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Ex-Detroit police chief James Craig announces he is running to unseat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022

Ex-Detroit police chief James Craig announces he is running to unseat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022

  • Craig ran the Detroit Police Department for eight years until last month
  • He announced an exploratory committee on Tucker Carlson’s show Wednesday 
  • ‘We know what happened last year, when other cities were burning,’ he said 
  • He criticized Whitmer for following ‘different rules’ and for Covid lockdowns 

Former Detroit police chief James Craig announced plans to seek the Republican nomination for governor of Michigan in a bid to ‘take the state back’ from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Craig touted his ability to keep Detroit in order after the 2020 killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor inspired social justice protests, some of which turned violent.

‘We know what happened last year, when other cities were burning,’ he told Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show Wednesday night. 

Protesters clash with Chicago police on May 30, 2020 after George Floyd’s killing

A New York police van was set ablaze during Black Lives Matter protests on May 30, 2020

A New York police van was set ablaze during Black Lives Matter protests on May 30, 2020

‘We know that Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago – but Detroit did not burn.’ 

‘Amen,’ Carlson replied. 

A police station was set on fire in Minneapolis and cars were set ablaze in Washington, DC last year in response to footage of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin was later sentenced to 22 years in prison for kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he could no longer breathe.

A man in an Elmo mask dances near a fire in Philadelphia on May 25, 2020 during protests

A man in an Elmo mask dances near a fire in Philadelphia on May 25, 2020 during protests

Ex-Detroit police chief James Craig appears at a press conference in April 2020

Ex-Detroit police chief James Craig appears at a press conference in April 2020

Looting was reported in various cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. 

On May 29, 2020, Detroit police arrested 60 people and one man was killed during protests in the city, according to WDIV-TV.

Activists groups were granted a temporary restraining order against Craig’s department after alleging ‘beatings, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, sound cannons, flash grenades, chokeholds, and mass arrests without probable cause.’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (center) has been criticized for flouting her own social distancing rules

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (center) has been criticized for flouting her own social distancing rules

The recently retired chief headed law enforcement in the state’s largest city for eight years from 2013 to June 1. He previously spent two two-year stints as police chief in Cincinnati, Ohio and Portland, Oregon.

Whitmer, a Democrat, won the governorship with 53 percent of the vote in 2018.

‘She follows different rules,’ Craig, a Republican, said on Wednesday. 

The Democratic governor was elected with 53 percent of the vote in 2018

Whitmer participated in a protest march in June 2020, with some state Republicans criticizing her for violating her own office’s rules on Covid-19 social distancing. 

Craig repeatedly urged viewers to visit the website for his exploratory committee, ChiefJamesCraig.com

He also criticized the governor’s coronavirus-related restrictions. 

‘I can’t help but think about the small business who are suffering through the pandemic,’ he said. ‘Now we wanna give them handouts and businesses can’t even hire employees.’

Carlson appeared to support his guest’s run, adding that he’s never seen a ‘whinier, less competent victim’ than Gretchen.

‘When it came down to it, you kept it safe and I think that really matters,’ Carlson told the former chief. 

The host also joked about what Democrats might say about Craig’s positions.

‘Wait ’til they call you a white supremacist,’ he said.

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