WXYZ-TV reports that Commander Timothy Leach was acting as a bouncer at Ottava Via during last weekend's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Corktown when he confronted Michael Karpovich, who the media outlet says may have been acting unruly. It's not yet clear exactly what happened, but the law firm representing Karpovich tells Metro Times that the 41-year-old is in the hospital and unresponsive. His injuries include multiple skull fractures and a bilateral brain contusion. As of Sunday afternoon, Detroit police could only confirm Leach's suspension.
Details of the incident came to light
The DPD is interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video as it investigates the incident, law firm
Though much of what happened remains a mystery, a member of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality says there's no reason a restaurant patron should wind up fighting for their
"You should never have to get to the point of having to cause great bodily harm to someone," says DCAPB member Chris White. "[Police] are trained to de-escalate a situation."
Commander Leach is black and Karpovich is white. Leach was last year named in a document detailing race relations within the DPD, and described as "the only African-American Commander ... reported to be abusive in tone and tenor, and on one occasion calling an African-American male officer the N-word." The report by the Committee on Race and Equality relied on interviews with dozens of officers throughout the department.
Leach also came under fire as a captain in 2014, after reportedly telling officers they had to meet ticketing quotas. According to
Leach was promoted to commander by Police Chief James Craig in 2016, according to a report by the The Detroit Free Press.
This post was updated on March 21 at 8:40 p.m. to reflect that an investigation by Chief Craig determined Leach had not issued the 2014 ticketing quota memo.
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