Detroit cops are deadliest in U.S.
Shooting figures need context, officials
May 15, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Detroit leads the nation's largest cities
in the rate of fatal shootings by police, according to a Free Press analysis of
The Motor City rate is nearly 2 1/2 times
higher than New York's rate and more than 1 1/2 times Los Angeles' -- two cities
sweating under the national spotlight amid scrutiny for police misconduct.
Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon and
Wayne County Prosecutor John O'Hair contend that the figures don't take into
account factors that might cause Detroit's rate to be so high. They said the
rates need to be viewed in the context of violent crime rather than population.
"There is a very violent element in
our city," O'Hair said in an interview earlier this month. "It's
high-risk, and this is the element the police deal with."
But a national expert said Detroiters
should be alarmed.
"As an ex-New York City cop, I have
always been amazed at the great interest shown in NYPD shootings by people from
cities whose cops are far less restrained with their guns," said James Fyfe,
a criminal justice professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. Fyfe said
Detroit's fatal shooting rate has dwarfed New York's at least since the 1980s.
Detroit, with nearly 1 million residents,
averaged nearly 10 fatal police shootings a year in 1990-98. New York City, with
7.3 million residents, averaged 28 fatal shootings a year during the same
The Free Press sought to compare Detroit
with other large U.S. cities and tapped into rarely used FBI statistics.
To make the comparison, the Free Press
calculated fatal shootings on the basis of the FBI's standard measure, 100,000
residents. Detroit had a rate of 0.92 fatal shootings per 100,000 residents,
towering over New York's rate of 0.39 and Los Angeles' 0.56. Houston ranked
second with 0.68.
"These are Vietnam kind of
numbers," said Detroit lawyer Juan Mateo, one of several lawyers, citizens
and former police executives who blame Detroit's high fatal shooting rate on a
failure by police brass to properly train officers or aggressively investigate
and punish cops who shoot under questionable circumstances.
"Cops are shooting people and getting
away with it."
Mateo and other critics told the Free
Press during a four-month investigation of police shootings that the
department's reluctance to hold cops accountable has destroyed lives and
families, cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lawsuits, bred fear and mistrust
of the police and undercut a 25-year effort to make the force more responsive to
Police officials deny they're covering up
Nearly a dozen top police executives, the
mayor's news secretary and deputy press secretary met with the Free Press on
Thursday to review the findings.
During the meeting, they tried to allay
concerns that Detroit officers were acting improperly or that the department was
remiss in training and investigating.
"We investigate all of our shootings
objectively and impartially," Napoleon said. He said officers who hesitate
when confronted by a dangerous situation can wind up dead.
"About 120 officers every year make a
bad decision in a fatal force situation and they get killed," Cmdr. Dennis
Richardson, head of the major crimes division, said of the officers killed
Police officials called in staff during
the weekend to recalculate the Free Press' numbers in hopes of casting Detroit
in a better light. The department, which had to use the Free Press' numbers
because it couldn't obtain them from the FBI, planned to give the numbers to
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer on Tuesday to prepare him for an interview.
Lawyers who have sued the department in
police shootings disputed the assertion that all is well.
Consider the case of Cora Bell Jones, a
79-year-old great-grandmother who was shot to death by police in August 1998
when she hobbled into her living room with a knife as officers fought to control
a ruckus in her home.
Police showed up after her east-side home
was shot up and dashed inside after a man with a rifle, according to court
records, police reports and other documents. Inside, they took a pistol from
Steven Grimes, her great-grandson.
Into the confusion rolled Jones' daughter,
Ruby Grimes, in a wheelchair. Steven Grimes defied orders to stay put. Police
grappled with him when he threw himself onto her lap. Ruby Grimes tumbled from
During the fracas, Jones -- bent with
arthritis and limited by deafness, poor vision and senility -- came at cops with
Just then, backup officers, including
Anthony Johnson, arrived. Fearing for the other cops, Johnson shot Jones.
After reviewing the case, the police and
the Prosecutor's Office called the shooting proper. But Jones' family said it
was a whitewash and sued in 1998 in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Napoleon declined to discuss the case
because of the pending suit. Johnson did not respond to an interview request.
"I'm angry, and I will be for a long
time because they didn't need to shoot my mother," Ruby Grimes said.
The family's lawyer, David A. Robinson of
Southfield, who worked 13 years as a Detroit policeman, said the killing was
"Six cops against one 79-year-old
lady?" he said. "They didn't have to shoot."
Robinson said the shooting of Hong Leong
is just as bad.
Leong, a 40-year-old Detroit plant worker
with a history of mental problems, had threatened his wife, been convicted of
felonious and sexual assault and fired shots at a motorist moments before his
drunken encounter with police.
But Detroit Police officers John Borgens
and James Pratt knew none of that at 8:30 p.m., Nov. 18, 1997, when they spotted
him squealing his tires while rounding a corner in southwest Detroit.
When they chased him onto a dead-end
street, they said he climbed out with a 12-gauge shotgun, fired into the air and
yelled, "Go ahead and shoot me!"
Police said they opened fire when he
turned on them with the gun. He died of 12 to 16 shots to the back and the palm
of one hand.
Homicide detectives and the Wayne County
Prosecutor's Office said officers shot in self-defense.
Robinson questioned how the officers could
have been shooting in self-defense when all the shots were to the back. "I
think they executed him and the department covered it up," Robinson said.
He said the officers should have been charged with a crime.
The officers did not respond to requests
Napoleon declined to discuss the case
because of the suit. But he reiterated that the department does not tolerate
"Investigations are conducted by the
letter to arrive at the truth," he said.
Department rules on firearm use
May 17, 2000
The Detroit Police Department has rules
governing firearm use by officers. Here are excerpts from Chapter 10 of the
department's General Procedures:
Members must always bear in mind that the
use of firearms shall be confined to life-threatening situations. The laws of
this state and the rules of the department demand that members use only the
minimum degree of force necessary to effect an arrest. Members must also
consider that the maximum sentence imposed by our court system would result in
neither death nor injury.
A member shall not discharge a firearm in
an attempt to apprehend a person on mere suspicion that a crime, no matter how
serious, was committed or on mere suspicion that the person being pursued
committed the crime. A member shall either have witnessed the crime or have
probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense for which the use
of deadly force is permissible in accordance with department directives.
