Situation??? Rev. Ralph White A man kills a cop. He flees. You’re a pastor. You convince him to surrender and you escort him to the police. There’s a $50,000 reward. Should you collect it?
The longtime South Memphis preacher is suing the city of Memphis trying to collect a $50,000 reward for arranging the surrender two years ago of accused cop-killer Tremaine Wilbourn.
It’s an image burned in the city’s collective conscious: Two days after Sean Bolton was shot and killed on patrol – one of four officers killed on duty since 2011 – Wilbourn, then 29, turned himself in to U.S. Marshals, surrounded by loved ones, an attorney and White, who had known Wilbourn since he was a child.
“He said, ‘I don’t want to turn myself into the police because I think they will probably kill me,’ ’’ says White, who’s taken some heat since news dribbled out about his lawsuit.
Some of that criticism comes from Buddy Chapman, who, as executive director of CrimeStoppers of Memphis & Shelby County, makes a living handing out rewards to solve crime.
“I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a man of the cloth to be applying for a reward for doing what he’s supposed to be doing – for doing God’s work,’’ Chapman said.