By Associated Press - Saturday, May 8, 2021

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit police chief plans to talk to reporters Monday amid speculation that he will retire after eight years and consider a turn to politics.

James Craig told The Detroit News that he will hold a news conference Monday.

“I’m a lifelong public servant,” Craig said. “I want to continue to serve.”

The 64-year-old Detroit native has been chief since 2013. He returned home after a long police career in Los Angeles and short stints as chief in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine.

“He brought us a mighty long way,” activist Malik Shabazz said. “He brought energy, he brought new life, and he reached out to the community.”

Craig has a high public profile, regularly speaking to the news media and rarely dodging questions about police incidents, even unflattering ones.

Detroit was an exception to the violent protests around the U.S. a year ago after the fatal shooting of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But the city was sued by activists who said officers used excessive force to keep protesters in line. A judge barred the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and other tactics.

Republicans hope Craig decides to challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in 2022.

“Chief Craig would bring a whole new level of leadership that is exciting,” said Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party.

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