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Detroit attorney dies in crash with police vehicle

February 8, 2021 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer was killed early Monday when his car was involved in a crash with Detroit police, authorities said.

The victim was Cliff Woodards, 58, a longtime defense attorney in Detroit-area courts, colleagues said.

Woodards was traveling south about 1 a.m. when his car was struck by a police vehicle traveling east with siren and lights activated, police said. Officers were examined at a hospital and released.

Chief James Craig said the officers’ actions were “troubling.” He noted that the police vehicle apparently was going so fast that it could not be safely stopped before the crash.

Lillian Diallo, vice president of the Wayne County Bar Association, said Woodards “could bring joy to a courtroom” with his colorful clothes and aggressive advocacy.

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“He was unapologetically who he was. He decided he was going to be himself and not apologize for it. This is such a loss,” Diallo said.