School responds after ‘police brutality’ posters cause outrage on social media

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Police brutality poster

Leaders at a Mt. Morris high school are addressing several posters that were on display and raising eyebrows.

The posters were made by students and had “police brutality” written on them. Pictures of them were posted on social media Tuesday night. Since then, the post has garnered dozens of comments and more than 100 shares with people on both sides expressing their thoughts about the posters.

It happened at Elisabeth Ann Johnson High School in Mt. Morris.

A man posted photos of the posters saying he is upset with the anti-police message he thinks the assignment was sending to students. “Mt. Morris schools are perpetuating the narrative, lies and victimhood,” his post read.

His post raised questions about what prompted the posters.

Mt. Morris Superintendent Renae Galsterer said it was for a social studies class in which students were learning about the fourth and fifth amendments – search and seizure, as well as the prohibition of self-incrimination and double jeopardy and the mandate of due process.

This led some students to choose to do their final project on topics like Terry Frisk, Miranda Rights and police brutality.

Galsterer went on to apologize and said they never wanted to upset or offend police officers.

“That was never the intent and the posters have been removed so that we can study them and create adjustments in future work,” she said.

You can read Galsterer’s complete response to TV5’s questions below:

Q: Can you just tell me what you know about the assignment? What the intended goal of it was?

A: We offer a Law I class as a social studies elective for our students. This particular part of the class was a culminating project for a unit focused on the 4th and 5th amendments. With relation to these two amendments there is a focus on current laws linked to current events within the class structure. This was an entire unit–but some of the instruction and discussion delved into students’ rights (both as minors or as adult-aged) in schools and in the community. Law enforcement rights in relation to the amendments and youth/adult rights were studied and discussed as well. Some of the pieces inside the general topics included Terry frisk and Miranda rights. Other topics included risks of both officers and citizens, barriers or perimeters of the laws linked to the amendments, and discussion of incidents involving property–both automobile and home. Students studied cases related to the topics. The students discussed and were particularly interested in the evolution of community policing and school liaison/school resource officers.

The posters that you sent me photos of were examples of parts of final projects for this 4th and 5th amendment unit. In this hallway there was a displayed explanation of the posters. The posters you have photos of were on the topic of police brutality (as their titles indicate). There were several other topics in that same display–those topics included Terry Frisk, Compare and Contrast of Miranda Rights, specific court cases related to the amendments designed as summaries and the purpose and role of Constitutional Amendments. Students selected various topics because they had an interest linked to class discussion, current events in our world/in the media and various works of youth literature.

As added information (which does not cover the entirety of the class) this class also:

• has our resource officer as a frequent speaker for both presenting information and leading discussion. A similar experience includes social workers so that students can see the link between mental illness and those that struggle to abide by the law

• visits the 7th District Court to observe a trial or sentencing

• tours the Genesee County Jail

Q: Did the school receive any complaints? Did the school take any action after the assignment (i.e. taking the posters down, reprimanding the teacher, etc.)? Or did the school feel the assignment was a fair one and decide no action was necessary?

A: We have had one phone call to our office this morning as a concerned citizen having a complaint. The officer that took this photo didn’t speak to any school employee about it prior to posting it to social media and commenting on it. Yesterday we had several law enforcement officers come into our high school and middle school for a routine exercise. They bring their trained canines and have the dogs and officers utilize their training by “sniffing” for illegal substances–lockers, bathrooms, classrooms that have had the students temporarily relocated. This benefits our school because we are able to spot check for these substances and take necessary action while simultaneously sending a message that those substances will be “checked for.” It also is an opportunity for the officers and their canine partners to practice and train. We do this about once a year. One of the officers involved took these photos, said nothing to any school personnel, and then posted them to social media–beginning this controversy. Had we known that an officer (or officers) were offended and upset we would have taken it as a learning opportunity–both for our adults involved and students. It could have been a meaningful conversation that actually built understanding and bridges.

Our teacher and students have a deep respect for all law enforcement officers and their duty. This class actually creates a great deal of interest for out students to pursue careers in law enforcement. We utilize information from this classroom experience to select and send students for training at the Michigan State Police training facility.

Certainly there was no ill intent or disrespect meant by these posters. I sincerely apologize for any message of disrespect or misinformation that was interpreted by the photos or my students’ projects. That was never the intent, and the posters have been removed so that we can study them and create adjustments in future work. It is my hope that what I have shared clarifies the hurt and anger that individuals have written on social media. It is also my hope that we, as professionals, learn from this experience and have enlightened conversation and educational experiences for our students.