Laws, rules keep cops from removal
Charges can't be brought if suspected
felon is shot
May 17, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Sometimes, laws and regulations thwart
officials when they try to get rid of a cop for a questionable shooting.
Detroit police executives and prosecutors
agreed in 1995, for instance, that a rookie cop was wrong when he shot an
unarmed teenager who was tampering with a car. But they couldn't kick him off
the force or put him on trial.
"We fired him," Police Chief
Benny Napoleon said. "The arbitrator gave him his job back."
The officer, Archie Arp, declined to
On the night of Aug. 23, 1995, Arp was off
duty and dropped in to visit his girlfriend at a bar on Joy Road near West
Parkway. Arp, 45, had been a cop for a year.
Arp was in the bar a few minutes, police
and court records show, when he was asked to check out the parking lot because a
kid was seen messing with a car.
Moments later, gunshots were heard and
14-year-old Charles Clay lay dying on the street. Clay was about 90 feet from
Arp, and a screwdriver with a 4-inch blade was near the youth's body.
Arp told investigators the youth ran but
suddenly turned on him with a shiny object that Arp believed was a weapon. It
was the screwdriver.
The autopsy showed that Clay had been shot
in the middle of the back. The bullet's path through his body indicated that he
may have been running when hit.
Even so, Sgt. Arlie Lovier of the special
assignment squad, who was the officer in charge of the homicide investigation,
said it was "a good shooting," with no violations of criminal law or
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
wanted to charge Arp, but couldn't. The office determined that a criminal case
was impossible because a Michigan Supreme Court ruling said it was legal for
anyone -- civilian or police officer -- to use deadly force to stop a fleeing
felon. Assistant prosecutor Michael King said he regretted that he could not
bring state charges, "but I feel bound" by the Supreme Court ruling.
However, prosecutors issued a news release
indicating that the shooting could be a "civil violation of the deceased's
federal rights to be free of unreasonable arrest."
In a September 1995 letter to the police
department, county prosecutors said Arp's story wasn't supported by facts, and
his use of deadly force appeared to violate department policy.
The police department held hearings and
fired Arp, but the dismissal was overturned on appeal in 1998. Arp was suspended
for six months, and is still with the department.
Clay's family sued in Wayne County Circuit
Court in 1995. The city settled the case for $1 million a year later.
Police chief: Cops get no free deals
Napoleon invites skeptics to ask U.S.
May 16, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon is
adamant that no bad cops get a free pass or special deals.
"Ask them if they think anybody threw
them a lifeline," Napoleon said, pointing to a photo array of convicted
officers in his office at police headquarters.
And Napoleon challenged anyone who thinks
Detroit cops get wrapped in a protective blue curtain to complain to federal
"If they really believe that, why
don't they go to the Justice Department and ask the FBI or somebody to come in
and take a look at these investigations to determine if we've done something
wrong?" he said. "And we would welcome that kind of scrutiny. We're
not hiding anything."
He said a cover-up would be difficult
because all fatal shootings are examined by homicide detectives, and reviewed by
a board of senior officers and the prosecutor's office.
Detroit averages more than 100 nonfatal
shootings that don't involve police per month, Wayne County Prosecutor John
O'Hair said, "and we don't even count the misses." Against that
backdrop, the number of shootings involving police is relatively small.
Napoleon, a lawyer, also scoffed at
multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in civil suits against police,
saying they aren't a true reflection of the cases. A justifiable shooting can be
skewed by a skillful attorney who makes the cop look like the villain, he said.
"That's what lawyers do," he
said. "That's what they get paid for ...to take the facts and twist them to
fit whatever scenario they want them to fit so that they can prevail for their
He said lawyers spend years
second-guessing officers who had only a fraction of a second to analyze a
situation before firing.
Cmdr. Michael Falvo, head of the
department's legal affairs division, said cases are often settled to avoid even
bigger verdicts from overly generous jurors.
"It would be irresponsible to ignore
the reality that in Wayne County, jury verdicts are higher than any other
jurisdiction in this nation," he said.
The officials also cautioned the public
not to make too much of claims by plaintiffs' lawyers that the cops are covering
up unjustified shootings. The lawyers, they said, are in it for the money.
They said all shootings by police are
investigated by the eight-member special assignment squad, which is part of the
62-member homicide section. Officials said the detectives are specially trained
and have no qualms about investigating fellow cops.
"The best of the best are in SAS,"
said Deputy Chief Michael Hall of the department's Headquarters Bureau.
Although lawyers complain that SAS
investigators barely question officers in some shootings and ask powder-puff
questions, the brass said that's not true. And they said there are other equally
reliable ways to get the facts, including physical and scientific evidence and
They said the officers can always be
called in for additional questions if needed.
When an investigation is completed in a
shooting case, the file is sent to O'Hair's office with a routine request for a
warrant against the officer if police think that's needed. It's up to
prosecutors to decide whether the officer will be charged.
Although police executives insisted that
O'Hair's review is rigorous and backed by Michigan State Police investigators,
O'Hair said he is forced to rely mainly on the legwork of homicide
O'Hair said it's not unusual for his
office to ask police for further work. If needed, his staff questions witnesses;
on rare occasions, he has asked the State Police to conduct an independent
In addition, Napoleon said, the police
department has its own disciplinary reviews. Even if there are no criminal
charges, Napoleon said, officers can face departmental sanctions, although
critics say that seldom results.
There's a fine line between maintaining
discipline and breaking the spirit of aggressive policing in a tough town,
"We have to be careful about the
message we send," Falvo said. "We don't want to make a police officer
so hesitant that it may cost him his life.
"No one wants a rogue cop on the
street. We don't want to back a bad cop. But if someone pulls a gun on a cop and
someone has to die, I don't want it to be the cop."
U.S. attorney monitors big rise in
May 17, 2000
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
U.S. Attorney Saul Green is closely
monitoring reports that Detroit police officers may be shooting citizens without
proper justification and that the
department is mishandling its
investigations of the incidents.
Green said Tuesday that his office has
concerns anytime questions are raised about police conduct. "We, of course,
have jurisdiction where police use excessive force," he said.
Complaints about police use of excessive
force "have increased dramatically in the last five or six years,"
Green said. "I'm not talking about just the city of Detroit, but complaints
from all over."
