Michigan man files $10M lawsuit against Keego Harbor police alleging racial profiling

Brian Chaney says police called him a ‘dog’

A man said the Keego Harbor Police Department racially profiled him and he is filing a lawsuit.
A man said the Keego Harbor Police Department racially profiled him and he is filing a lawsuit.

KEEGO HARBOR, Mich. – A man said the Keego Harbor Police Department racially profiled him and he is filing a lawsuit.

Brian Chaney said he was walking down the street, listening to a podcast in Keego Harbor when police handcuffed him and accused him of a crime.

Chaney said he had dropped his kids off for an early morning workout and decided to get in some exercise himself. He was walking up and down Orchard Lake Road when he said he was stopped by police.

“He’s yelling, screaming. I didn’t hear him ‘cause I had my headphones on and he told me to get my hands out of my pockets and I put my hands up in the air,” Chaney said.

Chaney said the Keego Harbor officer suspected him of breaking into cars.

“He came and took my coffee, put it on the ground, frisked me and then told me I had a dangerous weapon and I was breaking into cars,” Chaney said.

According to the lawsuit, the cop violently pushed Chaney up against a car and injured his groin. Chaney, a father of four, was then handcuffed and said police refused to explain why he was being detained.

“When I didn’t want to talk to him he started poking me in the back and said ‘look dog.’ And I said, ‘I’m a dog now?’ And the other cop said, ‘I have a black labradoodle and he’s smart,’” Chaney said.

Chaney said the incident was humiliating and made him feel defenseless. After he was released, Chaney went to his family doctor who raised concerns about Chaney’s blood pressure.

Chaney was transported via ambulance to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak where he was kept overnight.

“Understand how I feel. It doesn’t matter how many degrees, the education I have. I’m treated like nothing,” Chaney said.

Chaney is now suing the Keego Harbor Police Department, and the officer he said racially discriminated against him, for $10 million.

“They stopped me because I’m a Black man and the way I was dressed,” Chaney said.

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About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

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