Costly cops

May 23, 2001 at 12:00 am

The quick trigger fingers of the Detroit Police Department have cost the city another hefty legal settlement. Last week Detroit officials agreed to pay $350,000 to the estate of Cora Bell Jones, a 79-year-old woman gunned down during a 1998 scuffle between her family and about eight officers as they came into her east-side home.

Jones, who was partially blind and deaf, pointed a knife at one of the officers responding to reports of a drive-by shooting in the neighborhood; instead of using Mace or a nightstick to disarm the grandmother, another officer shot her in the chest.

That racks up how many millions of bucks paid out as a result of fatal police shootings, Chief Benny Napoleon?

Forgive us for shedding no tears when we read Monday that the chief plans to take a private sector job come July. We hope it doesn’t involve overseeing large numbers of people carrying guns.

Not that Napoleon’s exit will change a bureaucracy that loves secrecy. If the city’s Law Department had its way, the public would never know how much was shelled out in this case.

Attorney David Robinson, who represented the Jones estate, told News Hits that he could not disclose the amount because of a confidentiality agreement. Fortunately, the Detroit City Council must sign off on all legal payments. Last week, a staffer with Council President Pro Tem Maryann Mahaffey kindly let us know the exact figure. Gracias.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]