Green said it would be improper for him to
discuss any specific cases that may have attracted federal interest.
"Cases can be referred to us because
of concerned citizens or brought to our attention," he said. "And that
could be as simple as looking at the newspaper. Something could be brought to
our attention just by reading about it."
In a 4-month investigation, the Free Press
found that Detroit officers have a higher rate of fatal shootings than any other
of the biggest U.S. cities during the 1990s. The investigation also found that
the city doesn't know how much it spends on shooting lawsuits and doesn't
carefully track officers who fire their weapons. Police investigators often
accept the word of officers over civilians, overlook witnesses with damaging
evidence and fail to get basic, scientific tests.
Historically, federal authorities have
stepped in when local law enforcement fails to police itself.
In an interview last week, Chief Benny
Napoleon said critics of his department's performance were free to go to the
U.S. Department of Justice or the FBI.
"And we would welcome that kind of
scrutiny," Napoleon said. "We're not hiding anything."
Unlike the open hostility between Detroit
police and federal authorities during the era of former Detroit Mayor Coleman
Young, recent dealings have been marked by close cooperation.
Victim's weapon not found after shoot-out
May 16, 2000
It's the case of the missing handgun.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1998, police
belatedly responded to a report of shots fired at a reputed dope house in the
12000 block of Roselawn on Detroit's west side.
When police banged on the front door,
Liquory Hines, 16, a Mackenzie High School sophomore, and friend Darryl Thrash,
19, panicked and began running around the house, according to police and court
Five minutes later, Hines opened the back
door as Thrash ran for the attic.
Police Officers Anthony Jackson and
Jeffery Manson, crouched in the darkness, said the back door opened and a
handgun was aimed at Jackson.
Jackson ordered Hines to drop the weapon,
the records show. When Hines didn't, Jackson said, he fired, dove for cover and
fired again. Manson fired, too.
Neither officer was hurt. Hines, grazed in
the neck, was dragged out of the house. After being treated, Hines, a juvenile,
was interrogated at the Homicide Section without a parent or lawyer, a violation
of police procedure, his attorney said. He was held for six days by juvenile
But there were problems with the case.
Three searches failed to produce the gun allegedly held by Hines. And the
officers couldn't agree on what kind of gun Hines supposedly was holding. One
called it nickel-plated, the other blue steel. The Wayne County Prosecutor's
Office refused to charge Hines, and he was freed.
The officers were cleared. They did not
respond to interview requests.
Hines sued the city, which settled the
case for $70,000.
"There was no gun," Southfield
attorney David A. Robinson said. "Rather than take the heat for their
foul-up, they chose to blame the dumb powerless kid."
Hines, who dropped out of school for a
while and now is an 11th-grader at Mackenzie, said he no longer trusts the
police. "If I ever needed them, I don't think I could call them. I wouldn't
know if they were going to hurt me or help me."
Archer takes homicide off the case
May 16, 2000
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer on Monday
stripped homicide detectives of the responsibility for investigating police
shootings after the Free Press reported that Detroit cops lead the nation's
largest cities in per capita fatal police shootings.
Archer said his decision to transfer the
task to the department's internal controls division was not intended as a slap
at the homicide section, despite a 4-month Free Press investigation that raised
questions about homicide's handling of several shootings. Critics say homicide
investigators are covering up bad police shootings.
The newspaper presented its findings
Thursday to top police brass and representatives of the mayor's office and
published the second installment of its findings today.
Archer said he is restoring authority to
the internal controls division to "give more focus, more attention" to
the use of deadly force.
"It would be wise for us to allay any
fears or concerns," Archer said.
Police Chief Benny Napoleon will decide
whether homicide will have any role in future investigations, said mayoral press
secretary Greg Bowens.
The former head of the internal controls
division, Clinton Donaldson, hailed the decision, saying the unit's personnel
are better equipped for the task because of their mind-set to investigate fellow
Until a department reorganization in 1994,
the division investigated nonfatal police shootings.
But Donaldson, a retired commander, said
the department's challenge will be using investigators who are beyond reproach
and highly regarded by the rank-and-file.
"It's an excellent way of correcting
the problem," Donaldson said. "However, the unit will have to be
manned by experienced, well-trained people who have the capability of
investigating their peers."
The Detroit City Council also responded
Monday to news about police shootings, halting budget hearings for more than 45
The council blamed poor department
oversight and an ineffective board of police commissioners for helping create a
climate for the shootings.
Council members unanimously supported a
request from Councilman Nicholas Hood III for a list of all officers named in
lawsuits against the department in the last 10 years. The council wants reports
on officers' training levels and whetherthey were disciplined.
Members said they are concerned that some
officers may be repeat targets of lawsuits and department complaints. The
department must improve its monitoring of officers who develop such patterns,
council members said.
Councilwoman Kay Everett said the
department needs to establish a threshold for behavior that could lead to
The department has a risk-management
division that is supposed to work to limit the city's liability in police
actions, Bowens said. Risk-management officials are also supposed to track
settlements paid in suits brought against police.
The council has final authority to approve
The council has periodically questioned
settlements in which plaintiffs accuse police of excessive force or unlawful
arrests. Many incidents involve behavior of police while off duty.
"In cases I've seen where the city
has paid money in settlements, many of the shootings or physical confrontations
are personal arguments that escalate," Hood said. "The city has paid
out a lot of money for that."
Hood and other council members are
considering a ballot initiative that would rearrange the board of police
commissioners to give it more authority over department procedures.
The city charter empowers the board to
establish departmental policies with approval from the mayor, who appoints its
five members. The board has the final say in disciplining police employees.
But council members say Archer's power to
appoint -- and dismiss without cause -- any commissioner does not encourage the
board to act independently. Hood suggested that the council and residents should
share appointment power with the mayor.
"These are political
appointments," Hood said. "In actuality, the commission seems to defer
to the chief ...If you had a more independently selected body, accountable to
more than one individual, then what happens is you don't get a rubber
An officer's record: 6 years, 9 shootings
3 people killed, review pending, but cop
defends all of his actions
May 17, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Most Detroit police officers serve an
entire career without taking the ultimate police action -- fatally shooting
But Officer Eugene Brown is no ordinary
In six years on the street, the former
bodyguard for Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer has killed three people and wounded a
fourth in nine shootings.
