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Detroit cop gets 3 years probation for Meijer assault

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Detroit Police Officer Lonnie Wade, left, with Lawyer Steven Fishman, is sentenced in the courtroom of Wayne County Judge Mariam Bazzi Monday.

A Detroit police officer Monday was sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to charges for beating a man inside a Meijer store in October.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Mariam Bazzi sentenced Lonnie Wade, 65, to three years probation. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison for the first charge and up to 4 years in prison for the second. Both charges are felonies.

Through his attorney, Steve Fishman, Wade declined to speak to the court before Bazzi handed down his sentence. Wade also declined to speak to the media after sentencing.

However, before Bazzi gave him his sentence, she chastised him for his actions. She also said that except for this one incident, he was a law-abiding citizen. 

"What you did at that point in time has eroded trust in the police," she said. "It hurt the community and made things more difficult."

Wayne Conty Judge Mariam Bazzi speaks during the sentencing of Detroit Police Officer Lonnie Wade Monday.

The judge also put a few conditions on Wade's probation.  He must perform 80 hours of community service and he is also banned from working as a security guard, engaging in assaulting behavior and must not possess any weapons. In addition, he is to pay a couple of thousand dollars in court costs and legal fees.

In February, Wade entered his plea to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. He also was charged with two counts of misconduct in office. 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.

In January, the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to withhold pay from Wade because of the charges.

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.”

Christopher White of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality said Wade should be fired from the force.

"Officer Wade's hostile actions contribute to an erosion of trust between the community and police department," he said via email. "His actions have cost the city in a lawsuit and the Chief and Board of Police Commissioners must terminate him to restore that trust."