'I do have serious concerns.' DPD interim chief addresses video that shows officer punch man

Posted at 10:44 PM, Aug 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 15:58:42-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A video showing a man get punched in the face by a police officer in Greektown Saturday night is being reviewed by the Detroit Police Department after it spread on social media, getting more than 100,000 views in less than six hours. The punch knocked the man to the ground, leading to accusations of excessive force.

“I have some serious concerns as to how that was handled. We’ve come to expect our officers to de-escalate situations, I did not see de-escalation there, I did not see our training there,” said Interim Detroit Police Chief James White at a press conference on Monday.

He said he is still reviewing all of the video assets in the case, and that internal affairs is investigating.

“We will be transparent, we are going to hold our officers accountable,” he added.

“I think it was excessive," said Deonnel Hicks, who saw the video circulating online. "I know they’re trying to police and get everything to be calm and peaceful, but to just come up and knock somebody out. They could've at least tried to do it in a different way.”

Another video from Saturday shows a chaotic moment where more than a dozen police are trying to detain someone. It’s still unclear what happened before the cameras started recording, but the tension is nothing new in Greektown.

Since June, a number of Greektown fights have made their way onto social media, showing punches being thrown and police being shoved to the ground as they went to break it up. Since these incidents, police added more patrols in the area.