Thursday, May 21, 2020

Candidate for state representative has criminal record

The man identified as candidate for
Michigan House of Representatives
James Chapman of Van Buren Township
was seen in this widely circulated photo
of a protest demonstration in Lansing recently.
Photo reprinted from the M-LIVE website. 
The man in widely publicized photographs brandishing a doll hanging from a noose around the neck during a protest at the Michigan Capitol last week has been identified as a candidate for state office.
The man, identified by various media as James Chapman, filed a petition and paid a $100 fee on April 21 to appear on the November ballot as one of five Republicans and two Democrats seeking to replace term-limited State Rep. Kristy Pagan, D-Canton Township. Pagan currently represents House District 21 which includes Belleville and the townships of Canton and Van Buren.
During the much-publicized protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home-Stay Safe order, Chapman was photographed carrying a fishing rod adorned with an American flag and a naked female doll hanging from a noose. The man identified as Chapman told a reporter the dark-haired doll was a representation of Whitmer. The protest, organized by the Michigan United for Liberty group, erupted into a physical altercation when another protester attempted to take the doll.
According to Lt. Brian Oleksyk, public information officer for the Michigan State Police, no one was injured or arrested in the protest. Oleksyk declined to identify Chapman as part of the demonstration. Chapman was, however, identified displaying the hanging doll in photographs of an April 15 protest published in The Detroit Free Press.
Chapman who is seeking the $71,685 salaried position which includes an additional $10,800 expense allowance, also has a widely-publicized criminal history according to court and police records.
According to Michigan Department of Corrections records, in 2018 Chapman allegedly argued with and attempted to stab an acquaintance at a house in Van Buren Township and dove into Belleville Lake while fleeing and evading police attempting to arrest him. The incident was summarized in a Michigan Court of Appeals opinion. In that incident, Chapman was sentenced to six months in jail in 2018 following his conviction on charges of resisting a police officer.
In 1990, Chapman was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after being convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and a firearms charge. He was also sentenced to probation in a 2015 charge of stalking, court records show.
Attempts to reach Chapman were unsuccessful.