LANSING, Mich., June 23, 2023 — A Warren police officer has been charged with two misdemeanors after an incident took place last week at the Warren Police Department Jail. A video release shows the police officer punching a detained man, slamming the individual’s head against the floor and pushing him into a cell. The following is the official Michigan Legislative Black Caucus statement in response to the incident:
Earlier this week, communities across the country celebrated Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day. At a time where we reflect on the history of Black people in this country, from slavery to reconstruction, from Jim Crow through today, Black people have been subjected to mistreatment due to the color of our skin.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“It can’t be made any clearer: Police brutality continues to take place. As a society, we need to continue to take steps that address this systemic issue. I am repulsed by this video and this incident,” said MLBC Sergeant-At-Arms, Rep. Donavan McKinney (D-Warren).
“The number of incidents keeps rising, and it has got to stop. I have said it repeatedly, and I will continue to advocate for more police accountability, mental health support and training. These incidents cannot continue to plague our communities. I commend the police chief for taking swift action against this behavior, and for those who stand to uphold accountability,” he continued.
MLBC Chair Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said, “We as a caucus believe misdemeanor charges are not enough. An officer’s job, oath even, is to protect and serve. Their first instinct should be to de-escalate situations like this rather than use excessive force.”
As we understand, Officer Rodriguez’s employment hearing is next week. It is imperative that the department address all of his egregious acts and root out and prevent unprofessional behavior going forward.
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