2 cops suspended without pay over assault charges
The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to withhold pay from two Detroit police officers who were charged with assaulting citizens in separate cases.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy last month charged officers Lonnie Wade and Richard Billingslea with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, which carries up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
After the charges were filed, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said he planned to ask the police board to suspend the officers without pay. Under the City Charter, the board must approve withholding pay from suspended officers.
Police board members cast their votes Thursday without comment, although Commissioner Willie Bell moved that the reasons for their decision be added to the meeting minutes.
Wade and Billingslea were arraigned Dec. 21 in 36th District Court. They were originally given $50,000, 10 percent bonds and ordered to wear GPS tethers if released.
But after Detroit Police Officers Association union attorneys filed an emergency appeal, District Judge Deborah Lewis Langston released the officers on personal recognizance bonds and eliminated the requirement to wear the GPS monitor.
Wade was captured on video in October striking 23-year-old David Bivins with his baton inside a Detroit Meijer store, where Wade was moonlighting as a security guard.
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger filed a $25 million lawsuit against Meijer in Wade’s assault case. The alleged victim, Bivins, whose teeth were knocked out, said during a press conference when the charges against Wade were announced he still felt “daily pain.”
Bivins said he hasn’t watched the video of the incident. “That’s essentially going back and reliving the same trauma over again,” he said.
“Before this, I actually intended to be a police officer,” Bivins said. “I can’t say this is my dream anymore.”
Billingslea was charged in connection with the May 31 alleged assault of two men at a Mobil gas station.
According to a complaint filed by the two men — D’Marco Craft, a college student, and Michaele Jackson, a Detroit city bus driver — about 1:30 a.m. that day, the pair went to a gas station on Harper to buy cigarettes and encountered two officers.
Jackson went toward the store to buy cigarettes and walked past Billingslea, who threw him face-first to the concrete, and the other officer joined the struggle, according to the men.