Warren City Councilman Eddie Kabacinski stands in the 38th District Court during his sentencing hearing Sept. 19 in Eastpointe.

Warren City Councilman Eddie Kabacinski stands in the 38th District Court during his sentencing hearing Sept. 19 in Eastpointe.

Photo by Brian Wells

Kabacinski accepts plea, sentenced for disturbing the peace

By: Brian Wells | C&G Newspapers | Published September 19, 2022


EASTPOINTE/WARREN — Warren City Councilman Eddie Kabacinski was sentenced Sept. 19 for disturbing the peace when he reportedly handcuffed a counterdemonstrator at a rally in support of then-president Donald Trump in October 2020.

Kabacinski was sentenced by District Court Judge Kathleen Galen to probation for 12 months after he pleaded no contest to the charge, a misdemeanor. He was originally charged with impersonating a public officer, a one-year misdemeanor, and assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor. Those charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

His attorney, Stephen Rabaut, argued for a more lenient sentence due to Kabacinski’s history.

“He’s honorably discharged from the United States military where he served numerous years. He was in the military police while in the United States Army,” Rabaut said in court. “He is a Warren city councilman. He is respected by his constituents with no previous criminal history whatsoever.”

When asked, Kabacinski declined to address the court. After the hearing, Rabaut declined to comment further. He also declined a request for comment on Kabacinski’s behalf.

The charges stem from an incident on Oct. 14, 2020, when Kabacinski “took (a) female into custody” after she approached a group of Trump supporters at a rally in Eastpointe, according to a police report. The victim — who was not present in the courtroom during sentencing — allegedly placed three Black Lives Matter stickers onto three Trump signs.

In Kabacinski’s statement to police, he said the woman produced a canister that resembled a chemical irritant. According to the woman’s statement, it was “silly string.”

At Kabacinski’s arraignment, an Eastpointe detective told the judge Kabacinski “used a pressure point tactic” on the victim’s hand and “then physically placed her in handcuffs.”

She allegedly remained in handcuffs until police arrived, with Kabacinski waiting next to her. When Kabacinski was questioned about being a police officer, he allegedly showed them a badge, the detective said at the arraignment.

If Kabacinski successfully completes his probation, the charges will be dropped, Rabaut said.

The Eastpointe allegations leveled against Kabacinski, who was elected to a four-year term representing the Warren City Council’s District 5 in 2019, are not the only time has faced criticism. Prior to that incident, he drew scrutiny from some constituents after standing with a group of demonstrators who reportedly turned out to support law enforcement during a September 2020 “March Against Racism” in Warren. The march was organized by the South Warren Alliance for Radical Movement and Detroit Will Breathe after a series of incidents that targeted a local Black family.

SWARM openly called for Kabacinski’s resignation or removal. A member filed a recall petition that failed to be approved by the Macomb County Election Commission.

A separate recall petition filed by former Warren City Councilman Robert Boccomino — which was also backed by the Southeast Michigan Chamber of Commerce and its CEO John Johnson — was approved in January 2021. The recall effort later died, however, after organizers failed to achieve the required number of signatures in the time frame allowed to secure the recall question’s placement on an upcoming ballot.

According to the language in the petition filed by Boccomino, Kabacinski was targeted for recall for failing to support a blanket settlement to a costly chain of litigation brought by companies seeking medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Warren. Kabacinski’s was one of five votes cast against the settlement.

At a Jan. 8, 2021, hearing, he addressed members of the Macomb County Election Commission, likening cannabis companies to “drug cartels” and claiming he’d been threatened after his vote. He also said supporting the proliferation of the state-legal marijuana industry in Warren would be a violation of his oath of office and federal drug laws.

“I cannot think of any elected official worth his salt that would stand up and say the narcotics industry is good for our economy,” Kabacinski said at the hearing.

In August 2021, Kabacinski was arrested in Utica for selling items without a permit at a rally in support of former President Donald Trump. He is still facing a misdemeanor charge for an ordinance violation and is scheduled for a motion hearing at 11 a.m. Oct. 20 in front of 41st District Court Judge Douglas Shepherd.