I would always ask that we be given the opportunity to have a conversation, prior to a social media post, if and when we have hurt and offended. I have a very positive and open professional relationship with our local law enforcement, and we communicate frequently. I know if they ever have a concern with anything within our district they either come to see me or call. We have strong mutual respect. They love my students and consider their role as our community’s protectors their number one priority.

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Clare PD chief under investigation following misconduct allegations

Gregory named Clare Police chief
Clare Police Chief Brian Gregory with his dual-purpose police dog, Swiper, a Belgian Malinois who has been with the department since 2009. Courtesy photo.

Clare Police Chief Brian Gregory is on currently on leave pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

Clare City manager Ken Hibl confirmed on Tuesday that Gregory was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 1 after allegations of misconduct on the job. The allegations were made on that same day, according to the manager.

Hibl declined to say what Gregory was accused of, citing the status of the ongoing investigation.

Hibl and a detective from the state police post in Rockford are investigating the allegations, Hibl said.

Hibl will be looking into the internal administrative issues that come from the allegations and the criminal aspects of the allegations will be looked into by a separate police agency. The criminal allegations have not been looked into yet, according to Hibl.

After the investigation is complete, the state police will send their results to Clare County Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Ambrozaitis, according to Hibl.

“She will review the investigation and will make a decision on how to proceed,” he said.

Ambrozaitis may also refer it to another prosecuting attorney to avoid any indication of bias due to her and Gregory working together on a nearly-daily basis, according to Hibl.

Captain David Saad was appointed as the acting police chief after Gregory was placed on administrative leave, Hibl said.

“Clare PD chief under investigation following misconduct allegations”, https://www.themorningsun.com/news/local/clare-pd-chief-under-investigation-following-misconduct-allegations/article_63dffeaa-a574-11e8-a3de-87789a8f27fd.html

Video shows cop beating naked woman in hospital

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DETROIT — A Detroit police corporal has been suspended after cell phone video emerged showing him beating a naked, unarmed and possibly mentally ill woman inside an emergency room triage unit as another officer and hospital security restrained her.

The video posted on WJBK-TV’s website shows the male officer punching the woman about a dozen times on Wednesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

She can be heard shouting a threat at someone before being grabbed by one of the police officers and security staff. The male officer then began punching her.

What is shown on the video is “very disturbing,” Detroit police Chief James Craig told reporters Thursday, adding that a criminal investigation has begun.

“There were points where the suspect had turned her back, but the officer continued to punch,” Craig said. “It was at that point we had grave concerns for the officer’s actions.”

A police watchdog group on Thursday called for charges against the officer and said he and others like him need to be taken off the streets.

“When we looked at the video, we saw an officer with corporal stripes who had total disdain for a citizen who was obviously ill,” said Kenneth Reed, a spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, wrote in an email. “The hatred was palpable. These are officers who must be held to a higher standard.”

Wayne County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Maria Miller said that if and when the police department sends a warrant request for the officer’s arrest, her office will follow its usual procedure in police-involved cases by conducting a separate and independent investigation before making a charging decision.

The corporal is an 18-year veteran of the police department “who has a good record,” said Craig, who declined to provide the officer’s name.

He and his partner took the woman to the hospital Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a “lewd and lascivious” person, Craig said.

The woman spat on hospital staff, bit a security guard and tried to bite the corporal, the chief added.

Craig said he is concerned that the officers didn’t follow procedure by handcuffing a “mentally ill person” and that he thinks the officers’ body camera footage tells “a little bit of a different story” than the cellphone footage.

The woman and the officer who hit her are black.

Detroit Medical Center, which operates the hospital, followed “appropriate processes” and has filed a report about the incident with the police department, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Associated Press, August 2, 2018 , NYPost, “Video shows cop beating naked woman in hospital”, https://nypost.com/2018/08/02/video-shows-cop-beating-naked-woman-in-hospital/

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Video shows cop beating naked woman in hospital

By Associated Press August 2, 2018 | 5:57p

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DETROIT — A Detroit police corporal has been suspended after cell phone video emerged showing him beating a naked, unarmed and possibly mentally ill woman inside an emergency room triage unit as another officer and hospital security restrained her.

