The Royal Oak Police Department has completed our internal investigation into the August 13 incident involving an African American man and the Royal Oak police.
On behalf of the police department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Myers for how he was treated. What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer-involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers’ identification. The officer had no legal right to demand the identification and should have simply advised Mr. Myers why we were there and allowed him to go on his way. The officer involved is a new, probationary officer and he made a mistake. This officer will be provided with remedial training to address this issue.
Early in this encounter, Mr. Myers requested a supervisor make the scene. Although the first officer did not call for a supervisor, the second officer on scene did.
The responding supervisor did not handle this situation in a manner I expect Royal Oak supervisors to conduct themselves. He did quickly advise Mr. Myers 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.
This is not the practice of the Royal Oak Police Department and it is not acceptable. The supervisor has been disciplined and every Royal Oak police supervisor has received additional training in procedural justice.
This incident stemmed from a 911 call in which the caller reported she was uncomfortable because a male subject was circling her vehicle, staring at her from across the street, and was possibly taking pictures of her and her son. In total, Mr. Myers was verbally detained for approximately 19 minutes. A supervisor was called to the scene, per Mr. Myers request, about 6 minutes into the encounter and the supervisor arrived approximately 11 minutes later (17 minutes into the encounter). Mr. Myers was advised he was free to go 2 minutes after that. This is an unfortunate incident where the ROPD did not live up to our own standards. Corrective action has been taken and we will continue to hold all members of the ROPD to the highest standards.
-- Chief Corrigan O'Donohue