HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – The former Hamtramck police officer who was charged Thursday in a federal bribery case has also been linked to dog mauling and racial profiling controversies in Metro Detroit over the past decade.
Stout left the Hamtramck Police Department in 2020, but while he was working as an officer, he accepted bribes from a towing company operator in exchange for information from a restricted law enforcement database, according to federal authorities.
Officials said Stout would provide information from the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) to the towing company operator. When the operator expressed concern that a police vehicle had been following him, Stout would call an unwitting employee to search LEIN so Stout could provide the vehicle’s registration information to the operator, federal officials said.
Stout accepted bribes that included a vehicle and $1,500 cash, according to authorities.
The bribery charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, officials said.
2012 dog mauling case
- Read the original dog attack story here: Prosecutors say no charges in dog attack because of ‘insufficient evidence’
On April 21, 2012, a 78-year-old grandmother from Hamtramck said that Stout’s dog jumped out of its fenced-in enclosure and attacked her.
She suffered serious injuries to both arms, and one of her fingers was bitten off during the attack, according to officials.
Stout was placed on administrative leave while Michigan State Police investigated the incident, and a warrant request was sent by MSP on June 12, 2012. But the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office ultimately decided there was insufficient evidence to file charges.
“The investigation revealed that the dog was inside Officer Stout’s backyard at the time of the incident,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy concluded at the time. “In addition, the WCPO was unable to prove that the victim has not trespassed onto the property, and that she had not provoked the dog leading up to the attack.”
The statement went on to say the investigation turned up “conflicting information,” and the warrant was denied because of “insufficient evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The Arab-American Civil Rights League released a statement saying the decision not to bring charges was a move that “turns a blind eye and protects their own, marginalizing the interests of the Arab-American community.”
2016 racial profiling case
- Read the original Local 4 Defenders story here: Attorney alleges racism, profiling against officers in raids
In 2016, Stout was one of two officers named in federal lawsuits accusing police of abusing their power by targeting minority business owners.
Stout and a Highland Park officer were accused of racial profiling. The lawsuits said the officers would target business owners who struggled with the English language and didn’t fully understand their constitutional rights.
During raids at homes and businesses, officers would steal cash and property before hauling the owners off to jail, according to the lawsuits.
In one instance, a businessman was subjected to a raid before all charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence. He passed a polygraph test saying hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen by police during the raids and insisting business owners were being targeted because of race, the lawsuits said.
“It’s falsified,” that man’s attorney, Steve Haney, said at the time. “It’s made up and it’s armed robbery. I don’t know how it could be characterized as anything different than police officers robbing people.
“They come in -- we don’t know -- with a shotgun,” said Sam Habib, who had his Detroit business and his Shelby Township home raided by an auto theft task force. “‘Everybody lay down on the ground.’ We don’t know what’s going on. Right away, he handcuffed me.”
Sam Joumaah said his business in Hamtramck and his home in Dearborn were raided by an auto theft task force.
“I went home -- I found out they took more money, like $30,000,” Joumaah said.
Both men said police stole cash, jewelry or other merchandise and had them hauled off to jail.
“They put us in jail for three days,” Joumaah said. “They take us out of jail after almost three and a half days. When we left the jail, they don’t tell us what the charge is for.”
Neither man was ever charged with a crime, and they never got their missing money or property back, according to the lawsuits.
Both officers and both police departments were sued in publicly filed court documents. Stout and the other officer were members of an auto task force unit at the time, officials said.