Ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's pen pal, ‘I believe he got a raw deal'

Posted at 6:45 PM, Sep 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-09 05:55:50-04

A woman in Southfield has become a pen pal to imprisoned former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Racquel Shelby first wrote to Kilpatrick in February. She has sent seven letters and he's written back three times. 

Shelby said it is strictly platonic.

"I'm just trying to help him," she said. "I believe he got a raw deal."

Shelby is a wife, mother of three and aspiring journalist with her own Youtube channel.

Her first letter to him was a letter of support, met with approval from her husband. 

She said she became his pen pal because she sees him as someone who has accomplished a lot, and could still help others like herself.

"I know people want to paint this as some sort of scandal, but it's not," she said. "Building relationships in journalism is important."

Shelby said Kilpatrick, as a former attorney and mayor, could possibly be a mentor for her.

"He let me know he was keeping his head up, devoting his life to Christ," she said. "Wishing my family and my children well."

She wasn't originally going to go public with the correspondence, but Kilpatrick sent her a letter last month saying he was fighting and wanted her to share the message.

His letter talks about his restitution and his belief that the criminal charges are unfair.

"I'm not saying the man is totally innocent or totally guilty," she said. "I'm saying he got a raw deal with 28 years."

Shelby hopes that sharing his letter with the public will somehow get him out of prison.