'Detroit in Black and White:' Ex-Detroit Police Ike McKinnon Says Lifting Residency Requirement 'Literally Killed Us'

April 29, 2023, 6:25 PM

Isaiah "Ike" McKinnon on Saturday on "Detroit in Black and White."

Ex-Detroit Police Chief Isaiah "Ike" McKinnon says lifting the residency requirement for Detroit police has hurt the department.

"That literally killed us," McKinnon says during an interview Saturday on the videocast, "Detroit in Black and White," with host Adolph Mongo and co-hosts Vanessa Moss and Allan Lengel.

McKinnon, who was police chief from 1994-1998, was referring to officers who don't reside in the city, which he says has resulted in less ties and concern about Detroit and its neighborhoods. 

In 1999, the state, under Gov. John Engler, enacted a law prohibiting residency requirements for police officers and other municipal employees.

McKinnon, 79, also expresses skepticism about a recently announced 12-point safety plan to  address violence downtown, saying "it's not a new plan. They did it before, he said, acknowledging that it was not effective.

"I don't know how well this is going to work," he added. 

And he also talks about the need for more parental  responsiblity in the city to help curb crime and the racism he faced inside the department as a young officer. 

The show also includes some snippets from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's oral history of Allan Lengel's mother, Miriam Lengel, who was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.

The group discusses the Holocaust and Black slavery. 

Listen to the full show below.  (You can also listen to this on a pocast)

Read more:  Detroit in Black and White

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