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Wayne County prosecutor charges 4 officers in separate police brutality cases

Detroit officers charged with assault, state trooper faces murder charge

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy speaks during a news conference Dec. 20, 2017. She is joined by Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig. (WDIV)
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy speaks during a news conference Dec. 20, 2017. She is joined by Detroit Police Department Chief James Craig. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The Wayne County prosecutor has charged four police officers in connection with four separate brutality cases. 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy spoke Wednesday morning during a news conference. She first announced murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against a Michigan State Police trooper for his involvement in the deadly pursuit of a 15-year-old boy on an ATV. 

Damon Grimes crashed his all-terrain vehicle into the back of a truck while state police troopers were in pursuit on Aug. 26, 2017. He died from blunt force trauma to his head. State police said a trooper broke protocol by firing his Taser out the window of the moving patrol vehicle. Grimes was shocked before he struck the truck. 

Now-former state trooper Mark Bessner was suspended after the crash and resigned Sept. 22. Two other state police employees were suspended Sept. 26 in connection with the teen's death, according to Lt. Michael Shaw.

Bessner now faces second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges. 

Worthy said charges will not be sought against the driver of the police cruiser, or the supervisor who was on the scene.

FULL STORY: Detroit teen's deadly ATV crash: Prosecutor seeks murder charge against state trooper

Officer charged in rough arrest at grocery store in Detroit

A Detroit police officer involved in a rough arrest Oct. 8 at a Meijer grocery store at Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile Road also faces charges

David Bivins, 23, was arrested at the store for disorderly conduct and resisting and obstruction after he was accused of shoplifting. The incident prompted claims of police brutality after cellphone video circulated social media

Worthy announced Wednesday officer Lonnie Wade, 65, was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felonious assault and two counts of misconduct in office. Wade was considered off-duty at the time. He was working under "secondary employment" at the store. 

A warrant request was submitted for Bivins and was denied with a request for more information. It was re-submitted Oct. 18, and again was denied.

A separate warrant request was submitted by the Detroit Police department for the off-duty officer and was returned for further investigation.

FULL STORY: Prosecutors announce charges against off-duty Detroit officer in rough Meijer arrest

Officer charged in alleged assault, unlawful arrest caught on camera at gas station

Officer Richard Billingslea was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, and assault and battery for his alleged role in a violent arrest May 31 at gas station in Detroit. 

A federal lawsuit was filed against the city of Detroit and two police officers in connection to a violent arrest that was captured on video. Officers Billingslea and Hakeem Patterson, of the Detroit police 5th Precinct, and the city of Detroit are named as defendants in the suit, which seeks compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury. 

What happened

Detroit residents D’Marco Craft and Michaele Jackson claim the officers were caught on camera assaulting and unlawfully arresting Jackson when they went to a gas station on Harper Avenue to buy cigarettes on May 31. The video, shot by Craft, shows officers throw Jackson to the ground as he is verbally abused. The officers appear to be making an arrest, but Jackson is released and they let him off the ground. 

Jackson left the gas station and the officers followed him out to the gas pumps. Craft continued to record as Jackson circled the gas pumps and officers followed.

Jackson entered the gas station again. The video doesn’t show what happened initially, but it captured the officer breaking out his Mace. After Jackson was Maced, officers can be seen in the video kicking and punching him.

FULL STORY: Detroit officer charged in alleged assault, unlawful arrest caught on camera at gas station

Prosecutor: Detroit police officer chased down, beat man

Now-former Detroit police officer Edward Hicks, 28, is accused of beating Deonta Stewart, 31, on Aug. 30, 2016 at the Martin Luther King homes at Lafayette and Chene streets in Detroit. 

Worthy said Stewart was walking in a dark area when Hicks spotted him and yelled at him to stop. Stewart took off running but eventually stopped and laid down on his stomach when he realized he was being chased by a police officer, the prosecutor said. 

"It is alleged that officer Hicks began punching Stewart in the face multiple times, flipping him over and causing bleeding and some serious injury to Stewart," said Worthy. 

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

Worthy said arrangements are being made for Hicks to turn himself in. He is no longer with the Detroit Police Department. 

FULL STORY: Prosecutor: Detroit police officer chased down, beat man

RELATED: Officer will not face charges in fatal shooting when suspect grabbed gun on Detroit's west side


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