Detroit Police Chief Orders Officers To Intervene If They See Misconduct

WWJ News
July 31, 2020 - 10:09 am
craig on shooting

Detroit Police Chief James Craig addresses reporters following a fatal shooting by one of his officers. (Screenshot/ DPD)


(WWJ) Detroit police officers could be fired if they don't intervene when they see other cops doing something wrong.

Police Chief James Craig announced the new executive order during a virtual Detroit Board of Police Commissioners meeting on Thursday. 

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In the past, officers were only required to report instances of brutality or other misconduct, but the chief says the new order requires them to step in and stop the behavior.  

The Detroit News reports the order is part of several proposed modifications to the police department's use-of-force policy. 

Craig said he issued the executive order "weeks ago" because he "thought it was important to enact that policy immediately." The other proposed changes, which were not part of Craig's order, are subject to board approval.

Craig made the announcement just a couple of hours before Detroit police killed a man who allegedly advanced on officers with a 32-inch sword on the city's west side. Then man allegedly threw a dagger at an officer, and refused to drop the sword before he was with a Taser. When the Taser did not tae effect, Craig said officers shot the man. 

This was the fourth Detroit police shooting this month. Three of the four were fatal. 

All of this comes against a backdrop of heightened focus on, and criticism of the actions of police nationwide. 

Back on May 25, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd's neck until he died, as his fellow officers stood around and watched. 

As many call for change, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed additional police reform policies meant "to help strengthen police-community relations and ensure that all Michiganders are treated with dignity and respect under the law." Among other things, Whitmer called for a ban on choke holds, which is already in place in the DPD, as well as further limits on the use of no-knock warrants. Third on the list was "duty to intervene" policies, such as what Craig has enacted. 

The News reports Thursday's order from Craig was greeted with praise by Detroit residents and civil rights activists.