DPD probes allegations 2 officers swore at street dancer
Detroit — The Detroit Police Department is investigating allegations two police officers swore at a man accused of endangering motorists with dance performances in a city roadway.
The exchange was captured on video and posted on social media (Warning: graphic language).
"This department will not tolerate the use of that kind of language," Detroit Deputy Police Chief Elvin Barren said Wednesday.
Barren made the remarks during a news conference near the intersection of Moross and Kelly roads on Detroit's east side.
Barren said he met with the officers Wednesday morning.
"They expressed to me their remorse and acknowledge that it should not have happened," he said. "They understand there will be disciplinary sanctions to follow."
The deputy chief said the department is conducting an investigation and the two officers could face discipline ranging from a written reprimand to days of suspension.
He said the allegations against the officers stem from a meeting between them and Darius Jones, who is frequently seen dancing on the sidewalk and in the street near the intersection of Moross and Kelly. The man often plays the music he dances to over a large speaker, police said. He has a following on social media and goes by "Detroit Chris Brown."
The department has received several complaints since Dec. 26 from neighborhood groups and businesses in the area about him blocking traffic, swearing at people and using sexually suggestive dance moves, he said.
"Dancing on the street corner is not illegal," Barren said. "If you're using foul language, if you're obstructing traffic, if you're running up to cars in a manner that could suggest a carjacking, we have to do something about it."
He said he would have preferred the officers would have put Jones under surveillance and collected evidence to charge him rather than get into a profanity-laced exchange with him.
Kevin Thomas, who works at a nearby dentist's office, said he disagrees with the police.
"I see (Darius) out here every day," he said. "I think they should just leave him alone."
A GoFundMe page was started in Jones' name, claiming to want to buy him a new radio on which to play his music.