The video posted on WJBK-TV’s website shows the male officer punching the woman about a dozen times on Wednesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

She can be heard shouting a threat at someone before being grabbed by one of the police officers and security staff. The male officer then began punching her.

What is shown on the video is “very disturbing,” Detroit police Chief James Craig told reporters Thursday, adding that a criminal investigation has begun.

“There were points where the suspect had turned her back, but the officer continued to punch,” Craig said. “It was at that point we had grave concerns for the officer’s actions.”

A police watchdog group on Thursday called for charges against the officer and said he and others like him need to be taken off the streets.

“When we looked at the video, we saw an officer with corporal stripes who had total disdain for a citizen who was obviously ill,” said Kenneth Reed, a spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, wrote in an email. “The hatred was palpable. These are officers who must be held to a higher standard.”

Wayne County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Maria Miller said that if and when the police department sends a warrant request for the officer’s arrest, her office will follow its usual procedure in police-involved cases by conducting a separate and independent investigation before making a charging decision.

The corporal is an 18-year veteran of the police department “who has a good record,” said Craig, who declined to provide the officer’s name.

He and his partner took the woman to the hospital Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a “lewd and lascivious” person, Craig said.

The woman spat on hospital staff, bit a security guard and tried to bite the corporal, the chief added.

Craig said he is concerned that the officers didn’t follow procedure by handcuffing a “mentally ill person” and that he thinks the officers’ body camera footage tells “a little bit of a different story” than the cellphone footage.

Detroit Medical Center, which operates the hospital, followed “appropriate processes” and has filed a report about the incident with the police department, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Associated Press August 2, 2018, “Video shows cop beating naked woman in hospital”, https://nypost.com/2018/08/02/video-shows-cop-beating-naked-woman-in-hospital/

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In police sexual misconduct case, Michigan woman sues officer she accused of assault


Former Covert Township, Mich., police Officer Erich M. Fritz shortly after his arrest in 2016 for kidnapping and sexual assault. A law enforcement official is arrested about once every five days in the U.S. for sex-related charges. (Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office)

July 13, 2018

Melissa McMillan was catching a ride home after a night out drinking when her driver was pulled over by the police and accused of drunken driving. Rather than arranging a ride home for the passenger, the arresting officer took the very intoxicated McMillan to a hotel. She said that when she woke up, the officer was having sex with her.

In Covert Township, Mich., it was Officer Erich M. Fritz’s third, and final, job as a police officer. He was arrested in July 2016 and charged with kidnapping and two counts of criminal sexual assault. Fritz claimed the sex was consensual. He eventually pleaded no contest to unlawful imprisonment for the purpose of committing sexual assault. His sentence: one year in the county jail and five years of probation. Fritz served nine months and was released. “Unlawful imprisonment” is technically not a sex offense, and Fritz was not required to register as a sex offender.

Now, McMillan is suing Fritz, 43, and the small town that hired him, accusing him of abusing his police authority, as well as false imprisonment and emotional distress. Her attorneys say sexual misconduct is among the most common allegations against police — and a problem some experts say is likely underreported.

Researchers tracking “police crime” in one study found 771 sex-related cases during one four-year period, involving 555 sworn officers. An investigation by the Buffalo News in 2015 found that in a 10-year period, “a law enforcement official was caught in a case of sexual abuse or misconduct at least every five days. Nearly all were men. Nearly all victims were women, and a surprising number were adolescents.”

’My life was forever changed’: Victim of sexual assault by officer speaks out

Melissa McMillan released a statement following a 2016 incident where she said she was raped by a Covert Township police officer in Michigan.

McMillan, 40, said she is going public with her lawsuit, and her name, to call attention to the largely unrecognized problem and the fact “it can happen to anybody.”

“I’m a nurse,” McMillan said. “I’m a mom. I didn’t do anything wrong. If it can happen by a police officer, who can you trust?” Though news media typically withhold the names of alleged victims, McMillan told The Washington Post that she was not seeking anonymity because “there’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s nothing to hide. For a long time I felt ashamed. It shouldn’t be that way.”

Fritz did not return a phone call seeking comment. His lawyer, Scott Grabel, said, “She’s got a story and Erich has a different story about what transpired. … It’s Mr. Fritz’s contention she was awake and voluntary as they were having sex. My position is I think it’s going to be a difficult case for the plaintiff.”

