Detroit mayor back in court on assault charges

August 15, 2008 11:30:45 AM PDT
Two investigators testified Friday that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick shoved one of them into the other and a made racial remark while they were trying to deliver a subpoena to one of the mayor's friends. Wayne County prosecutor's investigator JoAnn Kinney described Kilpatrick as "very, very angry" last month when he allegedly shoved Detective Brian White into her as they were trying to serve Bobby Ferguson with a subpoena as part of a separate perjury case against the mayor.

District Court Judge Ronald Giles, who sent Kilpatrick to jail for a night last week for violating the terms of his bond in the perjury case and ordered him Thursday to keep wearing an electronic tether, must decide if there is enough evidence for the mayor to stand trial on two felony assault charges.

Kinney and White testified that Kilpatrick used profanity and made a racial remark during the alleged confrontation. "You're a black woman," Kinney said the mayor told her. "You should be ashamed of yourself being with a man with the last name white. You should not be a part of this."

The mayor and Kinney are black. White is white. Kilpatrick's attorneys have denied an assault took place. Defense attorney Jim Parkman questioned Kinney's recollection of where she was standing on the porch and how the mayor allegedly grabbed White. Parkman asked her if, in fact, she might not have been on the porch at all.

"Sir, I was on the steps, trust me," Kinney said.

"I wish I could," Parkman responded.

Defense attorneys were expected to play an audiotape of a call White made to a police dispatcher after the encounter in which, they say, White makes light of the case.

Kilpatrick and his former top aide, Christine Beatty, were charged in March with conspiracy, perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office, mostly tied to their testimony in a civil trial. Sexually explicit text messages between the pair, published by the Detroit Free Press in January, contradict their sworn denials of an affair, a key point in the trial last year involving a former deputy police chief.