Harper Woods deputy chief, officer fired amid investigation into woman's death while in police custody

Posted at 8:34 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 18:20:46-04

HARPER WOODS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The City of Harper Woods has fired a deputy chief and an officer in connection to the death of Priscilla Slater, who was in police custody.


The officers were fired for trying to "conceal" and "manipulate evidence" in relation to the death investigation, according to a news release from the city.

Harper Woods City Manager John Szymanski announced the firing of Deputy Chief John Vorgitch and Patrol Officer Michael Pineau Wednesday evening.

"There were protests, unfortunate comments made by our former mayor and, of course, an ongoing investigation by the Michigan department of State Police regarding the cause of death of Ms. Slater," Szymanski said in a release."There was a promise, by City Officials, to remain transparent and accountable to residents for all the circumstances surrounding this matter."