The top three elected officials in Covert Township, a town of about 3,000 on the shore of Lake Michigan, did not return messages seeking comment. The town hired Fritz two months before he was arrested, and when Van Buren County prosecutor Michael Bedford looked into Fritz’s past, he found Fritz had been bounced from two other small police departments for misconduct.

Fritz resigned shortly after his arrest, perhaps hoping to maintain his law enforcement certification before his department could impose its own discipline and take another step in the “officer shuffle” of officers who move from one department to another. Bedford called Fritz “a disgrace to the law enforcement community,” and said that “one of my goals was to get him convicted of a serious felony so he could never be a police officer again.”


Fritz snapped this selfie in the hotel room, according to the phone’s metadata, where he allegedly assaulted the woman. (Michigan State Police)

While working for a small department in North Dakota, Fritz posted photos of himself on an adult website in various states of undress, with his uniform visible in some of them, Bedford said. At another department in Michigan, Fritz was released for violating various policies, Bedford said.

McMillan was outraged to learn of Fritz’s past. “I think there was a failure in the hiring process, obviously,” she said. “Maybe if they had properly vetted him, this would not have happened.”

Most of the events of July 9, 2016, are not in dispute. McMillan admits to being very drunk after leaving Captain Lou’s, a bar in South Haven, Mich., and letting a male friend drive her car. But about 2:30 a.m., Fritz pulled the car over and soon placed the driver under arrest.

Fritz’s in-car video shows him removing McMillan from the car, and that she needed help getting to Fritz’s patrol car. Bedford said that a tow-truck driver told Fritz he’d give McMillan a ride home, while he was removing her car from the highway, but Fritz declined that offer. Instead, Fritz placed McMillan in the back seat with her driver, and switched off the in-car audio and video, McMillan’s lawsuit claims.

Fritz radioed to police dispatchers that he was taking his intoxicated passenger to a hotel, and this apparently did not trouble anyone working either in the Van Buren County dispatch center or on duty that morning because no one objected, McMillan’s lawyers said. “Nobody asked a question as to why or what he was intending on doing,” said attorney Antonio Romanucci.

Fritz drove McMillan to one hotel before booking his drunk driver but it was full, so he dropped her at a second hotel and told her to check in, but he had taken her wallet and phone, Bedford said. The hotel requested that Fritz return, which he did after processing his prisoner. Then Fritz took McMillan to a third hotel where he was keeping a room of his own because his home was elsewhere in Michigan and he and his wife hadn’t moved to Covert yet, Bedford said.

McMillan claims that she took a shower, vomited and passed out. When she awoke, she says that Fritz was having sex with her. She later texted friends saying she was scared and didn’t know where she was, and when she left the hotel she went to a hospital and had a rape examination, according to the lawsuit. The Michigan State Police soon began an investigation. Her lawsuit alleges that McMillan “continues to suffer from acute anxiety and depression as a result of her sexual assaults.”

Grabel said that McMillan was conscious when Fritz returned to the hotel, and that Fritz asked her if she had found a ride home. “Then she made advances on him,” Grabel said. “It was clearly consensual.” Grabel noted that Fritz’s shift had ended by the time of the sexual encounter, so he was off-duty, and said that Fritz passed two lie-detector tests. In Michigan, the standard for whether a person is unable to consent is not if they are intoxicated but whether they are unconscious, asleep or unable to communicate, Grabel said.


Erich Fritz was sentenced to one year in the county jail and five years probation in circuit court in Michigan. He went on to serve nine months. (Mark Bugnaski/MLive.com)

“I’m not here telling you it’s acceptable or appropriate, what he did,” Grabel said. He said Fritz resigned because “you’re not supposed to give people lifts to motels when you’re working. You don’t position yourself to be accused of that. But was there a sexual assault? My opinion, clearly not.”

At his sentencing in July 2017, Fritz apologized to his friends, family, co-workers and then to McMillan, but only for taking her to a hotel. “I never should have offered her a hotel room in the first place,” Fritz said, according to video of the hearing. “It never should have happened. I never should have put her in that situation.”

Bedford, the prosecutor, said he offered a plea deal because he wasn’t sure how a jury would respond to a police officer saying the sex was consensual, and that after the initial encounter there was further consensual sex. McMillan said she reluctantly agreed to the deal and that her memory of the night was blurry. Nicolette Ward, one of her lawyers, said McMillan subsequently had sex with Fritz because she felt trapped and had no choice.

