Commissioner Willie Burton speaking as QuanTez Pressley, Cedric Banks and an audience of Detroit Police Department officers look at him. Commissioner Jim Holley has his head bowed, and DPD Deputy Chief Franklin Hayes is using his phone.
Commissioner Willie Burton accused the board of not being transparent in its investigator hiring process.

Detroit Board of Police Commissioners Community Meeting, April 13, 2023

Commissioners appointed the Rev. Jerome Warfield Sr. as their chief investigator; it is unsure whether he will accept. They also chose five candidates to become investigators for board. Meanwhile, the number of open citizen complaint cases continues to rise, despite a plateau in longstanding cases. 

“What have they done to earn my trust?”
— Young adult giving public comment, saying there is a lack of police accountability. 

Commissioners appointed the Rev. Jerome Warfield Sr. as chief investigator, even though they rescinded a job offer to him last month. On Feb. 10, the board’s Personnel & Training Committee recommended to hire Warfield for the position, and the board made an offer on Feb. 23. He accepted. But on March 2, the board rescinded the chief investigator offer. Warfield subsequently sued the board

Only four commissioners — Vice Chair Annie Holt, Jim Holley, Ricardo Moore and Willie Burton — voted yes to approve Warfield’s appointment. The no votes were Chair Bryan Ferguson, Cedric Banks and QuanTez Pressley, while Jesus Hernandez, Linda Bernard and Lisa Carter were absent. As part of the appointment, Warfield’s “retroactive start date” is March 13. 

The board also chose candidates to fill five investigator positions. Commissioners chose to offer Briana Chinman, Justin St. Clair, Mary Simmons, Nicole Mesiner and Vauadia Fleming each a salary range from $40,344 to $60,306 should they accept. 

Commissioner Burton was the only no vote for all five hires. He loudly protested, saying commissioners weren’t informed about these candidates and accusing the board of corruption and rubber-stamping. Although Chair Ferguson said Burton is a member of the board’s Personnel & Training Committee, which interviewed and voted to recommend the investigator candidates.

The board has 523 open cases investigating citizen complaints, an increase from 482 open cases on March 16. While there was only an increase of 4 open cases aged 61 days or older, the bulk of open cases remains older than 90 days. Regardless, Board Secretary Victoria Shah was positive about the case closure rate. 

“We’re just about closing cases at the same rate that they’re coming in the door, which is good, considering that we’re not fully staffed.” 

Since the start of 2023, the Board of Police Commissioners has received 377 citizen complaints against police officers. About 29% of these cases were closed within 20 days. 

Table of Contents


The meeting was live-blogged on Mastodon and Twitter for Detroit Documenters, which offers its own report.

Documents available on, including the meeting agenda.

The agency’s last meeting on April 6 was documented by Alex Klaus and Heidi Ausgood. The next meeting on April 20 was documented by Alex Klaus and Gina McPherson.

Visit the agency’s website for official information.


Archived pages

Mastodon posts and meeting page are archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.


The actual start of the meeting (6:31 p.m.) can be heard 31 minutes into the recording. 


Screenshots of online meeting.


Page published April 13, 2023.

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