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Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appears in Wayne County Circuit Court for his sentencing on October 28, 2008, in Detroit, Michigan. | Source: Getty Images / Getty

In an unexpected move, a former Democrat mayor of Detroit who was pardoned by Donald Trump over a corruption conviction has been scheduled to speak at a conference marketed to conservatives and organized by a group that opposes a number of progressive social policies.

Kwame Kilpatrick, who was among dozens of people Trump pardoned in 2021, is listed as a speaker at the Social Conservative Police Conference, an inaugural event billed on its website as “the largest convening of the most important social conservative policy leaders in America.”

The Social Conservative Police Conference was scheduled to take place Monday through Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina. It is the brainchild of the Family Policy Alliance, an apparently extremely right-wing organization whose stated “mission is to advance biblical citizenship, equip and elect statesmen, promote policy and serve an effective alliance, all committed to a common vision.”

Notably, the issues championed by the Family Police Alliance present a clear conflict of interest with the political ideology of Democrats, prompting the question of whether he is still a card-carrying member of the Democratic Party.

“Together, we will debate ideas, develop strategies and action steps, and cast fresh vision to increase our impact and influence in public policy,” the Family Police Alliance assured about the Social Conservative Police Conference.

The contents of Kilpatrick’s address were not immediately available for review.

But a closer look at Kilpatrick’s record as mayor of Detroit shows that his personal policies may not be that far off from those supported by the Family Police Alliance, which is staunchly against abortion rights and same-sex marriage, for example.

Notably, Kilpatrick, who served two terms as Detroit’s mayor from 2002 to 2008, named an LGBTQ liaison to his office, prompting commendation for his progressive approach. But at the same time, he also refused to sign a human rights law than banned anti-trans discrimination.

What did Kwame Kilpatrick do?

Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve 28 years in prison for various degrees of corruption including racketeering, extortion and fraud.

Specifically, Kilpatrick in 2008 pleaded guilty to perjury and obstruction of justice during a criminal trial stemming from a text messaging scandal centered on an extramarital sexual relationship he had with his chief of staff. In that case, Kilpatrick served a little more than three months in jail.

But after he was released, Kilpatrick violated the terms of his probation and was sent back to jail in 2010.

Three years later, Kilpatrick was found guilty of felony corruption charges like wire fraud and racketeering over bribery accusations that earned him a 28-year sentence in federal prison.

In 2021, Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of nearly 150 people on his last day in office, and Kilpatrick made the cut. The pardon was largely seen as a result of a letter Kilpatrick sent Trump with gratuitous praise and compliments that also painted the now-former president as a victim of a purported Democrat-led witchhunt.

In that letter, Kilpatrick played to Trump’s fragile ego and blamed former President Barack Obama‘s U.S. attorney for what was described as the overaggressive prosecution of a case that resulted in an “egregious and unjust federal prison sentence.”

Prison officials had previously shot down Kilpatrick’s request to be released early over coronavirus concerns behind bars.

This is America.


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