Harper Woods officer, deputy chief fired for trying to ‘conceal,’ ‘manipulate’ evidence in woman’s death in custody

Deputy chief, patrol officer fired

HARPER WOODS, Mich. – Investigation into the death of a woman who died while in Harper Woods police custody has led to the firing of a deputy chief and a patrol officer, city officials said.

City officials said members of the police department tried to conceal and manipulate evidence in the in custody death investigation of Priscilla Slater.

Deputy Chief John Vorgitch and patrol officer Michael Pineau have been fired, according to authorities.

Michigan State Police are still investigating.

READ: Harper Woods director of public safety addresses death of 38-year-old woman inside holding cell

Slater was found unresponsive inside a Harper Woods holding cell on June 10. Her death led to protests outside city hall, with her family demanding to know how she died.

John Gillooly, an attorney retained by Harper Woods, said the city investigated and found the police report had been doctored.

Many questions still remain unanswered into her death. Michigan State Police are still investigating.

Slater’s sister was advised by the family attorney to not give an interview. She did say she was glad to hear the men were fired, but that is not enough. She wants to see them do jail time. She does not believe her sister’s death was accidental.

READ: More coverage

About the Authors: