April 17, 2001 (DETROIT) – Mayor Dennis Archer, dogged by allegations that police have a "round up the usual suspects" approach to homicide investigations, has decided to step down.
Archer announced today that he would not seek a third term.
The police department was a hot issue in the 1960s and early 1970s, but it did not play a major role in campaigns after 1973 when the city elected its first black mayor. Now, local officials are concerned about police treatment of witnesses and by the amount of money paid to settle false arrest suits.
Studies have found that the Detroit Police Dept. arrests an average of three people per homicide, far more than most departments, while clearing a far lower percentage of cases. Critics say that officers simply bust whoever happens to be on the scene, holding them for hours or days before releasing them without charges.
Archer, a former state Supreme Court justice, requested a federal investigation of the department, which is still underway.