‘System worked’ in alleged Ford domestic violence case

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Law enforcement “did the right thing” in their response Monday to Cynthia Ford’s 911 phone call about a incident involving her husband, Edsel Ford II, a Metro Detroit advocate against domestic violence said.

“I would have to say the system worked,” said Sue Coats, CEO of Turning Point in Mount Clemens, a shelter that aids domestic violence victims. “If the person in a home is in danger, the police did the right thing by removing him from his home and making sure she was safe.”

Police said during a “physical altercation,” Edsel Ford took away his wife’s cellphone as she tried to record the incident that involved alcohol Monday around 11:30 p.m.

In a statement Tuesday through attorney Todd Flood, Cynthia Ford said the incident wasn’t a domestic violence case, adding: “I stand behind true victims of domestic violence and I am not one of them.”

Although Edsel Ford did spend Monday night in jail, Grosse Pointe Farms City Prosecutor Robert Ihrie announced Tuesday he would not be criminally charged because of insufficient evidence.

Edsel Ford II, the 67-year-old great-grandson of Henry Ford, is on the board of directors of the Ford Motor Co. He has held positions with the Detroit 300 Conservancy, National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army and Detroit Children’s Fund.

“We may never know what happened in this case, but it stands as a reminder that domestic violence happens every day and in all social classes,” Beth Morrison, president and CEO of HAVEN, said in an email. HAVEN is a Pontiac-based domestic violence and sexual assault shelter.

In 2015, there were 90,595 victims of domestic violence in the state, according to Michigan State Police. At least 64,136 of them were female, and 10,276 cases occurred between spouses.

“High-profile cases often attract headlines, but thousands of people experience domestic violence every day,” Amy Youngquist, CEO of First Step, said in an email. First Step is a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Plymouth.

“They come from all walks of life,” Youngquist said. “It is important for survivors to know they are not at fault and they are not alone.”


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Twitter: @RightandNoble

Phone numbers for local 24-hour crisis lines:

■YWCA Interim House (Detroit): 313-861-5300

■First Step (Plymouth): 734-722-6800 or 888-453-5900

■Turning Point (Mt. Clemens): 586-463-6990

■HAVEN (Pontiac): 248-334-1274 or 877-922-1274