Former DPD chief urges Michigan lawmakers to pass police reform bills

Ike McKinnon led the Detroit Police Department from 1993-98.

Ike McKinnon in WDET's studios in April 2016.

Former Detroit police chief Ike McKinnon wants the Michigan Legislature to require law enforcement officers to intervene whenever they see a colleague using excessive force.

McKinnon, who once served as Detroit’s deputy mayor, says those measures have worked in other states when police had taken down a suspect.

“The one officer…he was handcuffing him. And the second officer came and put his knee on that man’s neck. And the first officer said… ‘What the hell are you doing… get your knee off this man. I’m not going to be brought up on charges because of you.’”

Listen: Former DPD chief Ike McKinnon speaks to WDET about police reform

Michigan lawmakers are considering several police reform proposals. They include restricting the use of so-called “no-knock” raids, where police enter property without announcing themselves — a practice that has led to several accidental shootings including the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in March 2020.

The legislature is also examining whether to permanently de-certify officers who are fired for using excessive force and then simply join police departments in other jurisdictions.

McKinnon says the legislation would build on existing technology — like police body cams — that help expose when an officer has gone too far.

“The cameras are being monitored — by the officer, the supervisors — to make sure that when these kinds of things occur that they are held accountable.”

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.