All guts and glory 

If News Hits were to hand out a “Tenacious Reporter of the Year” award, it would surely go to Michigan Citizen staff writer Diane Bukowski. She has been relentless in her attempts to reveal what the City of Detroit learned when it investigated its most notorious killer cop.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy M. Baxter recently ruled that the paper is entitled to portions of what has become known as the “Shoulders Report.” The document focuses on Detroit police officer Eugene Brown, who fatally shot three people and wounded a fourth in his first six years on the force.

“It’s quite a landmark ruling on her part and took guts for her to do it,” says Bukowski in praise of Baxter.

But the victory won’t be complete until Bukowski has the report in hand, and that hasn’t happened yet. Release has been delayed yet again by the city’s continued legal maneuvering.

Bukowski was the first reporter to draw attention to Brown’s lethal record. Other local media followed in her tracks and public outrage built.

In 2000, former Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon ordered then-deputy chief, now-assistant chief, Walter Shoulders to conduct a comprehensive investigation of all the shootings in an effort to quell the controversy. But instead of being used to assure the public that the shootings were justified, the report was never released, and the city has fought to keep it secret ever since.

Bukowski filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the city seeking the report, but was denied. She submitted a second FOIA request last year. When it too was denied, the Citizen turned to the courts.

The city argued that releasing the report would interfere with internal communications as well as ongoing litigation involving Brown.

But attorney Jerome D. Goldberg, who represents the Citizen pro bono, argued that the public’s right to know outweighs the city’s confidentially claim. Last week Judge Baxter ruled that the Citizen is entitled to portions of the report. But the city quickly filed a request asking Baxter to reconsider the ruling, saying that she was ordering the information to be released in a way that put it in improper context, allowing it to “easily be misconstrued or misused,” according to city spokesman Howard Hughey.

As of Monday, Baxter was still reviewing the request to reconsider her ruling.

Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Most Popular

Read the Digital Print Issue

Sept. 15, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation