safety issue," he said. 

Mark Diaz, spokesman of Detroit Police Officers Association, said the judge should be held accountable for any crimes involving Traylor moving forward.

“When a judge releases an individual back into the community or allows for them to have a bond set as such that a person who has already proven themselves to be dangerous to our community by attempting to kill police officers, that is nothing short of malfeasance in office.”

Twitter: @SarahRahal_