Flint Police Officer Madeline Fletcher (Sun, June 3) says she shot Police Officer William Kalberer in self-defense. Fletcher, 20, defense attorney Kenneth Cockrel's first witness, contends that Kalberer chased and clubbed her following an argument over who would drive the police cruiser last December 27. Fletcher says Kalberer was beating her and she feared for her life.
Earlier, Joy Harrington, the first black Flint policewoman to testify, said the Clifford Ames, a Physical Training instructor at Flint's Police Academy, told black women hired under the Department's Affirmative Action Program that the senior officers JE didn't want them in the department, and they "should get used to it." She testified that there is a prevailing sexist and racist attitude in the Flint Police Department, and that sometimes, "Some of the guys were so rotten it was unbearable."
Several spectators, asked for their reaction to the trial, told the SUN that it wasn't fair to have Fletcher on trial and not Kalberer. "When two people are involved in a shootout, and only one is tried, what kind of sense does that make?" one spectator said.
----- Doug Cunningham