Benny Napoleon dead – Michigan Sheriff who unsuccessfully ran for Detroit mayor dies of Covid aged 65

A FORMER Detroit police chief who dedicated much of his life to public service has died after a month-long battle with Covid-19.

Benny Napoleon, the sheriff of Wayne County in Michigan, was with family when he died at the Henry Ford Hospital on Thursday evening.


He was 65-years-old.

Born in 1955, Napoleon joined the Detroit Police Department in 1975 and began rising through the ranks.

He served as police chief from 1998 to 2001, when he retired from the department.

The Democrat became the assistant executive for Wayne County in 2004, before being appointed as county sheriff in 2009 – a position he kept after winning elections in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

Napoleon also unsuccessfully ran for Detroit mayor in 2013.

He had been hospitalized in Detroit for weeks with complications from coronavirus after testing positive in November.

Mike Duggan, the current mayor ofthe city, tweeted his disbelief at Napoleon's death.

He wrote: "I am shocked and saddened at the loss of one of our city’s greatest public servants and native sons."

Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, described Napoleon as a "dear friend" in a tribute.

She wrote on Twitter: "I am heartbroken at the news of my dear friend Benny’s passing.

"Sheriff Napoleon’s love for the people he served was returned many times over. His quick laugh, eager partnership, and candid counsel is what I will miss most. Sharon, Tiffani and his whole family are in my prayers."

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