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Police Chief Turns in Badge After Horrific Point-Blank Shooting of Tot

Inkster Police Chief Hilton Napoleon said he's been thinking about resigning for some time because he said budget cuts have crippled his department's effectiveness, but the "senseless murder" of a 2-year-old made the decision easier.

Hilton Napoleon, whose resignation as Inkster police chief became effective Friday, addresses reporters at a news conference. (Screenshot: WDIV, Channel 4, video)
Hilton Napoleon, whose resignation as Inkster police chief became effective Friday, addresses reporters at a news conference. (Screenshot: WDIV, Channel 4, video)

After a 2-year-old girl was shot point-blank in the head, reportedly so her father could watch her die, Inkster Police Chief Hilton Napoleon is hanging up his service weapon and turning in his badge.

“You just get to the point when they killed that baby, that was it for me,” Napoleon said in a news conference Friday, his last day on the job.

Napoleon was referencing the July 1 murder of Kamiya LaShawn Gross, whose  life was snuffed out as she played innocently in the yard of a public housing project. The alleged shooter Raymone Bernard Jackson, 24, of Inkster, wanted the girl’s murder to be  “the last thing he sees,” Michigan State Police spokesman Lt. Mike Shaw said in a news conference reported by the Free Press.

In his letter of resignation, Napoleon wrote:

“The lack of resources and adverse working conditions has taken its toll on me. Additionally, the recent senseless murder of a 2-year-old baby makes my decision that much easier,” the Detroit Free Press reports.

The Downriver community of 25,000 is operating under what’s called a financial consent decree and the police force has been whittled to about two dozen officers, down from 60 in 2011.

Also arrested was Rapheal Daniel-Jordan Hearn, also known as Raphael Hearn, 29, of Inkster, who reportedly drove the van that delivered Jackson to the scene of a crime that residents of the housing project said “violated the code of the streets.”

But Shaw said no street code can justify the violence in Inkster, one of Michigan’s most crime-riddled communities. “The people of Inkster should be just outraged that this is common practice or this has actually come to this point,” Shaw said in the news conference last week. “This is a turning point for the people city of Inkster to say we’ve had enough of this stuff. This has to come to an end.”

The murder, reportedly in retaliation for a shooting at an after-hours club that was a breaking point for Napoleon, Inkster Mayor Hilliard Hampton  told The Detroit News.

The 60-year-old chief  “always made it clear that if anyone ever came to the point that he didn’t think he was effective, he’d be comfortable moving on,” Hampton said. “He lost half of his staff, half the officers ... he’s given so much of his personal time to fill in the void. ...

“He’s been a good trouper,” Hampton said. “It takes a toll, it takes a toll on anyone. Then you have this financial condition.”

The city has had to increasingly rely on Michigan State Police to curb violence in the city since the budget cuts crippled the police department, WDIV, Channel 4, reports.

Still, the murder rate doubled in in 2013 to 18, up from nine the year prior, according to the mayor’s 2014 state of the city report.

Napoleon told reporters Friday that he wanted to see completion of the $7.7 million Inkster Justice Center before resigning. The facility will house the police department as well as 22nd District Court.

“I thought, ‘I can’t do this any more under these conditions,’ “ he said Friday. “It wears on you and it’s been wearing on me for a while.”

Funeral Saturday for Murdered Tot

Kamiya will be buried at Westlawn Cemetery in Wayne on Saturday – which would have been her third birthday – following an 11 a.m. service the Pentecostal Temple COGIC, 30043 Parkwood, in Inkster.

Chimes Funeral Home, 4670 S. Inkster Road, is handling the funeral arrangements.

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