After a failed attempt to reduce his prison sentence earlier this year, Kwame Kilpatrick and his cause are getting renewed visibility.
This time, it’s because of Kilpatrick’s son.
The former Detroit mayor’s youngest child, Jonas Kilpatrick, released a video plea to President Donald Trump over the weekend, asking that the president commute his father’s sentence.
“I’ve been without a father for almost seven years now,” Jonas Kilpatrick says in the video, posted to a Facebook page called “Freekwameproject.”
“I just graduated high school and he was not in attendance. I move into college tomorrow and he will not be there to drop me off. And these aren’t the worst things to come of my father’s absence,” he said.
Kilpatrick announced in June 2018 that he had requested commutation from Trump, writing in a Facebook post that his time in prison “has been the most painful, gut-wrenching, and transformational time, not only my life, but also in the lives of everyone that I hold dear.”
“I have missed important moments in my sons lives; puberty, graduations, college entrance, basketball and football games, awards, and even the most important moments when they need their father’s counsel, presence and love,” Kilpatrick wrote in 2018. “I destroyed my marriage, and the irreparable harm has cause great pain to Carlita and our sons as well.”
Despite writing a letter directly to Trump that praised his presidency and asked “for an opportunity to fully participate in America,” Kilpatrick has not received a response, Deadline Detroit reported in June.
Kilpatrick has been serving a 28-year sentence since 2013, when he was convicted on two dozen felonies, including extortion, bribery and racketeering. The former mayor resigned in 2008 after a text message sex scandal involving his chief of staff.
Jonas Kilpatrick used his video to tell the president what’s been missing from his life since his father’s imprisonment.
“It’s the little things — taking me to school, grabbing a bite to eat, talking about girls, talking about basketball,” Jonas Kilpatrick said, “but most importantly, him being present to show me an example and be a model for how a man should move and express himself and carry himself in everyday life.”