Ex-police chief Ella Bully-Cummings: I didn’t interfere in Tamara Greene case
Former Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and two former security guards for ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick testified today that they never sent, received or destroyed any e-mail concerning Tamara Greene’s homicide or the investigation into her death.
“No,” Bully-Cummings said repeatedly in response to questions from city attorney John Schapka.
Officers Loronzo (Greg) Jones and Mike Martin said the same thing.
They testified during the third day of an ongoing court hearing to determine if the city of Detroit destroyed e-mail to thwart a lawsuit filed by the family of Greene, who supposedly danced at a rumored party at the mayoral Manoogian mansion in 2002.
Jones and Martin denied claims by Norman Yatooma, the Greene family attorney, that the officers knew Greene or attended her funeral.
Greene, 27, a stripper who went by the name Strawberry, was killed in a drive-by shooting in April 2003, some seven months after supposedly dancing at the party.
Yatooma contends Kilpatrick and other officials destroyed or otherwise concealed e-mail that could help his lawsuit.
The family sued Kilpatrick and the city in U.S. District Court in Detroit in 2005, saying he and other officials sabotaged Greene’s murder investigation to prevent her killers from being found. Kilpatrick and the city have denied the charge and have asked a federal judge to dismiss the suit.
Yatooma claimed in court papers last year, based on a deposition with a former homicide investigator, that Jones and Martin were caught on videotape attending Greene’s funeral.
Kilpatrick, who is serving a prison sentence for probation violation in the text-messaging scandal that drove him from office in 2008, testified Monday that he never sent, received or destroyed any e-mails referencing Greene. He said she was never discussed in his office, and he thinks the lawsuit is frivolous.
He admitted deleting some e-mails, but nothing related to Greene.
Yatooma wants a federal judge to issue a default judgment against the city — forcing the city to forfeit the suit — or receive financial or other sanctions for destroying evidence.