The Latest: Watchdog wants Detroit cop charged in beating
Aug. 02, 2018
DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on cellphone video showing Detroit officer punching unarmed, naked woman at hospital (all times local):
A watchdog group is calling for charges against a Detroit police corporal who beat an unarmed, naked and possibly mentally ill woman at a hospital.
Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality spokesman Kenneth Reed said Thursday that the cellphone video of the Wednesday night confrontation shows an officer "who had total disdain for a citizen who was obviously ill."
The video posted Wednesday by WJBK-TV shows the male officer striking the woman about a dozen times as she is being restrained by another officer and hospital security.
Police Chief James Craig said Thursday that the woman tried to bite the officer who hit her. Police have launched a criminal investigation and the officer has been placed on paid suspension.
A Wayne County prosecutor's office spokeswoman says that if and when the police department sends a warrant request for the officer's arrest, her office will conduct a separate and independent investigation before making a charging decision.
Detroit's police chief says cellphone video showing one of his officers repeatedly punching an unarmed, naked and possibly mentally ill woman is "very disturbing."
The video was posted Wednesday by WJBK-TV and shows the officer — a corporal — striking the woman about a dozen times as she is being restrained by another officer and security staff at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Chief James Craig told reporters Thursday that the corporal and his partner took the woman to the hospital Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a "lewd and lascivious" person. He says she spat on hospital staff, bit a security guard and tried to bite the corporal.
Craig says he is concerned that the officers didn't follow procedure by handcuffing a "mentally ill person" and that he thinks the officers' body camera footage tells "a little bit of a different story" than the cellphone footage.
The corporal's name hasn't been released. He is an 18-year veteran and has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the department's investigation.
A Detroit police officer has been suspended after cellphone video emerged showing him beating a naked, unarmed woman inside an emergency room triage unit as another officer and hospital security restrained her.
The video posted on WJBK-TV's website shows the male officer punching the woman about a dozen times on Wednesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
She can be heard shouting a threat at someone before being grabbed by one of the police officers and security staff. She then was punched by the male officer.
Police Chief James Craig told reporters Thursday that the woman appeared to be suffering from some mental issue and had already spat on hospital workers and bitten a security worker before she tried to bite the officer who hit her.
The department has launched a criminal investigation.
The woman and the officer who hit her are black.