DETROIT – On Facebook one man claimed that Southfield police pepper sprayed and threw him to the ground.
However, the body camera video paints a far different picture.
Police made that traffic stop suspecting the driver might have been in a stolen car. That turned out not to be the case.
When the driver of that car went online making those bold claims police put out the video to make their case. That post was widely circulated on Facebook.
This all happened on June 1. A man saw what he believed to be his white Dodge Durango SRT that had been stolen a week before in Troy. He followed the SUV and called 911 waiting for the police to show up.
The man goes by TJ Monroe on Facebook. Southfield police say it’s not his real name.
On Facebook the man posted, “I was just pulled out of my truck. Ten police officers pepper sprayed and handcuffed me over mistaken identity, by far the scariest thing I’ve encountered. I tell the officer I have a gun. His partner slams me on the ground and pepper sprayed me. The black officer says “he’s sorry” man to man ”you didn’t deserve that brother” and just leaves like nothing happened.”
On Monday, Southfield police chief Elvin Barren put out a body camera video.
“Police watch your hands, police show your hands, do not move, let me see your hands,” an officer is heard saying in the video.
The Southfield tactical response team showed up with a few other officers.
“Get your hands up,” one officer could be heard saying.
In response while being taken out of his car the man asked, “What’s the problem?”
“Get your hands up on the ground,” the officer continued.
The man then asked, “What’s this about?” In response the officer said, “we’ll let you know in a second.”
The gun in the cup holder had an extended magazine.
Police did check that out. He had a CPL and owned the properly insured vehicle. It ended up being a case of mistaken identity, which the man was notified about.
“I appreciate you handling it the way you did. I’m not going to look the other way. I acted toward ya, it was very calm ok? You take it easy alright,” the man could be heard saying as the situation ended.
Barren shared his department’s part of the story.
“He was not slammed, that he was not pepper sprayed and in fact the Southfield police, we’re not even equipped with pepper spray and we certainly didn’t just walk away as if nothing happened,” said Barren.
Southfield police apologized no fewer than four times to the man for their approach telling him there are a lot of stolen cars in the area.
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