Warren officer on leave after excessive use of force probe

By: Brian Wells | Warren Weekly | Published July 13, 2022


WARREN — A Warren police officer has been placed on leave after an investigation found that the department’s excessive use of force policy was violated.

At approximately 9:17 a.m. June 2, Warren officers were alerted that a vehicle allegedly stolen in Detroit was traveling southbound on Mound Road in Warren. Officers located the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver fled, Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said.

Police continued to pursue the vehicle into Ferndale, where the teen driver reportedly struck a stop sign and the vehicle became disabled. Officers then ordered the driver to exit the vehicle. When he allegedly failed to do so, they entered the vehicle through the passenger door and physically removed the driver, Dwyer said.

After a struggle, the officers managed to handcuff the driver and de-escalate the situation, Dwyer said. The driver was charged with fleeing and eluding, and possession with intent to deliver drugs. He also faces a stolen vehicle charge and several weapons charges, Dwyer said.

Several days after the incident, a video surfaced that allegedly showed a Warren police officer stomping on the driver. An internal investigation was launched by the department.

“As police commissioner I want the public to know that Warren Police Department is committed to ensuring that all use of force incidents comply with departmental policy and procedure,” Dwyer said. “Officers are obligated to protect the rights of the public including those accused of having committed crimes in every situation and to ensure the health and well-being of every person taken into custody.”

The investigation revealed that the officer’s actions were not in line with the department’s use of force policy and “a lengthy leave of absence was issued,” Dwyer said.

“Let me make it clear, excessive use of force by Warren police officers is not and will not be tolerated,” Dwyer said. “While these incidents are very rare, the public needs to know that officers utilizing excessive use of force are held responsible.”

In addition to the officer being placed on leave, a misconduct charge was filed by the department against the officer, Dwyer said. The officer’s name has not been released.

During a June 21 press conference, the teen told local news reporters that he has experienced blurred vision in one eye, headaches and dizziness since the incident.

At the press conference, his attorney, James King, reportedly said his law firm is conducting its own investigation and plans to file a lawsuit against the department. King could not be reached for comment at press time.

As of July 7, Dwyer said he had not been notified that a lawsuit had been filed.