MC: What was in the back of your mind when you applied?
BM: To some extent I was in the right place at the right time. I think as you mentioned there’s been the political fallout from the last time around. I think in the past this position has been maybe a little more political than it was this time around. I was a career prosecutor. But the process was Sen. Levin and Sen. Stabenow put together an advisory committee of 25 lawyers. They had a written application and an interview and I went through that process. As a result of that process the senators recommended me to President Obama, who nominated me in November and I was confirmed by the Senate on Christmas Eve. I was very happy and thought that was the greatest thing and the very next day Abdulmutallab flew in from Amsterdam and tried to blow up a plane over Detroit.
MC: What is the biggest challenge for your office right now?
BM: I think violent crime is the biggest challenge for us right now. When people are dying in the streets, from a 7-year-old girl to a 69-year-old grandmother by stray bullet, we need to do something about it. There is just too much gun violence on our streets and I would really like to improve the quality of life in our community.
MC: Why did you set up a Civil Rights Unit in your office?
BM: Because I think we want to address an unmet need — civil rights in our community. We also want to protect our citizens. We are here as the Department of Justice not the department of prosecution. We want to do justice in our community and so if someone has been a victim of a hate crime or housing discrimination, we want to remedy those wrongs. We want to live in a society where all citizens have all of their civil rights protected.
MC: Is this the first Civil Rights Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office?
MC: So it was overdue.
BM: Yes, I think so and I’m very excited about it because I think restoring public trust is a really important part of what we do.
MC: Do you think the public lacks confidence in your office?
BM: I think it lacks confidence in law enforcement in general. I think a citizen’s contact with law enforcement may be negative, they felt that they were racially profiled or may have been as a result of some conflict or incident in their home. So I think we want to get out and talk with people and let them know what we are here to serve them.
MC: Will you continue to be in this field after this assignment?
BM: I don’t know. I’d like to find somewhere to continue to serve.
MC: You don’t have any political ambitions?
BM: No, but I have to leave. I can’t be an assistant U.S. Attorney when I’m done with this job.
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!
- Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, pension cuts (2)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network among lowest priced health plans on Michigan’s ACA health insurance marketplace (1)
- WIGS 4 KIDS HOSTS TENTH ANNIVERSARY FUNDRAISING GALA (6)
- Charles Barkley ‘Agrees’ With GZ Verdict, Says ‘Black People Are Racist Too’ (2)
- Why France’s lens is focused on Detroit (1)