Kwame Kilpatrick: For Beginners

Yesterday the nation wagged its collective tongue about Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the felony charges brought against him for lying about an affair he had with his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, who is also facing charges. Haven’t heard about this episode of the Kwame Bunch? Welcome to the party, because we are all hella late!

First, this is not new. Actually, this has been going on for a while now. Most of us were just too busy focusing on other things (Obama, Spitzer, War, our own jobs, etc). Besides let’s face it, America doesn’t really care about Detroit. With the exception of a few national news blurbs, it wasn’t a hot issue which is interesting because this was much more than an affair, folks. A woman connected to this cluster-fuck of an administration was murdered. So to help you lovelies wrap your head around everything, we’re gonna “break this down so it will forever and always be broke” (we heart you Love Jones).

What we gonna do is go back … six years. Yes honey, and this is the simple version. Presenting … in almost-chronological order … The Life & Times of Kwame Kilpatrick!


– Kwame is elected mayor of Detroit to much acclaim and fanfare (we admit it, we loved him).

– After being elected mayor of Detroit, Kwame allegedly throws a party, with strippers, at his state-owned official residence, the Manoogian Mansion. According to former members of his Executive Protection Unit (EPU), his wife Carlita comes home to find Kwame with the strippers and attacks one of the girls.

– Kilpatrick is found out to have charged over $210,000 in credit card bills. What was he buying? Spa massages, Moët, etc. He ended up paying the city back $9,000.


– Detroit Officer Harold C. Nelthrope contacts the internal affairs unit of the Detroit Police, about the party and other abuses committed by Kilpatricks’s EPU members.

– Kilpatrick denies all allegations and dismisses the party as a rumor. He went on to say that he does not have “lewd parties,” “I don’t whore around on my wife” and “I want people to understand that I would never disrespect my God, my wife or my children”.

– Nelthrope and Gary A. Brown, head of the internal affairs unit are fired. They allege they got the axe for their participation in Kilpatrick’s investigation. Then the pair sue the city of Detroit, in what is known as the Whistleblower Trial, eventually winning an $8.4 million settlement.

– Two additional officers come forth with claims of retaliation: Walt Harris and Alvin Bowman. Harris was a former EPU member who was identified as cooperating with the Manoogian investigation, which resulted in Harris suffering a smear campaign by Kilpatrick administration.

– Tamara “Strawberry” Greene, 27, an exotic dancer who claims to have been a performer at the Manoogian Mansion party is found dead after being shot 18 times. Witnesses describe it as a targeted hit. The bullets are found to have belonged to the same types of guns issued by the Detroit Police Department. Bowman, (listed above) who was working this case, was transferred out of the homicide unit after discovering these facts and attempting to connect the dots. The Greene family is currently suing the city of Detroit for about $150 million. This is also the catalyst for the text-messages being released to the Detroit Free press.


– Break! –


– Two police officers pull over Kilpatrick’s Chief of Staff (and now-alleged lover) Christine Beatty over for speeding. After yelling, “Do you know who the fuck I am?” Beatty calls Police Chief Ella Billy-Cummings to call the officers off. When this gets to the media, Kilpatrick, Beatty and Billy-Cummings claim the traffic stop was a “set-up” to harass Beatty. A slander suit ensues, eventually settling for $25,000.


– Kilpatrick is named one of the three worst big-city mayors in the United States by TIME Magazine. Seriously.

– Kilpatrick causes a stir with a newspaper advertisement that compares his media criticism to that of a lynching.

– Reporter Steve Wilson claims that the city had entered an expensive one year lease for a Red Lincoln Navigator, totalling $24,995; five dollars under the amount that required for the Detroit City Council’s approval. Kilpatrick, Beatty, Bully-Cummings and other members of the mayor’s staff deny that the Navigator was intended to be used by the mayor’s wife and children. Eventually, Kilpatrick admitted the Navigator was for his family. When Wilson tries to question Kilpatrick about the lease, a member of the mayor’s security team is seen on camera shoving Wilson against a wall. A Red Navigator? Shouldn’t we be trying to blend in?

– In a controversial election, he won the mayoral post again in 2005.


– Detroit news reports that Kilpatrick used $8,600 from his Kilpatrick Civic Fund, which was created for voter education, crime and economic empowerment, to take his family on a weeklong Californian vacation, which violated IRS regulations. Cameras caught Kilpatrick grabbing the microphone out of a reporter’s hand when questioned about this event.


– In what many saw as a move to help offset a large portion of funds needed to pay off his whistle blower settlement, Kilpatrick proposes selling 92 Detroit city parks.

– Both Kilpatrick and Beatty testify in court during the Whistleblower Trial, both denying their extramarital affair, and Kilpatrick denies having sex with other women.


– In January, The Detroit Free Press reveals and examines the 14,000+ text messages sent between Kilpatrick and Beatty during 2002 and 2003. These texts are during the time period of the Manoogian Mansion party and the firing of Gary Brown (remember!). In addition the text messages reveal: they were sexing like rabbits, they plotted to get rid of Gary brown among other things and apparently were afraid to get caught.