Philip Matthew Stinson, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University, was a co-author of the 2015 study that found 771 sex-related charges filed against police in a four-year period. “The facts of the Erich Fritz case are troubling,” Stinson said. “My research has found that there are some, hopefully very few, police officers who are sexual predators.”

It should be noted that the rate of sexual assault occurring in the nation’s sworn police population, which was estimated at roughly 750,000 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2016, is far lower than the rate of sexual assault in the general population. But only officers and deputies have the powers of arrest as a possible tool of coercion.

But Stinson and others said the problem is likely underreported. “Most of the victims are terrified of reporting the assaults — who do you call when your assailant is a police officer?” Stinson said. “Also, as seen in Fritz’s case, it is typical to select a victim who was vulnerable, impaired, unable to defend herself, and one who the officer thought would not be believed if she came forward.”

Author Andrea J. Ritchie, who wrote the book, “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color,” wrote in The Post earlier this year that police sexual misconduct is “a systemic problem” and that “accountability is rare.” She cited one study that found that 41 percent of officers charged with sexual violence had previous sexual misconduct charges but had been allowed to remain on the job.

She said some departments are taking steps to deter such misconduct. “Many departments already require officers to report mileage when they transport arrestees,” Ritchie wrote, ““in part to prevent detours to secluded areas to force or extort sex.”

Ward, McMillan’s lawyer, noted that sexual misconduct was the second most reported offense by police officers, after use of force. “We have to assume the numbers are broader than what’s reported,” Ward said. “Women are afraid to come forward, or fear they won’t be believed.” She said McMillan was believed because Fritz’s in-car camera showed the officer taking custody of the clearly drunk woman.

Report: Detroit spent $19M on police misconduct claims in less than four years

Posted By Violet Ikonomova on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 12:57 PM

Detroit Police Chief James Craig. - DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT FACEBOOK

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  • Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Remember the Detroit police commander who dropped a St. Patrick’s Day Parade reveler and put him in the hospital with a brain injury? How about the officers who chased a teen in violation of department policy last year, leading him to crash and die? The news coming out of the Detroit Police Department can be jaw-dropping, but what the reports often overlook is that incidents of police misconduct can come at a significant cost to taxpayers.

Last week, WXYZ revealed the price tag of recent misconduct by the DPD. Since 2015, the news station reports that Detroit has paid $19.1 million in payouts for alleged misconduct — more than Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis combined.

Two of the most costly payouts, for $925,000 and $400,000, were awarded to victims who alleged they were wrongly shot by police. One victim was shot twice when police saw him holding what later turned out to be a pellet gun. Another man was shot when police, following up on a carjacking report, pursued the wrong vehicle and shot an unarmed man who fled on foot.

WXYZ reports the payout total is likely higher than a normal four year period because some cases were stalled by the city’s bankruptcy and could not be settled until the following year.

You can read the full report here.

Violet Ikonomova, Jun 18, 2018, “Report: Detroit spent $19M on police misconduct claims in less than four years”, https://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2018/06/18/report-detroit-spent-19m-on-police-misconduct-claims-in-less-than-four-years

Ex-trooper charged in teen’s ATV stun gun death had previous Taser misconduct

https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/04/13/20/4B20AD7400000578-0-image-a-32_1523646432663.jpg

DETROIT — Michigan State Police tried but failed to suspend a trooper for his use of a stun gun months before he fired a Taser at a teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Mark Bessner is charged with murder in the death of Damon Grimes, but it wasn’t his only incident involving a Taser. Details are in personnel documents released to the AP through a public records request.State police wanted to suspend Bessner for 10 days for firing his Taser twice at a handcuffed man who was running away in 2016. But an arbitrator said there was no “just cause” for discipline.

https://media.ktvb.com/embeds/video/277-8095637/iframe

In 2014, Bessner fired his Taser at a suspect who was handcuffed. He agreed to a five-day suspension, records show, but four days were eventually dropped. It apparently was his first case of misconduct.

Bessner, 43, now faces serious legal trouble. He was charged last week with second-degree murder in the August death of Damon Grimes of Detroit, who was joyriding on an all-terrain vehicle when the trooper fired his stun gun. The 15-year-old crashed and died.

Bessner, who quit the state police after the teenager’s death, has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bond. Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was no reason for him to fire his Taser — especially from a moving patrol car.

“His behavior was criminal. We’re not trying to pull the rug over anyone’s eyes,” a state police spokesman, Lt. Mike Shaw, said Tuesday.

