Wayne County sheriff dies from COVID-19 complications


A photo from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office shows late sheriff Benny Napoleon, who died from COVID-19 complications on Dec. 17, 2020.

DETROIT (AP) — Benny Napoleon, the sheriff of Michigan’s largest county and a former Detroit police chief, died Thursday after spending weeks in the hospital with COVID-19, his family said.

Napoleon, 65, died at Henry Ford Hospital with family present, daughter Tiffani Jackson said.

“Remember his generosity, integrity and faithfulness as a public servant for over 45 years,” she said.

Napoleon was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 20, a day after publicly disclosing that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Napoleon was Wayne County sheriff since 2009. He served as Detroit police chief earlier in his career and ran for mayor in 2013, losing to Mike Duggan.

“I cannot think of a leader in this town who has been more loved and admired than Benny,” Duggan said. “He was born in the city, served our community courageously his entire adult life, and loved Detroit as much as anyone I’ve ever known.”

Napoleon’s brother, Hilton Napoleon, survived COVID-19 after more than two months in a hospital.

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