Trial of DPD corporal may be headed to a mistrial as jury struggles to decide on assault charge

Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-18 18:01:44-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "He just snapped," said Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Holman in his closing argument to the jury deciding whether a Detroit police corporal is guilty of using excessive force when he repeatedly struck a mental health patient at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

But after several hours of deliberating Monday, the jury told 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King that they could not agree on a verdict and were deadlocked.

Around 4:30 p.m., King sent jurors home for the day and told them to return Tuesday morning to continue deliberations.

The August 2018 incident drew national attention because it was caught on cell phone video.

"There are no different sets of laws for police officers," Holman told jurors in his closing argument. "They are to be held to the same standard that the rest of us are to be held to."

The jury is only deliberating one count of misdemeanor Assault & Battery for the blows prosecutors maintain are landing on the back of the woman's head and continuing after other officers had her under control.

"I counted 12 or 13 punches," said Holman. "He was the only one who punches her."

Several officers were trying to subdue the woman who was spitting and biting.

Jones and his partner transported the naked woman from the area of Lincoln and Brainard to Detroit Receiving Hospital for mental health treatment.

Defense attorney Pamella Szydlak, who is representing Corporal Jones, told jurors that Detroit Police officers are under assault everyday on the street and in courtrooms.

"They're asking you to find Corporal Jones to be guilty of a criminal offense based on 11 seconds.. 11 seconds of a 19 year career," said Szydlak. "She bit Officer Hardimon, we heard that on two occasions. She spit on Corporal Jones. She spit on the nurses. I warned you in the opening, and we addressed it throughout the entire case, this was going to be ugly. Use of force is never pretty, never pretty. But, unfortunately, sometimes it's necessary."