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Advocates speak out in favor of charges against police after Worthy's announcement

Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 05:26:19-05

Advocates fighting against police brutality applaud the charges brought against metro Detroit officers.

Four police officers have been charged. Three are members of the Detroit Police Department, the fourth is a Michigan State Police Trooper.

The DPD officers are facing a range of assault charges, those officers are Officer Lonnie Wade, Officer Edward Hicks and Officer Robert Billingslea.

The Michigan State Police Trooper Mark Bessner, is charged with 2nd degree murder in connection with the death of 15 year-old Damon Grimes.

Kenneth Reed, the spokesperson for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said it’s important for these officers to be held accountable for their actions.

"We are not anti-police, we are anti-police brutality,” said Reed.

"I want to commend Prosecutor Worthy for bringing the charges to begin with,” said Reed.

One of the officers facing assault charges is accused of beating and pepper spraying a man on May 31, 2017.  It happened at the Mobil Station in the 17000 block of Harper.  

The victim, 39-year-old Michaele Jackson and his friend 26-year-old D’Marco Craft were inside the store when the run-in occurred.  

Craft recorded the incident on his cell phone.

"When I saw it I was appalled, here's two young men who are going into a gas station, minding their own business and to be accosted by the officers,” said Reed. 

Officer Billingslea knew Jackson and had run-ins with him before this incident according to investigators.

"To have a history of them being harassed by them, it's just unforgivable,” said Reed.

Reed said these charges are just the beginning of a long road to help end incidents like this.

"If you go to a police commission meeting, you'd be surprised by the amount of complaints that have been lodged against officers,” said Reed. 

Three of the four officers facing charges will be arraigned on Thursday morning. 7 Action News will have cameras there and full coverage here online and on-air.