– On March 11, Kilpatrick delivers his State-of-the-City address. After typical positive city news and recognition, Kilpatrick addresses the scandal and controversy surrounding his time in office. His statement includes: “…In the past 30 days I’ve been called a nigger more than anytime in my entire life. In the past three days I’ve received more death threats than I have in my entire administration. I’ve heard these words before but I’ve never heard people say them about my wife and children. I have to say this because it’s very personal to me. I don’t believe that a Nielsen rating is worth the life of my children or your children. This unethical, illegal lynch mob mentality has to stop. And it’s seriously time…

-On March 18th, the Detroit City Council passed a resolution asking Kilpatrick to resign, but Kilpatrick dismissed the vote as irrelevant.

– March 24, 2008. County Prosecutor Kym Worthy (and her fabulous blow-out) announces a 12-count indictment against Kilpatrick and Beatty. Felony charges include perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice. He states he expects “full and complete vindication.”


This all could have been avoided if he just would’ve gone to the strip club, tipped Kiki a $20 and kept it movin’.
Seriously, wtf?
Let’s all grab the popcorn now, ’cause the trial is coming! This is going to be better than The Wire.

**somebody cue up Curtis Mayfield’s “Freddie’s Dead” for Kilpatrick’s hat above. Please?**spacer1.jpg


Detroit Free Press



Detroit News: An Interactive Timeline

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington

  • Mandi

    The man is serously sick!!! HAHA you were right J! He should of took his ass to the strip club and he should found a little hood rat to freak instead of an employee! DUHHHHH And the text messages???? Even the dumbest of men know that these can be tracked! And his wife, wtf is she doing? Just driving her navigator around Detroit acting like everything is okay! As a Black woman to another Black woman, all I have to say is “BaY Bay, you need to reacess your life and purpose, if you think that standing by your “man” is the best thing to do!” Cuz it’s not! I cant wait until all his shit is aired out! I really hope they uncover some new information about all those people that have been fired and the woman that was killed! I usually dont like to see the brothas go down, even if they are wrong but he is just silly and sloppy with his stuff! So burn baby burn!!!

  • Tracy

    Mayor KILLpatrick should have just resigned. He failed at his position of Mayor. So sadd…

  • Veruca Salt

    Let us not forget about his other charges stemming from city contracts. Text messages showing how he and BEatty “hooked” up their friend who somehow out dbidded other construction companies will seal everyone’s coffin. Kick-backs and skimming off the top is gonna be the end for them!

  • Terri

    I have never in my life seen or heard of any black man with political power be so damned GHETTO. I mean really, this is one of the craziest stories I have ever read in my entire life. Black men are already acting like they are the shit but to become part of a political party or even the head man in charge and then act a damn fool is beyond me.

  • mina

    Detroit sounds like a sewer. You voted the man in twice (at least) and ignored ALL of the signs. Your economy is in the toilet, schools system is deplorable, health care non-existent; children killing each other; crime, both blue and white, rampant – and you call yourselves brothers and sisters, men an women. It is ashame that so many Black REAL MEN and REAL WOMEN gave thier lives for you during the struggles of slavery and the 60’s – AND – FOR WHAT!!!!!

    If you don’t care anymore about yourselves, your families and your futures, you deserve all that Kilpatrick can give. Have AT It!!

  • Love Jone quote correction: “allow me to break it down so that it can forever and consistently be broke”

  • Danie` Michelle

    “This is better than THE WIRE!” Tell me why, was I thinking the same thing!!!?

  • MJ

    What a ghetto ass Mayor. He is nothing more than a glorified pimp, with his flashy clothes, cars, and women. He utilized tax payers money to fund his lifestyle. I surely don’t feel sorry for him, he needs to go down if he had something to do with that woman’s murder.

  • Geronimo

    As a Detroit resident, born and raised, I am proud to say that I never voted for that big bag of fat Kilpatrick. I’ve had the displeasure of bumping into him and his entourage back in the summer of ’03 and must say that he was a complete and utter asshole. I hope they fry his ass.

  • Osaze Lateef

    Kilpatrick is guilty of unacceptable behavior if and only if these allegations are true. I cannot help sensing a deep rooted hate for the man based on something totally unrelated to the charges. It appears to be somehing like a conspiricy to destroy the man through character assination for personal gain, or just for self-gratification. Check the grammar and spelling of the correspondants. They should be attacking The Detroit Public School System.

  • Makendal Daaga

    Kilpatrick is going to feel the wrought of The System.He is not going to get away this time.Could of stayed home and burn some sativa privately with his wife and just chill but i guess that was too hard to do when you think you are the man in control.Boy they would love his Fat-Ass in jail

  • Grammar Nazi

    “denys”?!! Journalism 101 – check you spelling. It’s “DENIES”.