Detroit officer whose fist met face in Greektown reportedly is suspended

August 05, 2021, 5:29 PM

This July 31 punch provokes an internal investigation. (File photo from video)

A face smash seen around the city brings the start of consequences for a Detroit police officer videotaped knocking out a man in Greektown last weekend as he backed away.

The unnamed cop has been moved from desk duty to suspension with pay while Internal Affairs investigates, Steve Neavling posts Tuesday afternoon at Metro Times.

Metro Times also learned Thursday that additional officers are under investigation for their actions that night. Cell phone footage that has not been made public yet show other cops shoving, punching, and kneeing people in a boisterous crowd, a sergeant tells Metro Times on condition of anonymity. ...

He also says none of the officers, including two supervisors, filed a use-of-force report before their shifts ended, a violation of department protocol, nor did they provide treatment to the man who was punched in the video.

Two days after the street drama, Interim Police Chief James White voiced "serious concerns" about what he said "appears to be an unprovoked ... use of force. ... I did not see de-escalation there. I did not see our training there. If there is a violation, we are going to hold the officers accountable and we are going to be transparent about it to the community."

Officers had been trying to get the man away from a separate brawl, and a 28-second earlier video tweeted by Neavling shows him reacting belligerantly.

He hasn't been identified publicly and there's no word on any medical attention. Online concern is posted about a possible concussion or closed-head injury because he fell backward and hit his skull on the street. 

"This action could have resulted in a tragic loss of life or an injury that would determine his physical capability for the rest of his life," Detroit NAACP branch president Wendell Anthony notes in a statement, saying the encounter "raises very serious concerns."

These concerns go directly to police policy and protocol. Does this reflect the kind of community policing so desperately needed in cities across the country?

The 45-second bystander video, posted on Reddit and widely shared, has over 12,000 "upvotes" and 1,700 comments.

Read more:  Detroit Metro Times

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