Detroit-area officer charged with assault after video shows him punching man
Jun 20, 2023, 1:25 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit police officer was charged with assault after video showed him punching a young man in the face and slamming his head to the ground at the jail, authorities said Tuesday.
“This is not what we do. This is not who we are,” said William Dwyer, police commissioner in Warren, who played the video for reporters.
The 19-year-old man was being processed at the jail on June 13 after being arrested for multiple felonies. Video shows him and Officer Matthew Rodriguez apparently exchanging words before the officer punched the man, knocked him to the floor and smacked his head on the ground.
Dwyer said other officers immediately intervened and also reported the incident to managers.
Rodriguez was charged with willful neglect of duty and assault, both misdemeanors. A judge set bond at $5,000. It wasn’t known if he has an attorney who could comment on the case.
“No badge or uniform can shield anyone from accountability,” prosecutor Pete Lucido said.
Rodriguez, a Warren officer for 14 years, was placed on leave. Dwyer praised the officers who reported the attack.
“This case does show that the system and our policies do work,” he said. “If it were not for the reporting and review of this incident, we may have never known about it.”