Two Detroit police officers who were seen on dashcam footage fleeing the scene of a shooting are no longer on duty as the incident remains under investigation.
Interim Detroit Police Chief James White announced on July 23 that one officer is suspended and the other will face discipline once off of medical leave after footage obtained by Deadline Detroit showed that the pair fled the scene of a June 30 drive-by shooting instead of addressing it.
“This incident is troubling and it is unfortunate and it’s not consistent with our training,” said DPD Interim Chief James White. “And it’s not consistent with the expectations that are set by myself and my command team.”
The shooting took place on a city street right in front of the officers’ patrol vehicle.
“I’m not going to adjudicate the case publicly,” White continued. “But I do have some serious police concerns about what we saw.” He said that after the shooting the officers did return to the scene and rendered aid.
In the video, recorded in the early morning hours of June 30, a man was standing outside near a street when a blue sedan pulled up in front of him and someone pointed a semi-automatic rifle out of the rear passenger side and fired at the man multiple times as he ran away.
In response, the officers in the vehicle quickly swerved and fled the scene. The man was struck by the gunfire in the leg but survived. The shooters are still at large.
“If there’s any good news,” White said at the press conference, “it’s that this was caught on the video review, which means our processes are working. It was brought to my attention by a deputy chief from a video review.”
The suspended officer is on administrative leave with pay as the investigation continues. White declined to release the officers’ names. He said part of the investigation will include gaining an understanding of the officers’ state of minds at the time of the shooting.
“What did they think they were doing? What went into their thinking?” White said. A final decision about the officers’ futures with the police department will be made once the officer on medical leave returns. White also said the officers’ actions aren’t representative of the entire force.
“Individualized incidents do not represent the hard work of the over 2,000 men and women of this department that they do day in, and day out,” he added.