Just two months earlier, an arbitrator had cleared Bessner of misconduct in how he used his Taser while chasing a crime suspect. The man was handcuffed during a traffic stop in Detroit but suddenly sprinted away and was able to clear fences.

Bessner said he believed the man must have slipped out of the cuffs so he used his Taser twice to subdue him. It was a wrong assumption. It’s generally against state policy to use a stun gun on a handcuffed person who’s in custody.

Arbitrator Steven Lett, however, found technical distinctions. He said the man was “no longer in custody” as soon as he ran away.

“The question is whether the officer’s actions are objectively reasonable in light of all the facts and circumstances,” Lett said, quoting a training guide from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

If the 10-day suspension had been affirmed, it would have triggered an additional four days from the 2014 incident that were being held in abeyance, Shaw said.

Bessner’s personnel file shows he faced a third misconduct allegation in March. State police said he was driving at high speed without emergency lights or sirens. The case apparently wasn’t resolved before he quit last fall.

Bessner’s file also includes praise for his work. He was recognized by the department for saving a woman who had overdosed on heroin. “Best wishes for continued success,” Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue wrote in February 2017.

cbs news, , “Ex-trooper charged in teen’s ATV stun gun death had previous Taser misconduct”, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ex-trooper-charged-in-teens-atv-stun-gun-death-had-previous-taser-misconduct/

3 current, former Detroit police officers charged in separate assaults

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announces charges in cases involving police officers at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Among those charged is an officer who allegedly beat a customer at the Meijer in Detroit while working security there.

 

One man was beaten with a baton, breaking several teeth.

Another was punched, kicked and pepper-sprayed.

A third man was pummeled in the face.

They’re separate incidents with a common thread: Current and former Detroit police officers are accused of assault in each case.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges in a news conference Wednesday, saying her office won’t shy away from tough decisions and tough cases.

“We will never turn away or run away from a tough case even if it involves law enforcement,” she said.

In addition to the Detroit officers, Worthy also announced charges against a former Michigan State Police trooper in connection with the death of a teen shot who crashed his ATV after being shot with a Taser.

Two of the Detroit officers and the state trooper are expected to be arraigned Thursday, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the criminal charges don’t reflect the work being done by the majority of police officers.

“Anytime an officer violates the oath of office, public trust, it is a stain on all of us,” he said, “but we should remember it does not reflect the vast majority of the men and women who do this work.”

Before Worthy announced her charging decisions, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality issued a statement saying citizens deserve to be protected from rogue officers.

“It is clear that the Detroit Police and Michigan State Police Departments nurture a culture of irresponsible action on the part of their respective police forces,” the statement said in part.

Detroit Police Officer Lonnie Wade, 65, was charged in the assault of David Bivins at the Meijer store on West 8 Mile Road on Oct. 10. Wade, who was in a police uniform while moonlighting as a security officer, struck Bivins with a baton, including in the face and head. Worthy said Bivins was struck in the mouth, breaking several of his teeth.

Worthy said there are several videos of the incident. She said the incident started after Wade approached Bivins asking about items in his shopping cart. Bivins, according to prosecutors, said his girlfriend had the receipt, which Worthy said she showed to Wade.

Worthy said Bivins and Wade began arguing. She said Wade attempted to arrest Bivins on disorderly conduct charges after hitting him with his baton.

“Mr. Bivins did refuse to be arrested, but at no time, the evidence shows, did he make any physical threat or verbal opposition other than trying to pull himself backwards,” Worthy said.

Wade is facing charges of felonious assault, assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and two counts of misconduct in office. He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday.

Bivins, 24, spoke at a news conference at attorney Geoffrey Fieger’s office after the charging decision was announced. He said he hasn’t watched video of the beating all the way through.

Bivens, who is a cook at a Ferndale restaurant, said before the incident he wanted to be a police officer, but that is no longer his dream today.

“I would like to believe that police officers in a way police themselves, but if that is true why are we here today?” he said.

Bivens has filed a lawsuit seeking in excess of $25 million against Meijer, Wade, three other security guards and another Detroit police officer moonlighting at the store.

Craig said Wade has been on restricted duty, no gun status since October and will now be suspended with pay. Craig said he plans to recommend to the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners that Wade be suspended without pay.

Craig said he plans to ask that another officer facing charges in connection with an assault, Richard Billingslea, be suspended without pay. He, too, will immediately move to suspended with pay from restricted duty no gun status.

