UPDATE: Officer given written reprimand in 'excessive force' complaint
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) —
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo police officer has been written up for not following KDPS policy, but the local NAACP says that doesn't go far enough.
This comes almost a month after a video circulated online, which appeared to show a KDPS officer subduing a suspect by using force around the neck area.
Newschannel 3 spoke with Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley Tuesday afternoon.
Inside KDPS, Chief Hadley says the sergeant at the center of this, Sgt. Turner, had every right to address the aggressive manner of the suspect back in July, but that he went just beyond KDPS policy for a brief moment, when the neck area was touched.
He says Turner has been written up, and spoken to.
"He didn't skip a few steps, he was confronted with an aggressive person who sought him out and didn't comply with our orders to step away, the guy was in an aggressive state, he had every right to control that situation as a law enforcement officer; it was the method he used to do that, and only for a second, that's where it fell outside of the policy," Hadley said.
Sgt. Turner was patrolling the neighborhood in Kalamazoo on Hawley Steet at the time when he arrested someone for drug possession. Another man, Diante Churchwell, approached and we're told started yelling racial slurs at Officer Turner, who according to Chief Hadley, was well within his rights to try and remove Churchwell. Although again, he says Turner went just beyond KDPS policy, so that's why he's being written up.
You'll remember the Kalamazoo NAACP raised concerns about the video back in July because of the move of the officers hands to the neck area of the suspect.
Tuesday, we spoke with the leader of the NAACP in Kalamazoo, Dr. Strick Strickland, who says in his opinion, a write-up is not enough of a penalty for the officer.
"I'm not angry, I'm disappointed, it saddens me that this issue doesn't matter more to our leadership, the written reprimand, yeah," he said.
Dr. Strickland says he plans on meeting and speaking with KDPS Wednesday about its findings.
Again, he says the written reprimand is not enough; as of right now, KDPS says the written reprimand is appropriate given the circumstances and context of the arrest.