The Detroit Police chief is apparently scandalized by a video showing one of his officers repeatedly punching a naked woman who appeared to be suffering from mental illness. People who were there at Detroit Receiving Hospital to see their ailing family members were instead privy to a disturbing, violent confrontation.
Chief James Craig told reporters on Thursday the unnamed officer throwing punches in the video has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the police investigation.
According to local outlet FOX 2, the officer’s actions you see above were in response to the woman’s spitting and resisting of restraint. The woman was also swearing. Chief Craig said the beatdown occurred because the woman was not complying with officers’ commands. The woman was reportedly calm at first and then began displaying threatening behavior. Police say she attempted to bite a cop and a security staff employee.
Craig said that the department “teach[es] to deescalate,” and this video runs counter to that teaching. He was particularly disturbed that the officer was punching the suspect even as she had her back turned to him. The officer involved has been on the force for 18 years. A complaint had not been filed against him since 2015.
Police did indicate that there body camera footage of the incident exists and will provide more context about what happened at the hospital.
“Anytime we have to use force, it never looks good. The officer’s actions can be proper but to the community it looks bad,” the chief added.
[Image via FOX 2 screengrab]