Billingslea, 25, is accused of assaulting Michaele Jackson at a Mobil gas station in an incident caught on cell phone video. Worthy said Billingslea pepper-sprayed Jackson, who was intoxicated and not a threat, threw him to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him.

Worthy said Billingslea is also accused of turning off his body camera and throwing away the cell phone being used by D’Marco Craft to record the incident. Worthy said the phone was retrieved from a trash can later by another officer.

Billingslea, who is also expected to be arraigned Thursday, has been charged with assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and assault and battery, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Also charged is former Detroit Police Officer Edward Hicks, who is accused of assaulting Deonta Stewart in August 2016, then telling him to lie about his injuries.

Craig said Hicks is currently working for a sheriff’s office in the state of Washington. Craig said that agency would be notified.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Stewart was walking when Hicks and his partner drove up and Hicks yelled for him to stop. Worthy said Stewart ran, but stopped and laid on the ground when he realized police were chasing him. She said Hicks then allegedly punched Stewart in the face multiple times.

Worthy said Hicks allegedly tried to get Stewart to lie about how he was injured.

Hicks is facing charges of assault with intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, said the officers are entitled to due process. He said Billingslea and Hicks are currently being represented by DPOA attorneys.

“It’s the prosecutors’ burden to prove that they did something wrong,” he said. “And, to be very blunt, we have to remember that.”

At the news conference Wednesday, Worthy also announced that her office denied a warrant request in connection with the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Raynard Burton by a Detroit police officer in February.

She said the shooting happened after officers saw a speeding Pontiac Bonneville and chased it. The car sped away, crashed and Burton ran, ignoring requests to stop. Worthy said Burton was shot by one of the officers, who said Burton had grabbed for his gun.

An autopsy found he died from a single, close-range gunshot wound to his right chest, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Worthy said the investigation found that the Bonneville had been taken in a carjacking two days earlier and the victim in that case later identified Burton during a photo lineup as the alleged carjacker.

Gina Kaufman and Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, Dec. 20, 2017, “3 current, former Detroit police officers charged in separate assaults”, https://www.freep.com/story/news/2017/12/20/3-detroit-police-officers-charged-separate-assaults-citizens/969035001/

6 Detroit police officers under investigation for misconduct

Associated Press Published 12:00 p.m. ET Nov. 1, 2017

Detroit police officials say six officers are under investigation for misconduct related to events that took place at the scene of a reported break-in over the weekend.

WDIV-TV reports that responding officers asked five members of a renovation and cleaning crew at the scene for work papers. They also ran checks on the workers’ names and licenses.

A complaint filed with the department alleges that an officer then ordered the men to run. The complaint says it was a way to humiliate the black contractors.

An investigation into the officer has been opened by the Office of the Chief Investigator, which is the investigative staff for the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. The other five officers are under investigation for not intervening.

Snyder OKs law to ensure cops’ misconduct is known in hiring

How the system keeps some problem cops on the streets. The Detroit Free Press investigated police misconduct in Michigan. Here’s what we found. Detroit Free Press

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation aiming to prevent police misconduct from being kept secret when officers leave for a job at another department.

The law signed Tuesday takes effect in 90 days. It will require law enforcement agencies to keep records about the circumstances surrounding any officer’s employment separation. The officer will have to sign a waiver allowing a prospective employer to ask for the records, and the department will be unable to hire the officer unless it receives the documents.

The bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Rick Jones, says bad behavior by law enforcement should never be tolerated. He says the overwhelmingly majority of police and sheriff’s deputies are “great public servants,” but a “bad apple” can spoil everything.

A Free Press investigation published this summer while Jones’ bill was pending in the Legislature found that police departments routinely conduct background checks on prospective officers, but those checks are not always a deterrent to hiring cops with histories of problems. Law enforcement leaders said they routinely ask applicants to sign waivers so they can see personnel records from prior employers.

The investigation found that officers with histories of misconduct, lawsuits and even crimes have jumped from job to job in Michigan because of lax oversight and indifference by departments that hired them, in some cases, while fully aware of their prior issues. Jones’ bill, while requiring information-sharing, does not prevent local chiefs from hiring problem officers if the chiefs so desire.

The Free Press investigation pinpointed about two dozen current and former police officers who landed new jobs despite having serious misconduct and, in some cases, criminal histories.