LANSING, Mich. — Lansing's mayor says he did not push his police chief to retire.
The mayor wished Chief Yankowski good luck on his retirement and said it was 100 percent the chief's decision.
"It's his decision to make. He is retirement eligible like any other employee. It's his decision to make if he would like to keep working past age or not and he chose to spend time with his family and an prioritize that. I didn't ask him to retire. He made the choice on his own," Mayor Andy Schor said.
Cheif Yankowski started with the Lansing Police Department back in 1994 as a road patrol officer. He then worked his way up and became Chief of Police in 2013. Mayor Schor says he has admired his work in his year and a half as mayor.
"He is very available to community members he has worked with different neighborhoods and all different communities within the city. I think he has been a very forward facing chief, he's been very available and very transparent," Mayor Schor added.
With the investigation still going on into the controversial arrest of a minor on June 14th, people in the community think that the pressure played a part in his decision.
"To be honest, I felt bad about it. the pressures that were put upon him and some situations may have been out of his control, brought this upon and maybe other factors as well. The optics are that this situations had a lot to do with that," Michael Lynn of Lansing Residents United said.
Lynn is a firefighter who's suing the city for racial discrimination. He's also a member of Lansing Residents United, which delivered letters demanding changes at LPD to the mayor on Monday. He hopes the person is able to smooth things over, and leaders of the city will listen more.
"There's people here in the city that feel unheard, and that's why LRU was created. There's people who feel that they have no voice and they feel marginalized. They feel like they are being set to the side," he said.
Yankowski's last day is July 31st. Captain Daryl Green will be the acting chief starting August 1st.
We talked with Chief Yankowski on Tuesday. He angrily ended our interview when we asked if the investigation into a controversial arrest by two Lansing police officers had anything to do with his retirement.
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