Slain officer was ‘everything that is good about Detroit’

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Officer Glenn Anthony Doss, the Detroit police officer shot while responding to a domestic violence call, died Sunday, according to the Detroit police chief.

Doss and his father enjoy some time with the family, off-duty.

Chief James Craig said Doss, who joined the force two years ago, died at 1 p.m. at Detroit Receiving Hospital, four days after being shot in the head.

“He fought a good fight. He is truly what we call one of Detroit’s finest,” Craig said outside Detroit Receiving Hospital flanked by Doss’ family, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones.

“He is what we call an American hero. He did what we expect each and every officer to do: To go out and serve this community with distinction and honor. And he did that.”

His death brought calls for the public to remember the dangers officers face daily and for solutions, including political, to address the issue of untreated mental health issues.

Duggan said Doss “was everything that is good about Detroit,” a young man with options, who “could’ve gone anywhere,” but instead stayed in Detroit and tried to make the city safer.

Duggan noted the dangers facing police in Detroit, saying “there’s never been a time it’s been more dangerous to be a Detroit police officer” than in the last year and a half.

Doss and girlfriend Emily Crouse

“There’s been more shootings of officers than I can ever remember,” Duggan said. “And yet the 2,500 men and women of this department go back out there every day.”

Duggan compared Doss’ shooting to the April 2017 ambush shooting of Officer Waldis Johnson, at an apartment building on the city’s west side, and asked that people not forget Johnson, who “is still fighting for his recovery” almost a year later.

Johnson also was shot in the head while responding to a domestic violence call. His partner returned fire and killed the shooter.

“When you see a police officer, thank them for their courage and their service,” Duggan said.

Officer Glenn Doss Sr., a 19-year veteran of the department, said his son never gave him a bad day in his 25 years. He thanked Officer Samuel Anderson for his fast response in getting the younger Doss the hospital after the shooting.

Doss said he never pushed his son to become a police officer. He said that after studying psychology in college, the younger Doss broached the subject on his own.

Doss thanked the Detroit Police Department’s “great support system and peer group” that has helped the family. “They did an excellent job,” he said.

Anderson, who said he had worked with the younger Doss prior to last week, said “even though it’s a tragic situation, to this day I still remain ambitious. I still remain courageous to get out here and to this job.”

Decharlos O. Brooks

On Saturday, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Decharlos O. Brooks, 43, with eight counts of assault with intent to murder, seven counts of resisting and obstructing, one count of carrying a dangerous weapon and 17 counts of felony firearms.

Brooks was arraigned Saturday in 34th District Court in Romulus and was being held without bond. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6 in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Police said Doss was among the officers responding to a 10:30 p.m. call Wednesday from someone believed to be Brooks in a domestic violence case at a home in the 5500 block of McDougall, near Interstate 94 and Chene Street.

When officers arrived, Brooks was outside of the home and allegedly fired at them. Doss was a passenger in one of the patrol vehicles.

He was rushed to Detroit Receiving Hospital by Anderson and underwent surgery.

Craig said of Anderson: “His quick and decisive actions in getting his partner to this hospital prevented his death at the scene.” Craig touted his “courage, commitment and dedication.”

Police said Brooks went into the home and stayed there until police used a chemical agent to force him out and arrested him at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

Detroit Police Officer Samuel Anderson, wearing sunglasses, hugs Officer Glenn Doss, Sr. after at a press conference the death the younger Doss on Sunday. Anderson once with the younger Doss when he was shot and took him to the hospital.

While funeral arrangements were not immediately announced, the senior Doss asked “everyone around the world” to find a way to show their respects to his fallen son.

Duggan said he and Craig, who also serves as the city’s deputy mayor, were discussing whether the city could assume the cost of Doss’ funeral expenses.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Doss’ girlfriend of nine years, Emily Crouse, and their son, 9-month-old son, Eli. By Sunday, the page had raised more than $16,000.

Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officer’s Association, the union that represents Detroit police officers, said that the city of Detroit does not customarily pay for funerals of officers who die in the line of duty.

“It’s very unfortunate that’s the case,” Diaz said. While officers can buy small life insurance policies, and can get state and federal aid, that doesn’t come in a timely manner for families facing “devastating upfront costs” associated with a large funeral.

“An officer’s funeral isn’t like (a civilian funeral), where maybe 100 people show up. These can get 5,000 or 10,000 people,” including police from the home department, state and around the country. Diaz said he’s known officers to come from England for a fallen officer’s funeral.

The union can’t help either, he said, because it’s not incorporated as a benevolent association.

“I’m tired of losing cops” in situations where the suspect has mental health issues that have gone untreated, Diaz said. He called on political leaders in Michigan to “get their heads out of (the sand).”

Detroit police Commissioner Willie Bell, who retired as a lieutenant from the Police Department in 2003, said he joined the force despite discouragement from his family, and said that new hires feel as he did: “They have a desire to serve, a will to be in law enforcement.”

“Regardless of the politicians, regardless of the situation, you serve because of the passion for the work,” Bell said.

Doss is the first Detroit police officer to die in the line of duty since Officer Myron Jarrett was killed on Oct. 28, 2016, in a hit-and-run.

Steven Guzina of Lincoln Park, who drove the vehicle that hit Jarrett, was found guilty and sentenced to 16 to 20 years on second-degree murder charges.