Detroit police officer says she fired shots while off duty after tripping on flip flop

DETROIT (WXYZ) - A Detroit police officer admits firing a pair of shots while off duty during a heated argument at her home, narrowly missing two people. So why is she still on the job, seven months later? 

Officer Angela Jackson has a history of conflict. She's tangled with her ex-boyfriend, her neighbors, her landlord and her own department, according to records obtained by the 7 Action News Investigators. Yet she is still on the job after she fired shots while off duty.

Jackson is drawing a full-time pay check from the Detroit Police Department, but she's assigned to what cops call the "rubber gun squad;" she has been stripped of her weapon and relegated to a desk job.  It all stems from an incident at her home in June 2011, when a family feud that got way out of hand.

"They were scuffling and pushing each other, and there was a lot of loud yelling," said next-door neighbor Cheryl Hillbom, who witnessed the incident from her dining room window. Hillbom told 7 Action News that officer Jackson's adult son and her boyfriend Mike Funchess, a Detroit firefighter, wound up wrestling in the driveway.

"Mike was here. And he had her oldest son in a choke hold," Hillbom said, pointing to a spot in Jackson's driveway just a few feet away from Hillborn's window. 

Hillbom said that Jackson ran into her house and Hilborn heard a gunshot go off inside Jackson's home.

"She came out this door and very calmly, pulled her pistol out.  It was a big black gun, and, and shot," said Hillborn. "You see where the bullet hole is?  That could have killed both of them."

When police showed up at the scene, Jackson told them the shooting was an accident, according to a police report. She said the gun went off accidentally when she tripped on her flip flop, not once, but twice.

Hillbom said that is not true.

"She's lying. She's a liar. She's lying. I watched it. She did not trip on her flip flop. She raised the gun and she shot it. There was no tripping on her flip flop," Hillbom insisted.

Police investigators showed up and took Jackson in for questioning. A few hours later she was back home.

"One of the police cars showed up and hugged, he gave her a hug, and, and, they let her lose," Hillbom said.

That was seven months ago and Jackson is still on the force. Sources tell 7 Action News that police investigators didn't buy her flip-flop story either. So why didn't they suspend her and file criminal charges?

Sources say Jackson's now ex-boy friend, Mike Funchess is the hang-up. They say he refused to press charges, and that he backed up Jackson's story about tripping on her flip flop. Police did submit a warrant request asking the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to authorize criminal charges, which would also give the police department grounds to fire Jackson. Their request has been under review for months and there has been no decision. 

Police sources say it comes down to the word of the officer and her boyfriend against the neighbors, and there was bad blood between them. 

Hillbom said she complained to Jackson about her former boyfriend working on old cars in the street, leaving the pavement stained with oil. And she said the back yard at the rental home was littered with junk.

"They've cleaned up their act a bit, and removed a lot of the junk, and one junk car, but these two cars are not registered. If I had an unregistered car in the City of Detroit I would be fined," Hillbom told 7 Action News.

Hillbom said Jackson and her boyfriend also had raging bon fires in the back yard that filled her house with smoke. She said when she complained to Jackson about that she was surprised by her response.

"What she said to me is, 'I'm going to make your sorry ass miserable and I'm going to buy this house.' Now she wasn't paying rent then," Hillbom said.

And that's another story. 

"She has forced me into foreclosure and I lost my house. She's deceitful, she's irresponsible, and I would call her the tenant from hell," Jackson's landlord Kenneth Bresnan said.

Bresnan told 7 Action News that Jackson was a tenant in his home for 13 months and paid less than three months in rent. He said when he pressed Jackson for back rent, things turned ugly.

"She threatened me and said, 'Don't contact me anymore, don't bother me anymore, if you do, I am going to get my brothers in blue to come after you,'" Bresnan said.

Bresnan filed a complaint with the Board of Police Commissioners for the allegedly threat. Three months later, he got a response saying Jackson was exonerated.

When 7 Action News caught up with officer Jackson on the street and asked about her flip flop story she drove off in her car without answering any questions.

Bresnan eventually lost his home to foreclosure and the bank forced Jackson to move out last

fall.

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