Cop accused of domestic violence suspended w/o pay

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Acting on a recommendation from Detroit Police Chief James Craig, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners voted last week to suspend Officer Kwame Powell, 35, without pay.

Powell had been suspended with pay since he was arraigned on five charges, three of them felonies, at 30th District Court in Highland Park. Powell is facing charges of assault by strangulation, felonious assault, felony firearm, interfering with a crime report, and domestic violence related to an alleged April 5 incident at his Highland Park home.

A seven-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, Powell is prohibited from carrying a gun, according to the terms of a personal protection order filed by his girlfriend of one-and-a-half years and approved by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Eric Cholack. The prohibition expires on April 5, 2018, records show.

File photo

Even if Powell’s suspension were lifted, he would need to get the terms of the order amended to be able to work.

As Detroit Police Department media relations director Michael Woody told The News in a previous report: “If a PPO is issued against you, there’s usually pretty good cause. A PPO is usually pretty difficult to get. It has to meet a certain threshold or standard, so if a PPO is issued, especially if it prohibits an officer from carrying a firearm, it’s usually a pretty serious deal.”

Powell’s accuser wrote in her PPO request that after going to dinner together at Inyo on the night of April 4, the couple returned to Powell’s Highland Park home. At 3 a.m. on the morning of April 5, she said she was awakened by Powell choking her. She tried to run into his living room to call 911 and gather her bags.

In the end, the woman wrote in the request, she spotted a Highland Park cop car at a gas station on Woodward Avenue and was able to run to safety.

Powell has pleaded not guilty and was given a personal bond of $50,000 at his arraignment. His attorney, Randall Upshaw, could not immediately be reached.

Powell was the partner of late Detroit police officer Myron Jarrett, who was killed in the line of duty in October by a hit-and-run driver.