November 27, 2019
Police Brutality News

Detroit sgt suspended for ignoring officer down call previously fired for cowardliness

Detroit sgt suspended for ignoring officer down call previously fired for cowardliness

Police are charged with the difficult task of running toward the danger. That wasn’t exactly the case with this cop.

Nobody ever said that being a police officer is an easy job.

It’s extremely stressful, and even more so when a radio call notifies officers of an “officer down.” Most people’s instinct would be to run the other way. The expectation of police is that they run into battle – run toward the danger.

But, sadly that’s not the truth with all police officers.

On Wednesday, Detroit police officer Rasheen McClain was killed in a fatal shooting. According to The Detroit News, while other officers raced to the scene to assist their brother officer, Sgt. Ronald Kidd sat in his car a block away while officers were screaming ‘officer down’ over the radio.

Officer Rasheen McClain

Officer Rasheen McClain

Detroit Chief of Police James Craig, in calling the sergeant’s actions as “disturbing”, launched an internal investigation and suspended Kidd with pay. Kidd’s actions were uncovered during a routine department review of the shooting.

“It was clear to everyone who reviewed the video that he made no effort to get to the scene and take control,” Craig said. “His response was that he was sitting in his car a block away waiting to see if the suspect came his way. But that’s not acceptable when there’s an officer down.”

While Kidd is currently suspended with pay, Craig said that he is going to ask the Board of Police Commissioners to withhold the sergeant’s pay during the suspension. Kidd has been a sergeant for one and one-half years.

“This kind of behavior is unbecoming of a supervisor,” Craig said.

The Detroit News reached out to Mark Young, president of the Detroit Police Lieutenants and Sergeants Association Union, however he did not return a phone call requesting comment.

This is also not the first time that Kidd showed cowardice in the line of duty. According to Fox2, sources told them that Kidd was initially fired from the Detroit Police Department in 2014 for cowardliness. After a 68-day suspension without pay, Kidd got his job back. This was the result of a plea deal within the department which led to his reinstatement.

That case stemmed from an incident where Kidd was in the cell block with his female partner. A mentally ill person who was under arrest started assaulting his partner. Kidd did nothing to intervene the assault and actually walked away and never called for assistance.

In the latest incident, Kidd was talking to a newer officer, standing next to his cruiser. Four or five officers started running in a particular direction.

According to the chief, “all (Kidd) could say was, ‘they must know something that we don’t know’, and here is the part that causes us great concern: ’We should take cover.’”

Craig was also livid about the 68-day suspension that Kidd previously received.

“I would not have wanted to agree to 68 days, because that was a serious allegation and there are many in this organization who are aware of it, who remember this case,” Craig said. “I hate to use the word forged because that constitutes a crime. I will just say that someone signed my name, and it wasn’t my signature.”

As to how someone like Kidd got promoted after he was reinstated, Craig said that the department is able to skip over some people for promotion but at a certain point officers have to get promoted.

Craig said that there was body camera footage of the night that McClain was killed, which filled in a lot of the blanks as to what happened, however footage was not being released. Craig did say that Assistant Police Chief James White saw the footage, and he was so angry, he got up and walked out.

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The department is in discussions with the Wayne County Prosecutor regarding the possibility of criminal charges against Kidd, in this case it would be neglect of duty, punishable by less than one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.

The incident where McClain was killed was a response to a 28-year-old suspect who had returned to a house on the west side of Detroit looking for a 16-year-old girl. He then broke into the house and holed up inside with a rifle.

McClain and his partner, Phillippe Batoum-Bisse, responded to the home at 7:30 p.m. after police received a 911 call from the house reporting a home invasion.

McClain called for backup, and when they arrived, four officers went into the house seeking the gunman. As they went down the basement stairs, the man fired two shots, striking McClain in the neck and Batoum-Bisse in the left ankle.

The suspect was taken into custody for a parole violation but unbelievably the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office returned a warrant request for the suspect back to investigators, saying it needed “more work.” This angered Chief Craig.

“This is a smoking gun type of case. The stuff (prosecutors are) asking for is just more of the same stuff we already did.”

“The good news is, (the suspects) parole has been revoked, so we can hold him. But what if he wasn’t on parole? We’d have a cop shooter on the streets because we can only hold people for 48 hours.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office defended how they handled the case.

“I’m disappointed in the chief’s comments,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “I understand this is a difficult time, but it’s important that he allows my office to do our job.”

Worthy said that prosecutors were asking for “valuable investigative information that we need to successfully prosecute the death of one of his police officers. You would think that the chief would want this case—and all cases—prosecuted correctly.”

The suspect accused of killing McClain is also wanted in connection to a Nov. 18 shooting on the east side of Detroit in which one person was killed and another wounded. In that case, the alleged shooter shot at two men as they were sitting inside a car.

The man is also a suspect in a third shooting that occurred on Nov. 17 involving two victims. The chief said he wasn’t sure if that case is connected to the one in which McClain was killed.

Earlier this month, there was a report that a man had fired several shots into the house where McClain was killed. Chief Craig criticized a “lack of adequate follow-up” to that shooting, where the man who shot McClain was a suspect.

In that incident, the suspect went to the house and when a relative denied him entry, he fired several shots from his car into the house. As of this writing, the suspect’s identity has not been released.


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Published at Wed, 27 Nov 2019 15:03:26 +0000

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Source: Detroit sgt suspended for ignoring officer down call previously fired for cowardliness

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