WESTLAND, Mich. – Police released video of a confrontation that led to the firing of a Westland Police Department officer and an investigation by the prosecutor’s office.
Officers were trying to arrest a man with autism who was suspected to be connected to an armed robbery.
While the incident and the officers firing happened months ago, Westland police said they released the video from the arrest in order to be transparent while the investigation continues.
According to authorities, on Jan. 16, officers responded to a call from an Arby’s restaurant that a man implied he had a gun and stole money from the restaurant before running off. A police office caught up to the suspected robber at a nearby apartment complex.
Police dash camera footage shows the officer chasing the man with his weapon drawn. Body camera footage captured the struggled during the arrest. A stun gun was used at one point, but it didn’t work.
Then, as officers screamed profanity at the man on the ground, Officer Kristopher Landis can be seen in the video using a baton on the man’s head, severely injuring the 23-year-old man’s eye.
Westland’s police chief said officers are trained to use batons, but strikes to the head are considered deadly use of force.
Landis had been on the force since 2017 and was placed on administrative leave at the time before being fired.
He also has a DUI on his record after hitting a parked car with more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit. It happened in 2013, when he was an officer in Farmington Hills.
Westland police chief Jeff Jedrusik said, in part, “We are dedicated to the department’s polices, training curriculum and to maintaining our community’s trust. When we learn of incidents that do not meet these standards we will continue to take appropriate action.”