In yet another case of police brutality, an off-duty Detroit cop accused a black man of shoplifting and beat him up with his baton.
As it happens, the man had actually purchased the item.
David Bivins and his girlfriend, Hillary Ross, were shopping at Meijer store when they were stopped by the loss prevention department for carrying two bags of groceries while paying for just one. Turns out, the couple had bought the items from another store into Meijer but took care to keep the two bags separated while they shopped.
Embarrassed to be accused of stealing, Ross went inside to clear the misunderstanding by showing the merchandise receipt and the security guard determined that nothing had been stolen.
But when she stepped out, she was greeted with an awful sight: Her boyfriend was being beaten up with a baton by a police officer.
As the cop hit Bivins, the man turned to profanity and repeatedly told the officer to “get his f***ing hands off him.” Understandable, since the officer was beating him up for absolutely no reason.
However, the cop told him he would arrest Bivins for disorderly conduct. The man told the cop he “had no right to arrest him” and refused to turn around to be handcuffed. The officer then struck the men three times with his baton and the two began to struggle. However, Bivins did not raise his hand to the cop even as the officer got more aggressive.
One of the bystanders asked the officer to stop hitting the man to which he yelled, “Don’t be f***ing with me.”
After finally hitting the man hard on the mouth with his baton, the cop arrested him on charges of resisting and obstructing arrest and disorderly conduct.
Bivins lost a tooth and suffered a contusion to the side of the face after the interaction.
But as with most cases of officer interaction with a black man, the police chief has excused the cop’s use of excessive force.
Chief James Craig, of Detroit police, who is also black, ironically, said the officer “acted appropriately” when subduing the innocent man.
“It appears that the force was proper,” he told the Detroit Free Press, arguing the officer “feared for his safety.”
That seems to be a bit of an exaggeration considering the fact Bivins was unarmed, did not steal anything from the shop, and as evidenced by the video, only tried to defend himself from the relentless cop’s baton.
Craig also gave another weird explanation for the use of force.
The 65-year-old officer, who has worked for the police department for 39 years, was 42 years older than the suspect. Craig added it was appropriate for the cop to act this way because of the “issue of age,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
Banner/Thumbnail credits: Reuters, Stephen Lam