Viral video sparks protest against Westland police | Michigan Radio
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Viral video sparks protest against Westland police

Aug 24, 2018

A video that appears to show a man holding a baby being tased by Westland police went viral, triggering protests Friday afternoon.

Police do not dispute that Raymurez Brown was holding his two month old son when he was tased by one of their officers.

In a press release posted to the department's facebook page, Westland Chief of Police Jeff Jedrusik wrote, "I have determined that the arrest of Brown was appropriate and was in line with the laws and ordinances of the City of Westland. I have also determined that due to Brown’s non- compliance the use of a department issued taser on him would have also been appropriate. However I feel that the use of the taser at that time, while he was holding the child, was a questionable decision. We are all thankful that the child was not injured."

Local church and activist groups say the department's response is inadequate. Demonstrators gathered in front of the Westland police department headquarters to protest the incident they say is an example of police brutality.

Angela Martin, a spokesperson from the law office representing Brown, said, "Let's not forget that his baby was in his arms, two months old when he was tased. To me, there's no justification for that. Diplomacy in that situation from the police would have went a long way, but they didn't choose to handle it that way."

According to Martin, Brown suffered a broken ankle, a torn tendon in his knee, and a concussion. 

The officer has been suspended for thirty days without pay. According to Westland Deputy Chief of Police Brian Miller, the department is continuing a full investigation of the incident and further disciplinary action is possible. 

Separately, a small group came out to demonstrate in support of the police.

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