A recent case out of Michigan evaluated the actions of the Dearborn, Michigan police department when they arrested a man and then dropped the charges. In Bennett v. City of Dearborn, plaintiff – Daryl Bennett – accused the Dearborn police department of several charges related to his false arrest including assault and battery and excessive force.
If you have been charged with any Michigan crime such as robbery, burglary or weapons charges, or are under investigation, it is important to speak with an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney immediately. Both constitutional and state laws protect individuals from many potential violations by police including violations of due process and the freedom from the use of excessive and unreasonable force. In some situations, overzealous police officers or other law enforcement personnel may over step their bounds and violate a person’s rights. A knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense lawyer can help you challenge police conduct and fight to protect your freedom.
Here, exactly what happened the night of Bennett’s arrest is in dispute. Dearborn police claim they responded to a call of a possible car theft in progress. The complainant allegedly reported that he saw a 20-year-old black male attempting to enter two vehicles in the area, and that Bennett had also been seen in the area, trying to get into two cars. The police officers claim that when they went in search of the suspect described, they saw Bennett. Bennett then took off running and was tackled by the police. The police allege that Bennett refused to get up after they requested he “put his hands up” but rather stayed on his knees and tried to crawl away, keeping his hands under his body and preventing the officers from handcuffing him. Police claim that it was only after Bennett continued to resist arrest that they tasered him in the back and handcuffed him.
According to Bennett, however, he only started running after a police dog attacked his friend and he became scared. He stopped running and then lay on the ground as soon as police asked him to. Bennett then stated that the police began kneeing him in the back, punching him, slamming his face to the ground and then tasering him. Bennett’s friend also provided a statement then Bennett lay on the ground with his hands above his head “surrendering.” As he lay there, the police beat him. Bennett was arrested for resisting a police officer, but the charges were subsequently dropped.
On appeal Bennett charges the police department with excessive and unreasonable force. The Sixth Circuit determined that because a jury could find that the police officer’s conduct was unreasonable Bennett could maintain his action against the police department.
Many times the conduct of police themselves provides a defense to a charge of Michigan crime. If you have been arrested or are under investigation for any crime contact an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your future. For more information, call the Law Offices of Grabel & Associates 24/7 for a free consultation.