Lawsuit filed against Detroit police alleging rough, unlawful arrest: ‘There was nothing to charge him with’

Prosecutor denies charges

Body camera footage shows the confrontation in a CVS parking lot on Detroit’s west side.

DETROIT – A Mount Clemens man has filed a lawsuit against Detroit police alleging a rough and unlawful arrest.

Body camera footage shows the confrontation as it unfolded in a CVS parking lot on Detroit’s west side. The man says his rights were violated. The incident happened in September of 2020.

Police said they stopped 26-year-old Amari Coates for driving without insurance even though he was driving a rental car.

“They didn’t say, ‘Oh you have a rental car? Can we see it?’ No. They just automatically escalated to grabbing him,” attorney Daniel Romano said.

Officers said Coates exited the vehicle in an aggressive manner and that is why they forcibly arrested him. Coates did not have any open warrants and nothing illegal was found in his car.

“At that point they knew there was nothing to charge him with. They knew the stop was wrong, yet what did they do? They asked the prosecutor for a warrant for resisting and obstructing an officer and hold him in jail for three days. Then the prosecutor says ‘no,’” Romano said.

He was taken into custody for resisting and obstructing and held for more than 48 hours. Coates has filed a lawsuit against the City of Detroit and five officers.


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About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

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