Tamara Greene attorney says he’s taking Kwame Kilpatrick coverup lawsuit to Supreme Court
DETROIT — Tamara Greene, the dancer who died in a hail of gunfire in a drive-by shooting, has become a victim of Kwame Kilpatrick and his administration’s corruption, says the deceased 27-year-old’s attorney.
Norman Yatooma was audibly disappointed last Thursday after the $150 million lawsuit he filed against ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the city for the alleged coverup of his client’s death was not reinstated by the 6th Circuit Appeals Court.
Representing Greene’s children, Yatooma’s lawsuit was previously dismissed by U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen in 2011 for lack of evidence and appealed.
This is the second time on appeal Rosen’s ruling has not been overturned.
“Much of the feedback seemed quite positive,” Yatooma said. “My clients were very disappointed, but as I told my clients, we’re going to keep fighting this case until we run out of courts and we have one left,” the U.S. Supreme Court.
Yatooma says Kilpatrick, convicted of 24 crimes of corruption in March, and those working under his administration destroyed and manipulated evidence during Greene’s murder investigation.
He says to throw out the case based on lack of evidence — when the defendants are the ones who eliminated that evidence — makes “a joke out of the legal system.”
The city was fined $200,000 for improper handling of emails and other documents, said Yatooma, but that’s an insignificant for a city as large as Detroit.
“You’ll never hold a major municipality or corporation liable again,” he said. “If they can intimidate with their own police and they can destroy evidence… and still get a dismissal.”
Detroit Police Sgt. Marian Stevenson, the homicide detective on Greene’s case, claimed the “talk through Homicide” was that Greene’s slaying was connected to the Manoogian Mansion incident.
Stevenson claimed that case notes from her computer files, four floppy disks disk, a video from Greene’s funeral that depicted two Detroit police officers in attendance and other documents vanished from the file.
The investigation was later reassigned to another investigator.
Yatooma says six officers lost their jobs or were demoted in connection with the Greene case.
When it came to the investigation into the shooting death of Greene, Kilpatrick “obstructed anything and everything that got in his way,” said Yatooma in March.
“The homicide file was completely and utterly destroyed,” said Yatooma, emails vanished and “six officers who were investigating him or Tammy Greene were all demoted, terminated or otherwise threatened.”
“Whether the party happened or not” is not the issue in the Tamara Green case, said Yatooma, it’s the lengths Kilpatrick and his administration went to in their attempt to ensure its existence — and Greene’s slaying — were never fully investigated.
Depositions taken from former Kilpatrick mistress and aide Christine Beatty and former Attorney General Mike Cox during the discovery portion of the Greene lawsuit have been sealed and unavailable to the public.
Yatooma said the depositions will remain sealed unless their confidentiality is challenged by the public.
Greene’s case stems from the fabled, oft-denied but never-proven party at the Manoogian Mansion in the fall of 2002.
Greene, 27, also known by the stage name “Strawberry, was a stripper. It’s alleged she attended the Kilpatrick party and got into an altercation with the then-Mayor’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, who was unhappy with her presence and proximity to her husband.
Greene was gunned down in a drive-by shooting the following April.