Cat-and-mouse games surround Kilpatrick trial

Kwame Kilpatrick outside court Monday.

There is a cat-and-mouse game that starts every day after testimony ends in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard, and pal, Bobby Ferguson, leave court, saying zilch as hungry reporters hover, trying to feed newspapers, airtime and websites with quotes, photos and video.

If we’re lucky, a defense lawyer musters a defense.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kilpatrick, a skilled politician who knows the power of the press, is a master of saying plenty by saying nothing.

One day, he pointed across Fort Street, outside the photographers ” viewfinders,” at an empty sidewalk lined with imaginary supporters, guaranteeing dramatic images.

Some witnesses, meanwhile, try to slink away, unnoticed amid the media scrum.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal court.

Some use newspapers to shield their faces, or hide behind courthouse pillars. Some, like Emma Bell, the over-the shoulder-kickback-holder wearing Kilpatrick fundraiser, try to brave the scrum, but blubber amid the shutter clicks and questions.

Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado stood firm Monday on the first floor of federal court, shadowed by two reporters.

He chatted with a federal agent near the Lafayette exit, hatching an escape plan.

Karl Kado

The agent peeled away.

Kado waited.

The reporters watched.

Minutes passed.

Still no agent. Still no escort. Still no ride.

Suddenly, a dusty blue Chevrolet Malibu pulled up outside court.

It was the federal agent.

Kado spotted his ride from inside while standing atop the courthouse steps.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside court Monday.

Instead of following Bernard Kilpatrick’s lead and braving the gauntlet of reporters, photographers and videographers stationed across Lafayette, Kado descended the stairs. He was about 20 feet from the Malibu.

The shooters filmed away, hoping for something useful after waiting for hours to replace Kado’s glowering mugshot.

As Kado hit the sidewalk, pedestrians photobombed the scene, crossing in front of the West Bloomfield Township man and threatening to ruin the shot.

The News’ shooter David Guralnick adjusted on the fly.

Here’s his shot.

Karl Kado leaves federal court Monday.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.