Wayne Co. asst. prosecutor resigns over Baltimore post
Detroit — An assistant Wayne County prosecutor resigned Friday after being disciplined for a Facebook message that said the way to end the violence in Baltimore was to shoot the protesters.
Criminal defense attorneys and a liberal statewide group said they were glad to see Teana Walsh leave the prosecutor's office.
"You cannot be a member of law enforcement and decide you're going to be judge, jury and executioner," said Cliff Woodards II, a criminal defense attorney from Southfield.
Walsh, who was an assistant prosecutor for eight years, set off a firestorm by writing about the Baltimore riots on her Facebook page Monday night.
"Solution," she wrote. "Simple. Shoot em. Period. End of discussion. I don't care what causes the protesters to turn violent ... what the 'they did it because' reason is ... no way is this acceptable. Flipping disgusting."
Walsh quickly deleted the post, but Woodards, who is friends with her on Facebook, took a screen shot of it and posted it on his page.
Fox 2 News learned about and reported on the post. As Progress Michigan and others railed against the comments, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday that Walsh would resign.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said the comments didn't reflect the type of person Walsh is.
"During her tenure in the office, Teana Walsh has been known for her great work ethic and her compassion for victims of crime and their families," Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said.
No working number could be found for Walsh and her Facebook page has been taken down.
Earlier, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had only said Walsh's discipline was an "internal matter."
Progress Michigan, which "holds public officials and government accountable" and "assists in the promotion of progressive ideas," said it was glad to see Walsh leave the prosecutor's office.
"Her comments are a perfect example of the mentality that has to be purged from the criminal justice system as a whole," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan.
But he said Worthy should use this incident as an opportunity to lead a conversation about how law enforcement must be used as a tool for — not against — the people of this state.
Otherwise, people will lose faith in the criminal justice system, he said.
Aaron Herskovic, a Southfield attorney, said his bigger concern is others in law enforcement who share Walsh's attitudes but keep them hidden.
"Unfortunately, I think there are others in her former office who fall into that category," he said.
Woodards shared Herskovic's concerns. He said he also was alarmed by a divide over Walsh's comment that is playing out over social media.
She is drawing support from many whites and law enforcement officials while blacks are criticizing her, Woodards said.
Woodards, who has tried several cases against Walsh, described her as strong, tenacious and passionate.
But he was surprised by what she wrote Monday night.
"I was shocked, appalled and outraged," he said.