Royal Oak police on Thursday disciplined an officer and apologized to a 20-year-old Black man after he was stopped and forced to show his identification for allegedly “looking suspiciously” at a white woman earlier this week.
“On behalf of the police department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Myers for how he was treated,” Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said in a news release.
“What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers’ identification.”
The encounter happened Tuesday evening after a white woman, whose name has not yet been released, called 911 on Devin Myers.
"He's an African-American male, and I don't know what his deal is, but it's making me not feel very comfortable," the woman said in a 911 call.
The department’s handling of the woman’s complaint drew heavy criticism after a video of the encounter went viral. It was viewed more than 800,000 times as of Friday morning.
Myers was calm during the interaction and said he was on his way to eat at a restaurant.
Police are conducting an internal review and are disciplining a supervisor who arrogantly dismissed Myers’ complaint about being interrogated.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” the supervisor said.
A woman who captured the video responded, “It’s a big deal when this happens consistently.”
O’Donohue said the department “did not live up to our own standards.”
"The responding supervisor did not handle this situation in a manner I expect Royal Oak supervisors to conduct themselves," O'Donohue said. "He did quickly advise [the man] that he was free to go; however, he did not effectively look into the situation or allow those present the opportunity to express their concerns."
The officer who demanded Myer’s identification is a new, probationary officer and will receive remedial training, O'Donohue said.
"The officer had no legal right to demand the identification and should have simply advised [the man] why we were there and allowed him to go on his way," O'Donohue said in the release.
Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier also expressed remorse in a news release.
"We are in the process of evaluating what mistakes have been made and we will own them, we will learn from them, and we will continue to strive to be better in everything we do," Fournier said.
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