Detroit’s ‘Hip-Hop Mayor’ Is Being Released From Prison On Nov. 3, Election Day

Detroit’s ‘Hip-Hop Mayor’ Is Being Released From Prison On Nov. 3, Election Day

Hip-Hop Mayor
Photo: In this Jan. 20, 2010 file photo, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick appears during his restitution hearing in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)/Photo: In this July 13, 2010 artist sketch, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, second right, appears in court in Detroit for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer. (AP Photo/Carole Kabrin)

Imprisoned former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick may be going home on Nov. 3 after seven years behind bars, according to Michigan State Rep. Karen Whitsett. If it’s true, the hip-hop mayor will be out election day.

News of Kilpatrick’s release, however, has not been confirmed, Fox 2 reported. The announcement came from Whitsett, who claimed that her higher sources relayed this information to her. There is some doubt about this because back in May, Whitsett also claimed Kilpatrick would be released from prison due to covid-19, but that was untrue, Detroit News reported. 

Kilpatrick’s sister also claims Kilpatrick will soon be released. 

“Due to suffering severe health challenges we expect Kwame Kilpatrick to receive a grant for covid-19 compassionate release from the FBOP this week,” Ayanna Kilpatrick tweeted on Nov. 1, Click On Detroit reported.

Kilpatrick, 50, is serving a 28-year sentence for corruption and racketeering while serving as mayor of Detroit from 2001 to 2008. He was sentenced in 2013 and has lost his appeals. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the original appeal of his conviction and sentence. Kilpatrick filed another motion in 2017 to vacate his prison sentence. This, too, was denied by a district court judge. In 2018, Kilpatrick appealed to President Donald Trump in a letter for his sentence to be commuted. In 2019, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied another of his appeals, Click On Detroit reported.

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Kilpatrick is imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana. He has been known as Detroit’s “hip-hop” mayor” ever since comedian Chris Rock called him “America’s first hip-hop mayor.”

As of the night of Nov. 1, 2020, Kilpatrick’s release date was still listed as Jan. 18, 2037, according to the Bureau of Prison inmate directory. 

News of the hip-hop mayor’s possible release sparked discussion on Twitter.

Author and economist Dr. Boyce Watkins tweeted, “I keep hearing that #DonaldTrump pardoned #KwameKilpatrick. But the only article I could find on the topic was from May, which didn’t happen. I also saw an unconfirmed tweet by Angela Stanton. Anybody got a news reference?”

Another Twitter user posted, “If this is true, I am thrilled. His sentence was way too harsh.”

Back in July, a group of Kilpatrick supporters called for his sentence to be commuted, holding a virtual press conference via Ebony Magazine. The group included 20 pastors. Bishop T.D. Jakes, senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas was part of the group, along with Bishop Vashti McKenzie, presiding bishop, 10th Episcopal District, AME Church; Rev. Samuel Tolbert, president of the National Baptist Convention of America; and Evangelist Alveda King, author and niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also in attendance was Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Click On Detroit reported. 

The group called for the commutation of Kilpatrick’s sentence and debt forgiveness for thousands of Black farmers.

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Their statement read, Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2013. It ties the record for the longest sentence in American history for an elected official. This clear case of excessive sentencing is emblematic of the victimization of Black men by the criminal justice system.”

The former Detroit mayor’s restitution was $1,637,087.