Even off duty, Brown doesn't hesitate to
fire his weapon. He chased down shoplifters who fled a Southfield toy store in
January and opened fire on them after he said they tried to run him down.
Though Brown has been cleared in all the
fatal cases, the relatives of the dead, their lawyers and some law enforcement
officials are shocked that Brown was allowed to rack up such a deadly record.
Maybe they shouldn't be.
Police officials, who recently took Brown
off the streets pending a top-level review, weren't even sure what the record
was. Until the Free Press told them, they were unaware of how many times Brown
had fired his weapon.
"Something's wrong with this
picture," said Juan Mateo, who is suing Brown in the fatal shooting of a
33-year-old machinist at a motorcycle club in January 1999. "It's way
beyond normal ...This is a guy with a lot of notches on his gun."
Top police executives said Brown has been
involved in more shootings, fatal and nonfatal, than anyone else on the force.
"Quite frankly, I've never seen anything like this," one longtime
executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.
The executive added that Brown's partners
never felt threatened enough to use deadly force.
Brown insists that every shooting was in
"My actions were justified," he
said in an interview in late April.
He also said he's baffled and
disillusioned by what he sees as a betrayal by the department: "I'm getting
to the point of asking why I'm out here busting my tail when it seems like no
one is in my corner for doing a good job."
The recent events differ from the city's
previous staunch defense of Brown's actions.
"Eugene Brown had a right and duty to
meet deadly force with deadly force," a city lawyer argued in January in a
lawsuit resulting from the 1996 fatal shooting of Lamar Grable. "He also
had a right to continue shooting until the threat of serious injury and/or
deadly force no longer existed."
But relatives of people killed by Brown
say he's a stark example of the department's failure to control trigger-happy
cops, who lead their counterparts in other big cities in the rate of fatal
police shootings. They say Brown should have been taken off the street long ago.
"It seems like he's always in the
wrong place at the wrong time where he has to draw his weapon," said
Roosevelt Carrington Jr., whose brother, Roderick Carrington, was killed by
Brown. "He's a loose cannon in this community, and he needs to be dealt
Unlike the portrayal of cops on television
and in movies, experts say, it is rare for an officer to kill someone.
"The average Detroit cop could expect
to be in a fatal shooting once in 300 years," said Temple University
professor James Fyfe, a former New York City police officer who has studied
police shootings in major cities.
Background: Former Archer bodyguard
Brown, 33, an imposing 6-foot-5, 200-plus
pounder, is a teetotaling Baptist who grew up on Detroit's east side. After
graduating from Kettering High School in 1985, he worked as a church janitor,
then joined the Marines. During a 6-year tour, Brown was a tractor-trailer
operator who hauled nuclear weapons and attained the rank of corporal.
After his discharge in 1991, Brown worked
briefly as a security guard at Eastland Mall before entering the Detroit Police
Academy. After graduating in September 1993, he became a patrol officer at the
10th (Livernois) Precinct. The next year, he was transferred to the executive
protection unit and guarded Archer while the mayor was still living in his
Three months later, after Archer moved
into Manoogian Mansion, Brown returned to 10th Precinct patrol. In May 1996, he
worked for the harbor masters unit on Belle Isle, then moved in mid-1998 to the
tactical services section to patrol the entire city.
Brown's shooting history was compiled from
interviews, court records and his testimony in lawsuits.
The records show Brown has been sued six
times for aggressive actions. Three were for the fatal shootings. The others
were for alleged assaults, including one in which an off-duty Detroit cop
accused Brown pulling a gun and assaulting him in 1996 for refusing to move his
car from a blocked intersection as Brown was on a run.
When served with a complaint in one suit,
Brown threatened to arrest the process server for littering. "I'm not some
dog," he told the server, according to records in the suit. "You don't
treat me like that."
Brown has been reprimanded for wrecking
police cars, hanging up on an irate citizen and failing to keep accurate
records. Brown said most of the complaints didn't stand up on appeal. He said he
has never been disciplined in any fatal shooting.
Brown couldn't remember how many citizens
have filed complaints against him because, as he explained in a 1998 deposition,
"I lock up a lot of people." And his memory about the number and
details of his shootings has gotten fuzzy over time.
First shooting deadly; lawsuit later
His first shooting happened about 2:10
a.m. on Feb. 8, 1995, a cold and windy Thursday.
Brown's version goes like this: He and his
partner, Craig Stewart, spotted a car without a license plate entering a gas
station at West Grand Boulevard and Grand River. Brown said it appeared that the
man was casing the station for a robbery in a stolen car.
The driver, Roderick Carrington, a
30-year-old security guard, circled the gas pumps and drove to a pay phone at
the rear of the station. The officers decided to investigate.
When they pulled up and asked him about
the missing plate, they said Carrington told them he had just bought the car and
had left the temporary tag and paperwork at home. The car, in fact, was not
Brown said Carrington thrust his hands
into his pockets and started backing away when asked to step up to the scout
"He was digging for something,"
Brown said in a deposition. "I told him to take his hand out of his pocket.
He didn't. He still was edging toward the Grand River side and at that point, I
drew out my weapon."
Brown said Carrington pulled out a knife
and refused to drop it.
"No, I'm not putting it down, and no,
I'm not going anywhere," Brown quoted Carrington as saying.
Carrington lunged, Brown said, so he
fired. The .40-caliber bullet was stopped by a Bible Carrington had in his
breast pocket. After lurching backward, Brown said, Carrington regained his
balance, pulled a second knife and resumed the attack.
Brown fired two more shots, and Carrington
crumpled in the street.
During an investigation of the shooting,
Brown was put behind a desk, which is routine. A psychiatrist interviewed him
and pronounced Brown fit for duty. Homicide investigators, a police trial board
and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office all agreed that Brown shot in
self-defense, and he returned to the street.
But Carrington's brother sued Brown in
Wayne County Circuit Court, accusing him of an unlawful use of deadly force.
The suit was dismissed in 1998 after
Roosevelt Carrington's lawyer, Ernest Jarrett of Detroit, was unable to produce
witnesses to dispute the officers' version.
Although a video camera at a gas station
across the street recorded the shooting, Jarrett said, the owner told Jarrett he
inadvertantly recorded over the tape months afterward.
