Kwame: "Just Take Me Down And Hang Me From That Big Fist Downtown.”
It was just like old times last night in Detroit's New Center: Kwame Kilpatrick held a news conference.
Only he's not mayor anymore, though he sounded like one.
In less than a month, Kilpatrick is scheduled to go to trial on federal bribery and corruption charges along with his father Bernard Kilpatrick, friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson and former city water chief Victor Mercado.
A 38-count indictment accuses the four of running a criminal enterprise out of Detroit city hall.
A conviction could put Kilpatrick in prison for years, and defendants in federal court trials -- or any trials -- rarely open themselves up for a "no-holds-barred" encounter with journalists.
But this is Kwame Kilpatrick. He relished being the center of attention, criticized Mayor Dave Bing as "detached from the community," sort of endorsed Mike Duggan for mayor and bragged about how much he knows about Detroit.
Kilpatrick told reporters he "never stole a damn dime in my life from anyone" but can't get a fair trial in Detroit.
Kilpatrick said the city is "too emotionally charged" to seat an unbiased jury because he's been demonized as "big bad Kilpatrick."
"I'd be better off if you just take me down and hang me from that fist downtown," Kilpatrick said in an unsubtle reference to lynching.
He called his indictment "a classic federal shotgun case, shoot everything we can at you and see what sticks. It's irresponsible, it's horrible and it's scary too." Kilpatrick said.
He added: "Yes, there's corruption in the city of Detroit, but was I corrupt? Absolutely not. Did I steal? Absolutely not."