A man has filed a federal lawsuit claiming a Detroit police officer hit him several times for no reason while being escorted out of a casino.
The lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of 38-year-old Patrick Boisson of Livonia, who was accused of inappropriately touching a waitress on the buttocks July 30 inside a club at MGM Grand Detroit.
Police said Boisson tried to throw the first punch. But Boisson's attorney, Wolfgang Mueller, said his client had his nose and ribs broken during the altercation.
The entire altercation was caught on surveillance tape. Mueller reviewed it with Local 4.
"He raises his arms in a defensive posture because the police officer, as soon as he turned around, got right up in his face," Mueller said. "Then, the officer hit him with a right-left combination."
Boisson was charged with assaulting a police officer and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The criminal sexual conduct charge was dropped after the waitress said she didn't want to press charges. The assault charge was dropped after prosecutors reviewed security video.
"The video is so important because sometimes we need that to police the police," Mueller said.
The officers listed in the lawsuit are Arthur Dudal and Jose Ortiz. Mueller said he thinks they lied in their police reports.
"My client is charged with a felony for assaulting a police officer causing injury. The injuries are the officer's hand was hurt when it hit my client in the face and he pulled a muscle when thew another punch," he said.
In response, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee issued the following statement:
?All uses of force by members of the Detroit Police Department are required to be investigated to determine whether the use of force was justified and in accordance with department policy. The circumstances of the use of force on July 30, 2011 at the MGM Casino are being fully investigated by the Force Investigation Unit of Internal Affairs. Appropriate department action will be taken at the conclusion of the investigation. In addition, the investigative report is being submitted to the Wayne County Prosecutor?s Office for review. I have ordered that the involved officer be placed on administrative restricted duty no-gun status pending the outcome of the investigation."
Attorney Seeks Independent Police Review of Casino Police Beating Incident
In response to Godbee saying his department would investigate, Mueller released the following statement:
Late yesterday, Ralph Godbee, Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department, issued a statement that the DPD Force Investigation Unit of Internal Affairs is reviewing the matter. However, the Force Investigative Unit was aware of the incident on the night it happened, as Sgt. Michael Turner interviewed Patrick Poisson while Mr. Poisson sat in jail on the charge of assaulting a police officer. If not for the media coverage surrounding the filing of a civil lawsuit, it appears that nothing would have been done in terms of an investigation, as no discipline has occurred in the two months following the incident at the MGM Grand casino.The City of Detroit is a named defendant in the lawsuit. Thus, there exists an inherent conflict of interest for the police to investigate one of its own while defending a lawsuit. It also appears the department is not concerned about the false statements contained in the Request for Warrant filed by the Officer-in-Charge, Jose Ortiz, which was used to secure an arrest warrant for Mr. Poisson.For these reasons, the appropriate step is for the Detroit Police Department to refer the matter to an outside agency, such as the Michigan State Police, for investigation into Officer Dudal's conduct, as well as the statements in the police reports that are demonstrably false, and indicate a cover up of the police assault. In that way, the citizens of Detroit can be assured that the DPD seeks a candid, objective review of this incident.