Taylor police officer suspended after being charged with misconduct, assault

A Taylor police officer was arraigned Wednesday on charges he assaulted a man he and other officers stopped after a reported domestic disturbance.

Warning: This video contains graphic images and language. 

Officer Tyler Peake, 23, is accused of assaulting Brendan Morgan, a 34-year-old Southfield resident, around 1:43 a.m. on April 1, 2020, after police were dispatched to the scene of a reported domestic disturbance involving Morgan and a Taylor woman prosecutors said was his girlfriend at the time.

Peake has been charged with misconduct in office and assault and battery. Misconduct in office, a common-law felony, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Assault and battery is a 93-day misdemeanor. 

Taylor Police Officer Tyler Peake has been charged with misconduct in office and assault and battery.

"The City of Taylor Police Department was notified (Tuesday) by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office that they will be charging one of our officers in connection with a police matter," Taylor Police Chief John Blair said in a statement. "The officer has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case."

Karl Ziomek, the city's director of communications and marketing, said the city would not comment further.

A message was left for Douglas Gutscher, an attorney for the Police Officers Association of Michigan who is representing Peake.

Prosecutors said the woman, 34, called 911 to report an incident and said Morgan had driven away from her home in a black car in the direction of a Marathon gas station. 

Three marked police SUVs with seven officers responded to the dispatcher. 

Morgan’s car was located traveling toward the Marathon station in the 8300 block of Telegraph, and the lights and sirens were activated on police vehicles as Morgan drove into the station, prosecutors said in a release. Peake approached Morgan, pointed his handgun at him, then instructed him several times to stop his car and get out.

Morgan rolled down his window and raised both hands where they were visible, prosecutors said, before Peake punched Morgan in the face with his right hand through the open window while holding his handgun in his left hand.

The incident was recorded by body cameras and cameras on police vehicles, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday.

She added that 10 seconds elapsed from the time Peake approached Morgan yelling commands until the time a video shows him striking Morgan.

Peake is also accused of striking Morgan multiple times on the ground after he was forcibly removed from his vehicle by other officers.

Peake was arraigned before 23rd District Court Judge Gino Salamone in Taylor. He was released on a personal bond and ordered to have no contact with Morgan. Peake's concealed pistol license was also suspended. 

Warning: This video contains graphic images and language. 

A probable cause conference is scheduled on Sept. 8 and a preliminary examination on Sept. 13 in 23rd District Court. 

Morgan filed a lawsuit in February against the city, Peake and eight other officers.

Morgan's attorney, Todd Perkins, said the incident has left Morgan traumatized.

"It's a very bad situation that's mortified my client," said Perkins. "My client lives with this and threats of this happening every day."