Police Board Votes To Suspend Officers Involved In Pursuit That Led To Death Of Teen

DETROIT (WWJ) – Disciplinary action taken against two suspended Detroit police officers following a pursuit that ended in a deadly crash.

Jerry Bradford, Jr., 19, died when he slammed a Pontiac Grand Prix into a tree the night of October 10.

The Detroit Board of Police commissioners, following the recommendation of Police Chief James Craig, voted unanimously to suspend the two rookie officers without pay.

Police Commissioner Willie Bell says this clearly was was a violation of department policy that dates back years.

“They did not notify dispatch — it’s the primary responsibility of the engaging officer — get on that radio. That’s wise there, to utilize and call for some form of supervision at that time — it’s not that crucial — it was just based on the guy — sped away,” said Bell.

Officers at the time said they had tried to pull Bradford over earlier in the evening, in the area of I-94 and Connor, but were not giving chase at the time of the crash.

The following day it was revealed that, in fact, police were in pursuit of Bradford when he was killed.

“You must be accountable responding to the situation,” said Bell. “That’s why we spend more time in the academy now, virtually eight weeks, back in the ’70s and ’80s, we spent six months and there is ongoing training and concern – dealing with it, this is high-profile.”

The investigation will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

A multi-million dollar lawsuit has been filed by the family of the deceased

This is a hot-button issue in the city following the death in August of 15-year-old Damon Grimes who crashed an ATV while being pursued by Michigan State Police. A lawsuit was filed in that case, two troopers were suspended and one trooper who shot a taser at the teen resigned.

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