Jarrett said a station attendant who
initially acknowledged witnessing the shooting later recanted. Jarrett said
another witness demanded money for her testimony, but Jarrett refused to pay.
The witness told police that Carrington was yelling and waving his hands at the
officers, but made no mention of any knives.
Roosevelt Carrington said there is no way
his brother's body could have wound up in the second lane of Grand River if he
was charging Brown in the parking lot, as Brown described. Carrington can't
imagine his brother making a suicidal knife attack on a cop with a drawn gun.
Neither could Brown.
"It was bizarre that someone with a
knife would challenge someone with a gun, yet this is what he did," Brown
said during the lengthy interview with the Free Press at his home. He said he
accepted a psychologist's assessment that the shooting was a case of
Carrington's brother says police didn't
conduct a thorough investigation.
Brown agreed on that point, too. In a
deposition in 1996, he said he was surprised homicide investigators had so few
questions. The questioning wasn't "a real interview," Brown testified,
not "like anything that I would expect."
In fact, Brown said he was barely
questioned by homicide investigators in any of the fatal shootings because Brown
filled out such complete reports.
He also said he had put Carrington's name
out of his mind: "I chose not to remember it."
Police officer Eugene Brown
May 17, 2000
BADGE NUMBER: 714
BACKGROUND: Grew up on Detroit's
east side, graduated from Kettering High in 1985 and joined the Marine Corps. He
spent two years in Okinawa, Japan, the other four years in the United States. In
the corps, he boxed and drove a tractor-trailer, hauling nuclear weapons. He was
discharged at a rank of corporal in October 1991.
EMPLOYMENT: After returning to
Detroit, Brown collected unemployment before landing a job as a security guard
at Eastland Mall during the Christmas holidays in 1992. In May 1993, he joined
the Detroit Police Department, spent 4 months at the police academy and was
assigned Oct. 1 of that year to the 10th (Livernois) Precinct as a patrol
officer. In July 1994, he transferred to the executive protection unit to guard
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer. When Archer moved into Manoogian Mansion three
months later, the department downsized the bodyguard detail, and Brown returned
to 10th Precinct patrol. In May 1996, he was assigned to the harbor masters unit
on Belle Isle. He joined the tactical services section in May 1998.
DISCIPLINE: Brown has been
reprimanded for wrecking two police cars, hanging up on an irate citizen,
failing to keep accurate paperwork and allowing his scout car to roll into the
rear of a supervisor's vehicle. He said most of the reprimands were overturned
CITIZEN COMPLAINTS: Brown said he
has been accused of mistreating citizens several times, but wasn't sure of the
exact number. "I lock up a lot of people," he said. Brown said he was
reprimanded in some of those cases, but most were overturned on appeal.
PERSONAL: Brown, 6-foot-5, 248
pounds, is single. He's also a Baptist, is a licensed plumber and is attending
Eastern Michigan University to earn a degree in public safety administration. He
said he is in line to be promoted to sergeant.
Brown's 9 shootings, 1995-2000
1. Feb. 9: Fatally shot Roderick
Carrington, 30, who Brown said attacked him with knives at a gas station at
Grand River and West Grand Boulevard.
2. May 20: Says he accidentally
fired his gun while climbing a fence, which collapsed, during the chase of a
suspected car thief. No one was hurt.
3. Summer or fall: Fired at a
suspected car thief who charged him, he said, with a screwdriver or antitheft
steering wheel lock. No one was hurt.
4. Jan. 2: Exchanged shots with a
fleeing car thief during a foot chase near Hogarth and Dexter on the west side,
according to police reports. The suspect got away.
5. Sept. 21: Fatally shot Lamar
Grable, 20, who Brown said shot at him during a foot chase near Field and
6. Jan. 22: Shot Darren Miller, 33,
who Brown said attacked him with a sledgehammer when Brown intervened in an
alleged domestic assault at a motorcycle club near Detroit City Airport.
7. Summer: Says he accidentally
fired into the ground when he tripped getting out of his scout car after chasing
a motorist near Jos. Campau and Davison.
8. Nov. 4: Fired when, he said, a
motorist tried to run him over at the end of a car chase near Alter and Warren
on Detroit's east side. The driver was wounded, but recovered.
9. Jan. 12: Shot at shoplifters who
allegedly tried to run him down at the end of a car chase near Tel-Twelve Mall
in Southfield. No one was hurt.
Litany of lawsuits
Detroit Police Officer Eugene Brown has
been sued six times in Wayne County Circuit Court, including three times for
fatal shootings. Here's a look at who sued and the reasons why:
Jeffrey Pernell: Sued Brown for
allegedly breaking his nose in a 1994 confrontation on a Detroit street. Pernell
received $45,000 in binding arbitration.
Roosevelt Carrington: Sued Brown
for fatally shooting his brother, Roderick Carrington, in 1995. The case was
Arnetta Grable: Sued Brown for
fatally shooting her son, Lamar Grable, in 1996. The case is set for trial this
month. Mediators have twice recommended that the city settle for $750,000.
Lorenzo Jones: Sued Brown for
allegedly pulling a gun and assaulting him in 1996 because Jones, an off-duty
cop, didn't move his vehicle from a blocked intersection near Belle Isle while
Brown was on a police run. The case was dismissed.
Ranier Calloway: Sued Brown and
another officer for allegedly roughing him up during a 1996 traffic stop.
Calloway collected $5,000.
Sandra Miller: Sued Brown for
fatally shooting her husband, Darren Miller, at a biker club near Detroit City
Airport last year. The case is pending.
Shootings minus answers place justice in
May 16, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER AND JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
A learning-disabled bank customer
withdraws $20 from an ATM and mistakenly opens the car door of an off-duty cop.
The officer fires.
And nearly kills him.
Two patrol officers spot a 14-year-old
carrying a gun and chase him. The youth emerges from an alley. One cop fires.
And kills the youth with a shot to the
A high-schooler leaves a coney island as
police arrive to break up a fight. A cop yells "halt." The teen turns,
dropping an order of chili fries. The officer fires.
And shoots the unarmed teen in the face.
In each case, the officer was exonerated.
But were all these shootings reasonable force?
A 4-month Free Press review found that
police shootings in Detroit have become a cause for deadly concern.
