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Napoleon: Palmer Woods remark about 'quality of life'

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  • Benny Napoleon: Palmer Woods is not Detroit

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    Thursday, January 3 2013 11:48 AM EST2013-01-03 16:48:09 GMT
    He hasn't officially announced a run for Detroit mayor, but Benny Napoleon is already throwing punches.  His first jab was aimed right at Mike Duggan and his neighborhood.
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By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- "It was a statement regarding quality of life," Napoleon said.

Thursday, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon clarified what he meant when he said during a recent speaking engagement that Palmer Woods is not Detroit.  The upscale neighborhood is now home to former Wayne County Prosecutor and former head of the DMC Mike Duggan.

Both men are exploring a run for mayor of Detroit.

"It was just a comparison between the quality of life that exists in Palmer Woods as opposed to a different quality of life that exists throughout the rest of the city of Detroit," said Napoleon.  "My statement was that is the type of quality of life that we should strive to have throughout the city of Detroit."

But he also reportedly said the city was our Detroit and we're going to keep it for Detroiters.  Some call the remarks divisive and questioned whether Napoleon was somehow injecting race into the race.

"I don't know how he could make that a statement about race," he said.

Does Napoleon think it's an issue that Mike Duggan is white?

"No," he said.  "The fact that someone is black or white is a non-issue.  Detroiters have demonstrated over the course of time that they will vote for anybody that they believe has the best interest of Detroit at heart."

Napoleon says he does, looking to his 38 years in law enforcement as a chief, educator and sheriff, ready to focus on narcotics, violence among young people and career criminals.

"You have to focus on those people who are victimizing the community as a matter of course every single day and that will start driving your crime rate down."

With the incredibly high homicide numbers coming out on Thursday, Sheriff Napoleon was adamant that crime and public safety are the number one issues in the next mayoral election, but one thing he said has no place in this election is the issue of race.

"I'm the sheriff of 43 communities in Wayne County.  It's a very diverse county and I represent all of the people of Wayne County, and there is no way I would engage in anything as divisive as interjecting race into the mayoral race.  There's no place for it and I won't participate in it."

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