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Southfield police chief calls allegations of racism, brutality wrong and appalling

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 18:28:50-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barron vowed he would be open and accountable when he took the job as chief from Detroit.

He said he would work to establish trust with the community by responding to police events good and bad. He calls allegations from Attorney Geoffrey Fieger based in a new federal lawsuit appalling.

During a morning news conference, the chief played dashcam video and back seat video of an incident from January 9th when three officers were dispatched to a home for a family fight.

They were told a mentally ill woman, Crystal White, was threatening her family with a knife to take custody of her own 9-year-old daughter after losing parental rights. The videos show police confront the woman in the driveway, get into a physical altercation and the woman is tased twice. She was also hit in the mouth after hitting an officer.

Pictures of her injuries were shown by the chief.

Fieger said to 7 Action News on Friday when the lawsuit was filed, that it was police brutality, racially motivated. He also said his client was pregnant that police “tased two people” and White lost her unborn baby a month later.

Chief Barron says his officers found out the woman was pregnant after she was in handcuffs and in the back of the scout car. That is also on video.

The Chief says it is irresponsible to be throwing those allegations around during these times and that Fieger got it wrong. He says his officers did nothing wrong and no action has been taken against them.