Detroit police officer could face charges after video captures violent arrest

Prosecutor considers charges against DPD officer

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - The Wayne County prosecutor is considering charges against a Detroit police officer who was captured on video making a rough arrest at a gas station at the end of May.

Local 4 obtained the video Wednesday, and there are many questions surrounding its contents. Police Chief James Craig isn't talking about the incident, but the altercation happened at the end of May.

The officer is on restricted duty as the prosecutor considers handing down charges.

"Don't you ever put your hands on me," an officer in the video says.

The video starts with two officers from the Detroit Police Special Operations Unit looking like they're about to arrest a man, but then they let him off the ground.

"Y'all touched me, bro," said the man filming the video.

"Let me tell you something, you walk up on me like that again," an officer said.

The man circles around the gas pumps, with his friend recording as the police officer followed him part-way around. Meanwhile, the cameraman talked with another officer.

When the man walked back into the gas station, the officer followed him inside. The video doesn't show what happened initially, but it captured the officer breaking out his Mace.

"You done just Maced him, bro," the cameraman said.

"I'm going to need you to back up," the second officer said.

The first officer then threw the man against a rack of food and put him down on the ground.

Police said the officer is now on desk duty awaiting word on what might happen with the investigation. Meanwhile, Local 4 showed the video to security analyst and former DPD veteran Lt. Tom Berry.

"First of all, the guy is Maced and he doesn't react whatsoever," Berry said. "If a guy is maced or Tased and he doesn't react whatsoever, usually that's an indication there are narcotics involved. Most police officers know that."

As for whether this was a legitimate use of force, Berry said he can't know for certain without knowing what happened before the video began.

"At that point, this guy is in custody," Berry said. "He has the right to use whatever means necessary to effect that arrest."

Berry said once the officer broke out the mace, the man was technically in custody, and the officer is within his rights to use force if necessary. He said it's up to the prosecutor to decide if the force was excessive.

You can watch the full video from the witness below. Some of the footage is intense.

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