Detroit officers face arraignments for assault charges

Officers charged in separate incidents shown on cellphone video

DETROIT – Two Detroit police officers are charged with assault after two separate altercations were captured by cellphone video. 

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges Wednesday. The first case she spoke about was an attack on a man in October at a Meijer in Detroit. David Bivins was beaten during an arrest. 

Detroit police officer Lonnie Wade accused Bivins of shoplifting from the Meijer. Bivins' girlfriend showed the offer the receipt, but the exchange escalated. Wade tried to arrest Bivins, who pulled away. 

The officer then repeatedly hit Bivins with his baton inside the store and out in the parking lot. Cellphone video shows the beating. 

"If we didn't have video and (Bivins) walked in this room right here, right now, and told you everything that we saw on video, raise your hand, would you believe him?" said attorney James Harrington, of Fieger Law. 

Wade will be charged with assault and two counts of misconduct in office. 

The second case is from May. Two Detroit police officers stopped at a Mobil gas station on Harper Avenue. It's not clear why but video shows a verbal altercation between the officers and a man at the station. That altercation escalated. One man was pepper-sprayed and beaten by police, which is shown on the cellphone video. 

Prosecutors said the cellphone was taken by police and thrown in a trash can. Officer Richard Billingslea is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and assault and battery. 

Both Wade and Billingslea will be arraigned Thursday morning. 

"His current status has been placed place on restricted duty, no gun status. As of today he will be suspended with pay, and then I will be making a recommendation to the police commission to suspend without pay," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. 

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