Authorities are quick to clear officers in
some shootings -- lethal or not -- that cost taxpayers millions of dollars from
lawsuits. But more than that, the Free Press found that the system intended to
monitor police shootings has become a scale out of balance.
The city doesn't know how much it spends
on shooting lawsuits and doesn't carefully track officers who fire their
weapons. Prosecutors hesitate to second-guess the police. And investigators
often accept the word of officers over civilians, overlook witnesses with
damaging evidence and fail to get basic, scientific tests to evaluate some
Critics say the department's reluctance to
aggressively investigate and discipline officers encourages lethal force in
Detroit, which leads the nation's largest cities in per capita fatal police
Police Chief Benny Napoleon said the
department, with about 4,200 officers, doesn't gloss over questionable shootings
to protect its own.
"There is no blue curtain within the
Detroit Police Department," Napoleon said last week, noting that numerous
officers have been jailed on various charges during his two years as chief.
"Ask any of these people whether there's a blue curtain.... We put anybody
in jail who violates the law.
"But, we are not going to railroad
some innocent person, whether they're civilian or a police officer. If the
evidence supports it, we take them to court. If the evidence doesn't, they won't
go. It's just that simple."
But a former police executive said the
department tolerates excessive force.
Retired Police Cmdr. Clinton Donaldson,
who ran the internal controls division from 1986 to 1994, said in a statement
for a lawsuit in February that investigators ignored incriminating evidence
"The Detroit Police Department has
created a custom of failing to objectively and thoroughly investigate cases of
excessive force by members of the department," said Donaldson, who provided
an affidavit in a suit filed in Wayne County Circuit Court by Johnnie Crenshaw,
who was shot at the ATM.
"The failure of the Detroit Police
Department to discipline its officers," Donaldson said, "is
intentional and deliberately indifferent to the rights of the citizens."
No one would quarrel that being a Detroit
cop is dangerous work and that officers sometimes must make split-second
decisions, or risk becoming victims.
As a reminder of sacrifices made on the
job, the names of slain officers are carved into a wall at police headquarters.
A year rarely goes by when a Detroit officer isn't killed.
In February 1999, Richard Scalf, 26,
became the latest victim: the 207th Detroit officer to die in the line of duty.
He was shot when a prostitution sting went awry. Scalf's partner was seriously
To critics, though, the department's
mindfulness about danger causes investigators and prosecutors who review
shootings to lean too quickly toward siding with those in blue. There's always
the potential that an officer made an innocent mistake in a tense moment.
"Police officers tend to get the
benefit of the doubt -- and I don't have a problem with that," said Juan
Mateo, a Detroit lawyer who has sued for police shootings. "But this is
more than a benefit. It's a quick interview and absolution."
Trip to ATM leaves man shot, wary of
Benefit of the doubt.
That's more than Jerold Blanding gave
Blanding, an off-duty narcotics cop,
pulled up to a bank teller machine at Joy and Appoline, on the near west side on
Oct. 5, 1998. It was just before 10 p.m.
Crenshaw, 45, a learning-disabled factory
worker, was already there to withdraw $20. He was with a friend, Glenda Webb,
But Crenshaw had trouble working the ATM.
After leaving to call his sister for instructions, he and Webb returned and
tried again. They still couldn't work the machine.
So Crenshaw, whom his lawyer described as
trusting and naive, walked to the next machine and asked customer Dnesi Bonner
After Bonner got over the initial fright
of being approached at night by a stranger at a bank machine, she helped.
Crenshaw gave her his bank card and personal identification number to make the
withdrawal for him.
According to court records and
depositions, Crenshaw then headed back to his van, holding his wallet, the $20
bill and his credit card. But unbeknownst to Crenshaw, Webb had moved the van so
Blanding could use the ATM.
When Crenshaw opened the front passenger
door of Blanding's new Chevy Suburban, he was greeted by a scream from Police
Officer Tracey Elledge, 28, who was out with Blanding, 29.
Crenshaw said he jumped back with his
hands in the air. Blanding drew his .40-caliber Glock pistol and fired at
Crenshaw, records show. Blanding later told investigators he feared for his
After shooting out the right rear window
of his Suburban, court records show, Blanding went after Crenshaw in the parking
lot, shooting as he went. Crenshaw, wounded in the hand, side, neck and
shoulder, collapsed next to his friend's van.
"I was on the ground," Crenshaw
said in a deposition in November. He said he asked Blanding to let him get up
and Blanding replied: "If you get up, I'm going to finish you here."
When police showed up, Blanding told them:
"This guy tried to rob me and I shot him."
Blanding, a 4 1/2-year member of the
force, said Crenshaw, holding a dark object, tried to pull Elledge out of the
vehicle. Blanding said he thought Crenshaw was armed and went after him with his
gun to apprehend him.
Crenshaw was released from the hospital
and police dropped the investigation of him. The Police Department and the Wayne
County Prosecutor's Office -- after two reviews -- cleared Blanding because they
were convinced that he was pursuing a bandit.
Later, Crenshaw sued Blanding in Wayne
County Circuit Court, alleging assault and false arrest. The case is pending.
Crenshaw said he still has nightmares of
the shooting: "My life were a living hell."
Crenshaw's lawyer, David A. Robinson of
Southfield, said police conducted a superficial investigation.
Robinson, who served 13 years as a Detroit
police officer, said detectives never bothered to contact the only independent
witness to the shooting. That was Bonner, the woman who helped Crenshaw at the
Bonner said in sworn statements for the
lawsuit that once Crenshaw realized he was getting into the wrong vehicle, he
"immediately raised his hands up over his head and began backing away,
yelling over and over that he was very sorry."
As Crenshaw backed across the lot
"screaming for forgiveness," Blanding stalked him, Bonner said.
As shots rang out, a terrified Bonner sped
off with her two children.
When she heard Crenshaw described in
newscasts as a would-be robber, she told her mother the cops had it wrong. But
she and her mother decided not to come forward, saying they feared retribution
Police knew about Bonner, but never
Under the department's deadly force
policy, Blanding was supposed to stop shooting after Crenshaw raised his hands
Robinson said the department's protective
blue curtain surrounded Blanding. Before being questioned by police, Blanding
met with a Detroit Police Officers Association lawyer, who typed his shooting
report, Robinson said.
