Craig: Police reviewing video of man being thrown
Video that recently surfaced of a May arrest inside a gas station on Detroit’s east side shows a Detroit special operations officer grab a man from behind and throw him to the ground.
Chief James Craig said Thursday that police have reviewed surveillance video of the May 31 incident not seen by the public – footage that he said shows the rest of the story.
“When you see the video (that’s been aired by local media), it appears the suspect did not offer any resistance,” Craig said during a press conference at police headquarters. “But the store video shows the context prior to (what’s shown on the released video).
“The suspect did take a swing at the officer,” Craig said. “I’m not sure if the swing (hit the officer). Following the swing, (the suspect) turned away from the officer.”
The chief declined to release the surveillance footage.
The officer, who was assigned to the 5th Precinct Special Operations squad, was put on restricted desk duty shortly after police officials reviewed the incident, Craig said. He added he doesn’t want to release too much information because the investigation is ongoing.
“There were other activities that led up to (the incident), but I don’t want to go into it now,” Craig said.
Wayne County prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine whether to bring criminal charges against the officer.
“We have recently received a warrant request for a police officer related to an incident at a Detroit gas station,” assistant prosecutor Maria Miller said. “In a police-involved incident, WCPO conducts a separate and independent investigation to determine if charges will issue.”
Craig added: “If no criminality is found, we will address it from the administrative end ... the officer is absolutely entitled to due process.”
Cmdr. Mark Bliss, head of the Professional Standards Bureau, said his office began an internal affairs investigation of the incident.
“We were alerted from Cmdr. (Eric) Ewing (head of the 5th Precinct),” Bliss said. “We didn’t receive any outside complaints.”
Craig praised police command staff for taking quick action after the incident.
“That’s what we expect from our commanding officers,” he said.