DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee has placed an officer on restricted duty as the department investigates the man’s role in a confrontation at a gas station that led to a federal civil rights lawsuit.
DeJuan Hodges-Lamar of Macomb County’s Harrison Township has sued three members of the Detroit police’s gang squad, accusing them of an unprovoked beating that was captured by a security camera.
Hodges-Lamar, who was 19-years old at the time, says he stopped to fill up at a gas station on the city’s east side when he was attacked by three members of the police gang squad.
In the lawsuit, Hodges-Lamar alleges that he was searching for his license and registration when a gang squad member grabbed him, tore him out of the car, and shoved him face-down into the pavement.
Godbee reviewed the 2009 confrontation and placed the officer on administrative restricted duty. The department’s Force Investigations unit opened an investigation Thursday.
The chief says in a statement that “alleged behavior of this nature will not be condoned or tolerated by the Detroit Police Department.”
Hodges-Lamar’s lawyer, Jonathan Marko, said the officer was slamming his client “around like a rag doll.”
“There is no possible, no possible reason … for them to act like this,” said Marko. “I mean, he didn’t have anything on him, he wasn’t breaking any laws. He was just a law-abiding citizen trying to get some gas.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.