Delivery driver charged with misdemeanors in incident with Warren officer

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

An Amazon delivery driver who was parked the wrong way on a Warren street has been charged with misdemeanors in connection with an encounter involving a police officer last month, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Jaylen Bond "was informed through counsel that he has been charged with two misdemeanors" relating to his arrest on June 9, attorney Donald Andrews said in a statement Tuesday. "We find this extremely puzzling due to the fact that the same facts were reviewed on June 11, 2020 and the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office did not authorize any charges."

Gavel and book

Authorities had initially recommended charging Bond with resisting arrest, failure to obey a lawful command and failure to produce a driver's license. Under state law, resisting arrest is a two-year felony. The other two charges are misdemeanors.

Bond's attorney said Tuesday the facts in the case have not changed "and now the Prosecutors Office seems to be retaliating against Mr. Bond by authorizing these unfounded charges. We also believe that there may be undue pressure from the Warren Police Department to silence Mr. Bond and/or brand him a criminal."

Dwyer said Andrews' claim was "absolutely untrue."

"There was never any pressure by myself on the Prosecutor's Office to press charges," Dwyer said, adding the department asked the Prosecutor's Office to review the case again and it was their decision to authorize the misdemeanor charges.

The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night on the charges. Prosecutor Jean Cloud denied a warrant request, her office said last month.

The Warren officer had been on leave and an independent investigation was conducted by the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, Dwyer told The Detroit News. The probe "exonerated him from any wrongdoing," including using excessive force or violating department policy, and he has since returned to duty, the commissioner said. 

Viral video of the incident shared by local broadcast stations appeared to show the white officer forcing the driver, who is Black, to the ground.

At the time, Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass said the response was "unacceptable." The incident prompted the activist group National Action Network to seek a meeting with Warren police, WDIV-TV (Channel 4) reported.

Dwyer has said the officer told the driver that he was parked illegally on Engleman on June 9, but the man became "argumentative and refused multiple requests for his license."

The commissioner has said the officer asked the driver for his license 11 times. The 23-year-old driver "was not cooperative and refused the officer's commands to place his hands behind his back," Dwyer said last month. "The driver wouldn't comply and a struggle ensued. The officer took the driver to the ground to gain control of him for everyone's safety and before the situation escalated further."

Andrews vowed to challenge the charges.

"We intend on meeting this case head on, knowing Mr. Bond is a innocent young man," he said. "Mr. Bond will not be intimidated by the misuse of the legal system to protect their officer’s outrageous actions."