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Southfield man arrested after campaign sign vandalized

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Southfield — A 44-year-old Southfield man was arrested early Friday morning in the malicious destruction of a campaign sign for the upcoming mayoral election, police said.

The man was arrested about 1 a.m. near 10 Mile and Rutland Avenue, Deputy Chief Nick Loussia said.

Members of the city police department’s Tactical Crime Suppression Unit were watching areas after reports of a sign being vandalized, police said. The suspect was seen damaging a “Ken Siver for Mayor” sign and was arrested without incident.

He was carrying a folding knife, rubber mallet, flashlight and compass, police said.

Police stressed the investigation isn’t complete and a warrant request would be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for offenses, possibly to include willful and malicious destruction of property.

The mayoral race in Southfield between Ken Siver and Sylvia Jordan, the council president, has been muddied by racist fliers being circulated in some neighborhoods as well as homophobic writing on some of Siver’s signs. Siver is openly homosexual.

“I participated in supporting the stakeout by replacing the damaged sign yesterday as we believed it would be attacked again,” Siver said Friday. “The sign at 10 Mile and Rutland had been defaced six times earlier and replaced twice. “

Siver said that as a longtime Southfield resident and former councilman he was disturbed by the race-baiting and homophobic activity that has marred the campaign.

“I am greatly saddened by this as it is not the Southfield I have known and it is contrary to our inclusive spirit.”

Jordan, an African-American, said: “It is unfortunate that someone or some organization is attempting to infiltrate a racial divide in our community with these negative tactics. It is an diversion on the important issues in the mayoral race of neighborhoods, roads, our library and keeping our community safe.

“I sincerely trust in the Southfield Police Department and their ongoing investigation of this matter, and hopefully bringing this to a resolve.”

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

(248) 338-0319