Did state police mishandle initial contact with Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones?

Photos show SUV was not damaged

The Local 4 Defenders spoke with legal experts who question if the initial contact Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones had with state police was mishandled.

New photos reveal that Jones did not crash his SUV as Michigan State Police first said. The photos show that the vehicle didn’t have any damage. Which raises the question: Why didn’t state police ask Jones questions to establish what was happening on the highway that day?

Read: Dashcam video captures arrest of Michigan Rep. Jewell Jones

Michigan State Police were responding to what they said was a “crash” on I-96 last April. When they arrived, there was an ambulance and Jones was standing behind it. There was no crash. Jones’ friend was in the ambulance.

Photos obtained by the Local 4 Defenders show a black SUV pulled to the side of the highway. Other photos Local 4 gathered reveal there was no damage to the SUV.

Legal experts said that is the moment when troopers need to start asking the following questions: Who saw a crash? Who does the SUV belong to? Has the driver been drinking?

The trooper’s first contact with Jones starts intense and ends with a fight. Legal expert Neil Rockind said an argument can be made that the video shows a false arrest. He said an argument should be made that troopers did not establish a reason to detain Jones.

Troopers maced Jones during the struggle, leaving him with red irritated skin. They then tased him when he wouldn’t put his arms behind his back. The taser left barb marks behind his ear.

Jones is expected back in court in October. In the meantime, he is behind bars after being charged with bringing a handcuff key into jail.

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About the Authors:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.