By contract, union lawyers are summoned to
meet with officers before they make their written report. The lawyers often type
the report and sit with them during questioning. They sometimes tell officers
not to say anything beyond their written report.
Although ordinary citizens can ask for a
lawyer, police officers don't even have to make the request. One is
Crenshaw's lawyer contends that
investigators helped steer Blanding through the investigation. While questioning
him, a homicide sergeant asked if
Blanding thought Crenshaw was holding a
weapon. Robinson said the question was designed to throw Blanding a lifeline.
The detective should have asked simply what happened and let Blanding answer,
Although investigators cleared Blanding in
the Crenshaw shooting, they weren't so forgiving when he shot at a pigeon.
He was officially reprimanded for careless
use of a firearm in 1995 when he fired on the pigeon that flew out of a closet
as he searched an abandoned apartment.
The bird escaped injury.
"An officer can literally get away
with murder so long as he recites the magical incantation of 'fearing for my
life,' or hides behind the magical talisman of the 'dark, shiny object,' "
Blanding and others with the department
declined comment because of the litigation.
Crenshaw said in an interview Sunday at
the teller machine where he was shot: "I thought cops help people. I don't
hate him. He was just wrong. He just did me wrong."
Suspicious shooting comes at high price
A man is left paralyzed; city pays
millions in settlement
May 18, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Like a wild cop thriller, the story of
Shawnnto Walton and Detroit Police Officer Michael Martel began with sirens, a
dangerous chase and cries in the night. By the time it was over, Martel had made
a fateful, split-second decision to fire his weapon. Walton lay paralyzed from a
bullet to the back of the neck. And justice began to unravel, with police more
concerned about getting their story straight than with getting an ambulance for
the victim. The night, Walton's lawyers would later say, became a tragedy woven
with lies, excessive criminal charges against Walton and a cooked-up
commendation for bravery for Martel.
This single Detroit police shooting -- one
of dozens during the 1990s -- is a $3.2-million example of what can go wrong
when the police try to protect their own instead of finding out why an officer
shot someone, critics say.
"This is a lesson that those who are
steamrolled by the system are not disposable people," said attorney Milton
Greenman of Southfield, who represented Walton in a suit against the city.
"All of the evidence was orchestrated to protect the police and not to find
Martel said he is convinced he acted
properly and faced down a gun that night. He said of having to shoot: "I'm
not happy over how it went down. No police officer likes to shoot anyone."
Inspector William Rice, the head of
homicide, said he was satisifed with the department's handling of the case.
"It's a matter of interpretation from
where you sit," he said.
Detroit was still picking itself up on
that Sunday -- July 6, 1997 -- after killer windstorms raked the metro area,
damaging homes, toppling trees and knocking out power. The Police Department
responded by putting every available officer it could on the streets.
Martel and Martin Singleton, police
academy instructors who rarely worked the streets, paired for the night. After a
briefing in the academy auditorium near the Fox Theatre, they set out to patrol
the 9th (Gratiot) Precinct on the city's far east side.
The two got along well enough, although
Singleton, then 42, later testified in a deposition that he had complained to
supervisors and coworkers several times that Martel was too aggressive.
Singleton never elaborated and declined to be interviewed for this story.
Martel, if nothing else, was a man of
After graduating in 1987 from Notre Dame
High School in Harper Woods, he enlisted in the Navy and helped launch jets from
aircraft carrier flight decks. Later, he joined the Navy reserves and then the
Army National Guard, where he served as a military police officer.
In 1993, Martel joined the Detroit Police
Department. He was an impressive cadet at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds. By 1995, he
served as a physical education instructor at the academy, and taught defensive
tactics and patrol techniques. He also was an expert shot with his
department-issued .40-caliber Glock semiautomatic pistol.
Walton, by contrast, was drifting day to
day at age 23. He was a Denby High School dropout and hadn't held a steady job
since he quit washing dishes in 1993 at Emanuel Steward's Place, a restaurant on
East Jefferson, because he was tired of "being wet."
Sometime after midnight, as Martel and his
partner cruised in their scout car, Walton borrowed a friend's 1976 Chevy
Impala, a two-door hardtop with crank windows, and headed to pick up his
girlfriend, Nakil Gordon. Walton had spent the day smoking marijuana, drinking
cognac and fixing up a house on Pelkey that he planned to share with friends.
Walton had reasons beyond the drinking and
smoking to be wary of police. He had no driver's license.
And he was a wanted man.
Walton, who wound up in a corrections
bootcamp and on lifetime probation after a series of minor felony drug
convictions, had failed to report to his probation agent for more than 6 months.
If the police pulled him over, his next stop would be jail.
The beginning: High tension, speed
As Walton got in the car, he spotted a
friend, Donnell Colbert, walking in the rain. Walton offered a lift, and they
picked up Walton's girlfriend.
At 12:40 a.m., with the three of them in
the car, the Impala wheeled onto Seven Mile near Hoover in front of Martel's
Martel thought the car was speeding. He
turned on the emergency lights to pull them over. The Impala bolted. Martel hit
Several blocks later, the Impala slowed,
then roared off again. The two cars raced through residential streets, hitting
speeds of 70 m.p.h.
Inside the Impala, Walton's passengers
screamed at him to pull over. He refused.
"I panicked," Walton testified
later. "I was scared."
Tensions were high in the scout car, too.
Martel yelled to Singleton that something
had just been thrown from the driver's side window of the Impala. It looked like
a gun, he said.
As the cars careened through the streets,
Martel and Singleton radioed in that they were in a hot pursuit. Back over the
radio came a report that the brown Impala matched the description of a car
sought earlier in a drive-by shooting.
Eventually, the Impala started circling
the 13600 block of Glenwood as more police cars and a helicopter joined the
"I knew I couldn't get away,"
Walton slammed on the brakes in front of
his mother's house and bailed out. But instead of surrendering, he dashed
between houses and onto Linnhurst.
As other officers took Walton's passengers
into custody, Martel jumped out of his car and sprinted after Walton. At
Linnhurst -- where street lights were still out from the storm -- Walton cut
left, ran down the sidewalk and across the street.
An angry crowd, a frantic call
What happened during the next few seconds
on the dark street has been the subject of nearly three years of legal wrangling
in Wayne County's criminal and civil courts. But records gathered by Walton's
lawyers -- Greenman, Thomas Loeb of Southfield and William Dobreff of Warren --
show that things were not what they seemed.
