DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard has been charged with assaulting a shopper at a Meijer store.
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office says Officer Lonnie Wade was wearing his police uniform during the Oct. 10 incident a the store at 8 Mile and Woodward Ave. in Detroit.
A shopper, 24-year-old David Bivins, was hit in the head and face with a baton after Wade, suspecting Bivins of shoplifting, questioned him about bags in his cart.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference Wednesday, Prosecutor Kym Worthy said there was no evidence of aggressive behavior by Bivins — who police discovered did have a receipt for his purchases.
The incident was recorded on video that went viral online, and witnessed by other shoppers.
[WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. **NOTE: Contains strong language/profanity]
Wade, 65, was placed on administrative duty when his bosses learned about the incident. Police Chief James Craig said at one point that, preliminary, it was believed Wade’s use of force was proper, as Bivins was allegedly resisting arrest.
What he would have preferred, Craig said, was that the officer request assistance, which could have deescalated the situation. The chief later reversed his initial decision, recommending charges against Wade.
Bivins was arrested at the scene for disorderly conduct and resisting arrested, but Worthy declined to charge him with anything.
Bivins has since filed a $25 million lawsuit naming several defendants, including Wade and Meijer.
© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.