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Cop who arrested Black man collecting signatures is fired

Associated Press

Springfield – A Michigan sheriff’s deputy has been fired after arresting a Black man who was collecting signatures to form a tenant organization in a neighborhood, authorities said Friday.

“We hold ourselves to high standards of professionalism to the communities we protect,” Calhoun County Sheriff Steve Hinkley said. “When we are right, we are right. When we are wrong, we admit we are wrong. On January 2, we were wrong.”

The deputy’s name wasn’t released.

La’Ron Marshall of Springfield was arrested and spent a night in jail after someone called police to report a suspicious person. A deputy, one of two at the scene, told him he was soliciting without a permit, according to a video recording.

“Soliciting what?” Marshall asked.

“Whatever you’re soliciting,” a deputy said.

Marshall believes he was racially profiled. Hinkley apologized two weeks ago, and a charge of obstructing police was dismissed.

“No law – local, state or federal – prohibited Mr. Marshall from exercising his constitutional rights on January 2,” the sheriff said.

Marshall said he was pleased with the firing.

“It’s messed up that he had to lose his job, but something has to happen. … As a Black man, we are under attack and you have to root out all the bad apples for the fruit to prosper,” Marshall told the Battle Creek Enquirer.