As Martel chased Walton, several other
officers converged on the scene, including Victor Jones and Sharon Bouyer, whose
stories would be pivotal.
Residents, drawn to their doors and
windows by the sirens and circling helicopter, heard shots ring out. Martel had
opened fire on Walton as Walton ran down Linnhurst.
He crumpled to the ground, instantly
paralyzed below the neck from a .40-caliber slug that shattered his spine.
Recordings of 911 phone calls and police
radio traffic show that police at the scene ordered a resident to call for
medical help, rather than radioing it in themselves.
The caller, Mark Mieczkowski, became
frustrated when the 911 operator kept pressing for details about the shooting.
"I have no idea, lady,"
Mieczkowski told her. "I mean, geez, can't the police come and do this?
They're the ones who shot him."
The operator retorted: "You're the
one that's calling."
Exasperated, Mieczkowski snapped:
"They asked me to call EMS."
As an angry crowd gathered at the scene,
Mieczkowski called back and sounded even more agitated as he urged the 911
operator to alert Isaiah McKinnon, then the police chief: "Lady, I hate to
get involved in this, but you better call Chief McKinnon 'cause there's gonna be
a war out here in a minute."
Meanwhile, a police dispatcher -- Officer
Beaulah Jackson -- spoke to cops at the scene, trying to find out what had
happened. She was told that an officer had chased a fleeing suspect on foot. But
instead of hearing details, Jackson instead heard a male voice over the air:
"Radio, we need 977 over here
Realizing that officers were requesting a
supervisor, Jackson immediately asked if there had been a shooting.
"There appears to be," an
officer radioed back.
Jackson pressed for more details --
information that officers are supposed to provide immediately after a police
shooting. But the officers told her their portable radios, called preps, were
"I need to know who did the shooting.
What officer?" Jackson asked. "I need the badge number. I'm sure the
preps are bad units, but I need to know a badge number and how many shots. But
we need EMS, right?"
Her questions went unanswered.
Eventually, officers told her the suspect
had been shot, but weren't providing the required information.
"I understand we all have bad
preps," Jackson said, but insisted, "I need you to talk to me."
Rather than answer her questions, the
officers asked for a union representative to be sent to the scene. By contract,
a union steward from the Detroit Police Officers Association must be sent to
every police shooting to keep the officer from saying too much until he's talked
with a union lawyer. The union steward accompanies the officer to the homicide
section at police headquarters and stays with him as reports are prepared.
Protecting Martel seemed to be a priority,
Greenman said, noting that several supervisors who had arrived at the scene
failed to take charge as required by regulations.
Instead, Greenman said, they seemed to be
waiting for the arrival of Martel's commanding officer at the academy, Lt.
Greenman also was troubled by officers'
comments on the police dispatch tape that indicated some police were using
cellular telephones, which allowed them to communicate without their
conversations being overheard -- or recorded.
After emergency medical workers arrived,
they took Walton -- handcuffed -- to St. John Hospital, in critical condition.
Higher-level action needed, critics say
Police capable of investigating own
May 18, 2000
BY DAVID ASHENFELTER
and JOE SWICKARD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer's decision to
give internal affairs detectives the power to investigate all police shootings
is a good first step to ensure that cops can't hide behind a protective blue
curtain in questionable cases, experts and critics agree.
But they say it is only a first step.
Until the department rebuilds the internal
controls section -- and moves it higher up the department's pecking order -- the
section won't have the stature to carry out its critical new assignment, they
On Monday, Archer announced that he was
transferring police shooting investigations from homicide detectives to internal
controls to allay public concerns about the quality of those investigations.
Police Chief Benny Napoleon has a record
of going after corrupt cops. Departmental observers said Napoleon can
demonstrate the same energy and will when dealing with questionable police
shootings -- and sort out the justifiable ones from the bad.
The experts said internal controls, which
investigates police wrongdoing, was damaged by a 1994 departmental
reorganization that put more officers on the streets at the expense of the unit.
They said the department can do the job if
it's given the staffing, training and power. They also said the unit needs to be
run by a deputy chief, rather than an inspector as it is now, to give it more
"It takes a special officer to
investigate other police," said Daniel McKane, a deputy chief who retired
McKane, a former internal affairs
investigator who ran the unit in 1974-75, said "even some of the best
officers do not like investigating their own."
McKane and others say most shootings by
police are justified and that officers should not be treated like criminals
every time they use their weapon. But the shootings should be investigated as
thoroughly and objectively as shootings by civilians.
Critics contend that the homicide
section's special assignment squad was failing to do an aggressive job of
investigating fellow officers by ignoring evidence, witnesses and other
information that should have raised questions about officers' accounts of the
Inspector Richard Shelby, who runs
internal controls, said Wednesday he has been told not to comment.
McKane and Clinton Donaldson, who ran
internal controls from 1986-94, said the department is capable of investigating
"I'm in total agreement with the
mayor," Donaldson said Wednesday. "We don't need an outside agency to
investigate police shootings. The department can definitely police its own, but
it needs qualified people to do it -- and getting them is going to take some
The Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the
Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People, said he is "very concerned about the level of police shootings in
the city of Detroit."
"Police work is a dangerous job, and
we respect that, but we cannot tolerate police officers who misuse or abuse
their authority," he said. "There can be no safe haven from scrutiny
in a blue uniform."
Here are other steps the city can take,
according to police officials, civic leaders, lawyers and other experts:
warning system: After a decade of City Council demands for a system to
identify problem-prone officers, the department finally is creating a computer
system to do so. It will cross-reference officers by lawsuits, citizen
complaints, injured prisoners, shootings and disciplinary problems, among other
· Better record keeping: The city Law Department should
track the cost of lawsuit settlements and judgments by department and type of
incident -- and make them publicly available -- so people can review the Police
Department's performance. The city also needs to compile basic statistics on the
number of officers who are disciplined or charged in shootings and make the
information available to the public.
· More openness: The findings and results of police
shooting investigations should be open.
· More cooperation: The police and law departments need
better communication so police can learn from mistakes that result in legal
losses. The Law Department should routinely share settlement memos and case
assessment information -- already provided to City Council -- with the police
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