Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Charges dropped against Detroit cop accused of shooting journalists with rubber bullets

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 11:21 AM

click to enlarge Under Chief Craig, the Detroit Police Dept. cracked down on peaceful protesters in 2020. - LESTER GRAHAM / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Lester Graham /
  • Under Chief Craig, the Detroit Police Dept. cracked down on peaceful protesters in 2020.

A judge dismissed charges Tuesday against a Detroit cop who was accused of firing rubber bullets at three photojournalists during protests over police brutality in May 2020.

Corp. Daniel Debono was charged with three felony counts of felonious assault for allegedly shooting rubber bullets at MLive’s Nicole Hester and independent journalists Seth Herald and Matthew Hatcher, while they were crossing the street in downtown Detroit. 
Hester suffered injuries to her face, neck, arms, and legs; Herald’s wrist was injured; and Hatcher had bruises on his face.

Following a preliminary examination Tuesday, 36th District Judge Roberta Archer dismissed the charges, citing a state statute that “grants immunity to any officer where an unlawful assembly is declared.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is considering an appeal, arguing the statute does not apply because the journalists were not protesting, and the rally had finished by the time of the assault.

“The evidence shows that these three journalists were leaving the protest area and that there was almost no one else on the street where they were,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy says in a statement in July 2020. “They were a threat to no one. There are simply no explicable reasons why the alleged actions of this officer were taken.”

Protests broke out in late May following the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. While covering the protests, reporters in Detroit were arrested, assaulted, and antagonized by overzealous police. Cops also shoved reporters and fired tear gas and flash-bang grenades at journalists.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation