Detroit police face lawsuit from men who claim excessive use of force

Posted at 5:26 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 17:26:30-04

A Detroit police officer could face criminal charges involving allegations that he used excessive force on a man.

That man and his friend who captured some of the incident on cell phone video are now suing the officers and the city of Detroit.

Michaele Jackson and D'Marco Craft accused the officer of crossing the line. 

The incident happened at 1:30 a.m. on May 31 on Detroit's east side at the Mobil gas station on Harper Rd.

The situation escalated quickly inside the store when it appears that Officer Richard Billingslea maced Jackson when Jackson was not being combative.

However, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said there is also surveillance video from the gas station that shows Jackson taking a swing at the officer.

"When you see that, it appears that the suspect was not offering any resistance and the officer initiated the contact," he said. "But when you look at the store video, there's certainly more activities occurring prior that led up to that."

Jackson and Craft were both later handcuffed and Craft claimed the officers took his phone and demanded his code to unlock it.

In the lawsuit, both men allege that the officers appeared to be deleting items on the phone.

Back in June, when Detroit police officials were reviewing the case, command staff placed Officer Billingslea on restricted duty pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

"Certainly, there are concerns that if he's not charged, it will come back to the department and we will address it administratively," Chief Craig said.