Pastor who manages Thanedar campaign arrested

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News
David Alexander Bullock speaks outside Detroit Police 9th Precinct in this Friday September 1, 2017 file photo.

 A Highland Park pastor and gubernatorial campaign manager for Democrat Shri Thanedar was arrested Sunday for allegedly interfering with a police investigation.

Police arrested David Alexander Bullock outside his church, Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church, at 396 La Belle St., according to Marli Blackman, Highland Park Police press secretary.

Bullock was named campaign manager for governor hopeful Shri Thanedar in May.

Blackman said police initially were called to the area outside Bullock’s church for reports of a woman who was breaking out car windows.

While police were speaking to a woman at the scene, Bullock began “yelling and demanding to know what the police officer was doing with this woman,” Blackman said.

When Bullock refused to go back inside, he was arrested, ticketed and later released, Blackman said.

A video posted on Thanedar's Facebook page appears to show an officer leading Bullock to the opposite side of the street before telling him to stay there while he conducted his investigation. 

When the officer returned to speak with a witness — who appears to be the one filming — Bullock followed the officer back. The officer then handcuffed Bullock and placed him in a patrol car. 

When reached Monday morning, Bullock's account of the incident differed from police. 

The pastor said his congregation called police about a woman who may have been mentally impaired causing trouble and assaulting people in the parking lot of the church. 

When police arrived, they questioned a young woman who said she had been assaulted but didn't want to file a police report, Bullock said. When police pressed the woman for her address, Bullock asked police why they needed an address, he said. 

"He immediately took me as somebody trying to undermine his authority,” Bullock said. 

When police asked him to leave, Bullock said, he stayed standing on his property and was arrested. 

Bullock said he was ticketed with misdemeanor charges of obstructing a police investigation and providing false information to a police officer after he refused to give his name to an officer at the jail.

"I’m still trying to process what happened," Bullock told The Detroit News on Monday. 

Bullock is a Detroit activist known for his work as state coordinator for the Rainbow PUSH coalition. He is a past president of the Highland Park NAACP and a former host on 910 AM. 

In a statement released late Sunday, Thanedar said he supported Bullock and demanded an investigation of the officers involved in the arrest.

“Every day, many African-American men go through such traumatic and humiliating experience for no fault of theirs. A pastor of the church has every right to ask questions about the well-being of the members of his church,” Thanedar said.

Bullock has lost two races for Detroit City Council and helped campaign for the 2012 referendum to repeal Michigan’s emergency manager law.

Jonathan Oosting contributed.

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