City investigators are looking into a traffic stop last week in which a Detroit Police Commissioner and the Minister said he was pulled over downtown by a police officer who drew his pistol.
Bishop Edgar Vann, a member of the Board of Police Commissioners and pastor of Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit, said he had just left a board meeting at about 5 p.m. June 15, when a police officer pulled him over outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
“This was right as people were getting off work, so there were pedestrians walking everywhere,” Vann said. “The officer stated I ran the red light.”
Vann said the officer issued a citation for running the light — but he said the traffic ticket wasn’t his main beef.
During Thursday’s board meeting at Public Safety Headquarters, Vann asked Assistant Chief Arnold Williams: “I just want to know: How many things are people required to comply with during a simple traffic stop? I had to roll down all my windows, take the keys out (of the ignition) and put them on the top of the car.
“Then the officer pulled his gun out and placed it against his chest. When I saw the gun, that was an escalation for me. It made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t think for a simple traffic stop a gun should have been pulled. Does the driver have any rights?”
Williams replied: “In police work, there is no such thing as a simple traffic stop.”
Williams went on to explain there could be valid reasons why an officer would draw a weapon when pulling over a motorist.
“When a police officer gets a description of a person or vehicle who was involved in a violent felony, and someone they stop matches that description, the officer will take steps to ensure their safety,” Williams said.
“So regarding pulling a weapon: Is it appropriate? Sometimes. Was it appropriate in this case? I don’t know, because I wasn’t there. But I will look into it.”
Source: Detroit News