Detroit officer arraigned on charges of shooting journalists with rubber bullets

A Detroit police corporal pleaded not guilty Thursday at his arraignment on assault charges related to the shooting of three journalists with rubber bullets during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd in May.

Detroit Cpl. Daniel Debono, 32, appeared Thursday via video before a 36th District judge. A "not guilty" plea was entered on the officer's behalf. Debono was given a $10,000 bond and a probable cause conference was set for Aug. 13.

Daniel Debono at video arraignment

Debono, who has been suspended from the Detroit Police Department, has since taken a job in Texas. The nature of his new job and whether he is still employed there was not disclosed during Thursday's hearing.

Debono must ask 36th District Judge Roberta Archer, who will preside over his next court proceedings, permission to leave the state before he is allowed to return to Texas for work or to retrieve his personal items.

Debono was charged Monday with three felonies for the shooting. If convicted, Debono faces a maximum penalty of four years for three counts of felonious assault, a count for each photojournalist who was shot. 

“The evidence shows that these three journalists were leaving the protest area and that there was almost no one else on the street where they were. They were a threat (to) no one. There are simply no explicable reasons why the alleged actions of this officer where taken,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a Monday news release.

The three photojournalists have been identified as Nicole Hester, 30, of MLive and freelance photojournalists Seth Herald, 28, and Matthew Hatcher, 29.