Detroit officer charged with possession of firearms while under influence while on restricted duty

Officer was under investigation for fatal shooting

DETROIT – A Detroit police officer was charged Wednesday with carrying a weapon while intoxicated and obstruction after a crash on the city’s west side on the same day he was placed on restricted duty while under investigation for a fatal police shooting.

Jerold Blanding was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm while under the influence, eight counts of resisting and obstructing police and felony firearms violations.

The charges stem from a crash on Jan. 14 at about 2:30 p.m. in the 12900 block of Puritan Avenue.

Blanding knew the victim involved in the crash, but was not involved in the accident. Authorities said his speech was slurred and he smelled of intoxicants when officers spoke with him at the scene.

He was off-duty at the time.

Blanding was in possession of three handguns and obstructing officers as they were attempting to render aid to the victim, authorities said.

The incident happened the same day Blanding was placed on restricted duty, or “no gun status,” while he was under investigation for a fatal police shooting.

The shooting happened Feb. 13, 2017, at the corner of Otsego and Webb streets.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Suspect fatally shot by officer after foot chase, struggle on Detroit’s west side

According to police, police were in pursuit of a green Pontiac Bonneville when the vehicle lost control and crashed.

Blanding was in the process of handcuffing 19-year-old Raynard Burton when the suspect tried to grab the officer’s gun. Police said a scuffle ensued and Blanding fatally shot Burton. 

Burton was pronounced dead at the scene.

RELATED: Detroit police chief addresses deadly officer-involved shooting

Detroit police Chief James Craig said Blanding’s partner was not present at the time of the shooting and that Blanding feared for his own safety.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy denied charges against Blanding because he "acted in lawful self-defense."

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