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Fmr. Chief James Craig explains why he stopped enforcing mask mandates with Detroit police

Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 23, 2021

(WXYZ) — Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig says police wrote some 6,000 tickets for violating mask mandates last year, ordered by Governor Whitmer, and said he was told to by Mayor Mike Duggan.

Craig says he stopped the enforcement after he saw protesters outside the state Capitol in Lansing not wearing masks and not enforced by Michigan State Police.

Craig told reporters, “I got a mayor. I directly report to the mayor. And the mayor gives me a direction as long as it’s legal, ethical, I follow it.”

Craig said he’s still exploring a run for governor and will announce his decision in two weeks.

Craig held another meeting of what he’s now calling LEADS, Law Enforcement Action Driving Success. The group with Craig was all Republicans. It was held at a conference table with a few members connected via Zoom, but the meeting was closed to the media. Cameras and reporters watched through a plate glass wall.

Craig says the task force is not political. Democrats have been on this team including Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham who tells 7 Action News he got word about the meeting late Friday and couldn’t make it.

If Craig becomes a full-fledged candidate Sheriff Wickersham tells 7 Action News, “As long as the team’s talking about law enforcement issues and not talking about political issues, yes I’ll come to the table.”

Sheriff Wickersham also urged Craig to make up his mind on running soon adding, “he’s got to get out front and commit to it now and let people know."

Craig says he would welcome an endorsement from former President Trump. Craig said an investigation would be needed to determine if the election was stolen. Craig also said the people involved in the January 6th insurrection were held accountable regardless of their political views.

Craig stopped taking questions when asked if he needs to take a position on the election and Trump’s involvement on January 6th to get Trump’s endorsement.