Detroit police Chief Craig speaking out against bond decision in case involving late officer

Ariana Taylor
The Detroit News
View Comments

Detroit police Chief James Craig is again speaking out against a court's bond decision.

On Monday, Craig will hold a press conference with the family of Detroit police Sgt. Elaine Williams, who was fatally shot in 2019, to discuss the bond for the man who was charged in Williams' death. 

Eddie Ray-Jr. Johnson, 35, who was charged with 1st degree murder and felony firearm, was issued a $10,000 cash bond and a tether on Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court. 

Attempts to contact the court Sunday morning were unsuccessful.

Detroit Police officer Elaine Williams gets on ground level as she photographs teammate Shaday Jenkins during the Pictures of Hope program by Photojournalist Linda Solomon on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Williams, a 14-year veteran of the department and mother of two, was found dead in her Garden City home in June 2019 after Johnson allegedly shot her in a domestic incident while she was off duty. 

Johnson is facing life in prison. 

This isn't the first time Craig has spoken out about a court's bond decision. 

In March, Craig held a press conference over a Wayne County court's decision to free two men from jail without having to post bond after they allegedly pointed a gun at a police corporal and his partner before leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended when the car plowed into a police cruiser.

Detroit police detectives sought charges against the two suspects that include felonious assault and fleeing a police officer. Wayne County prosecutors authorized the charges against the men, who were arraigned in 36th District Court by Magistrate Millicent Sherman.

Craig said the behavior of some judges reflects a "growing culture of disrespect" for police officers.

"Roughly 75% of those arrested while illegally carrying firearms, (prosecutors) are issuing warrants — but then it goes to arraignment, and no bond or low bond, and these individuals are back into our community," Craig said during the press conference in March. "That's not working. ... if we can't get illegal weapons off the street, what are we doing?"

In 2018, Detroit officers criticized Judge William C. McConico of 36th District Court for being soft on crime. Craig and other police officers lambasted McConico after the judge granted a $100,000 bond and tether to Ivory Traylor, who allegedly shot at Detroit police officers.

McConico insisted some of the criticism was designed to smear him for refusing months prior to lower an officer's $1 million bond.

View Comments