DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he’s looking into whether there is body cam or squad car video evidence in the case of a controversial traffic stop last week.
Bishop Edgar Vann, a local minister and Detroit Police Commissioner, says when he was stopped for running a red light after a Commission meeting on June 15, the officer ordered him to open all the windows and take out his keys and place them on the hood.
The officer also drew his sidearm after he pulled Van over at around 5 p.m., outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
“Then the officer pulled his gun out and placed it against his chest,” Vann said at Thursday’s board meeting at Public Safety Headquarters. “When I saw the gun, that was an escalation for me. It made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t think for a simple traffic stop a gun should have been pulled. Does the driver have any rights?”
Much of that, Chief Craig said, is a bit unusual for a simple ticket.
“Generally when that happens this suggests that this is a high-risk or a felony stop. I’m not aware of why the bishop would be stopped for a felony,” Craig said.
Craig says he’s still checking the facts in the case.
“After the completion of the stop, the officer had his gun out, and certainly that makes people uncomfortable,” the chief added.
“…I’m not going to pre-judge why the office did what he did, given the environment that, you know, ten officers have been shot or killed in the last seven months. So certainly, our officers, we want them to stay safe. We don’t want them to under-react, but we certainly don’t want them to overreact.”
Vann, who works as a pastor at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit, has said he has no problems with his ticket.