Syracuse Police Officer Michael Birklin has been suspended twice in the past two months for a deuce of abuse directed at vulnerable members of the public. The first incident took place after Birklin was caught on camera abusing innocent bystanders in September and the second incident is being described as a use of force incident involving a 13 year old girl.
On September 14, 2020 several officers including Birklin responded to a suspicious person complaint near Upper Onondaga Park that led to an altercation with several young people including multiple people of color. Details on that first encounter are sparse, but the video below shows what happened after officers bumped into the same group of kids later that night. The body cam footage begins with the police telling a young black man that his car is going to be towed. As he pleads with the officers they accuse him of running from they earlier and use that to justify blaming him for everything. Then they arrest him and threaten him with a taser several times even though he is not violent or resisting. Good samaritans rightfully disturbed by what they were witnessing got involved by filming officers and asking questions of their own. Officers responded by herding them onto the sidewalk as the people began hurling insults at the officers. Eventually Officer Birklin had enough, walked up to one man, chest bumped him, said “say it to my face,” and shoved him. One officer says “I’ve got you on camera” to which someone responded “you too n*gga.” The group then began to walk down the sidewalk hurling more insults as officers followed them and Officer Birklin slapped the phone out of one of their hands. Birklin was suspended for 15 days in October after a Facebook video of the incident led to public backlash.
In November Officer Birklin pulled over a stolen car in which a 13 year old girl was a passenger. The girl ran away, Birklin chased her down, and arrested her. The Syracuse Police Department (SPD) said that Birklin violated department policies on demeanor and de-escalation during the girl’s arrest. He was suspended for two days.
According to public records Officer Michael J. Birklin is a 32 year old resident of the Syracuse suburb Cicero.
Published at Fri, 27 Nov 2020 17:53:47 +0000