Suspect insists 'I'm not a carjacker' at hearing

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Testimony about a carjacking that led to police punching and kicking the captured suspect as he was pinned to the ground was interrupted by him saying "I'm not a carjacker."

Phyllis Knox was recounting Tuesday in the preliminary examination of Andrew Jackson how the Detroit man waved a gun at her and her grandchildren, forcing them out of her car, when Jackson yelled, "That wasn't me. ... I own three cars."

But Knox said Jackson is the man who carjacked her.

"He was right up close and personal," she said of the harrowing ordeal. "I got a great look at him."

After testimony by Knox and a Harper Woods police officer at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, 36th District Judge Michael Wagner bound Jackson, 51, over for trial. His next court date is March 10.

He's being held in the Wayne County Jail.

His violent arrest by police in January was captured on a smartphone and caused an uproar and charges of police brutality. As police handcuffed him as he lay on a snowy sidewalk, they kicked him multiple times and yelled at him.

Jackson filed a civil lawsuit last month against the officers, seeking more than $1 million in damages and claiming his constitutional rights were violated.

Knox was cleaning snow from her car in which her young grandsons sat around 7:45 a.m. Jan. 12 at Plainview and Evergreen when the carjackerrobbed her of her personal items and car.

She said the carjacker threatened to shoot the children if they did not get out of the vehicle.

The grandmother testified Jackson came around to her left side and said: "I'm robbing you. I want the keys to your car."

"I was begging him not to take my purse because I had medication in my purse. He said, 'you don't understand, you're getting robbed b-----.'"

Knox said Jackson then told her grandsons at gunpoint to get "out of the car."

Also testifying was a Harper Woods police officer who is part of the mutli-jurisdictional police agency that arrested of Jackson.

The officer testified Jackson was the man who was apprehended on Evergreen not far from where the carjacking took place earlier in the day. The officer did not address any details of the arrest including the recorded kicking of Jackson by two officers

Community activist Ron Scott, who sat in on the hearing, said he had expected the other officers involved in the arrest to take the stand.

Scott said he thought police officer Ron Dupuis, one of the ones shown on the recording kicking Jackson, should have given full details of the incident.

"They know (Dupuis) was the bad actor in this whole situation of the arrest," Scott said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said independent investigation into the conduct and actions of the police officers who arrested Jackson is ongoing.

(313) 222-2027