Three police misconduct investigations result in felony charges

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Tuesday announced results of her office’s investigations into three alleged police misconduct cases involving officers in Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Jackson counties, filing multiple charges against two police officers and two residents.

The Attorney General’s Office reviewed the cases as requested by county prosecutors to avoid potential or real conflicts of interest by the local officials.

The cases in Saginaw and Washtenaw counties allege excessive use of force by law enforcement while the case in Jackson County focuses on a complaint of professional misconduct by a police officer.

“We recognize that cases of excessive force are always sensitive and of great concern to the public – but that is particularly so because of the terrible tragedies involving aggressive acts by law enforcement across the country this summer,” Nessel said.

Both the Saginaw and Washtenaw counties cases involve white officers and black female detainees. However, the charges filed vary based on the evidence. In all three cases, the Attorney General’s Office conducted thorough, unbiased reviews to reach conclusions.

“While there is extensive video in the Saginaw and Washtenaw cases – as well as photographs – in our commitment to ensure a fair hearing and due process for all defendants, we are not releasing any of this content in advance of trial,” Nessel said. “As prosecutors we have an ethical obligation to protect the evidence and to ensure a fair-minded jury that has not been tainted by graphic visuals parlayed by the media. Once the criminal prosecution is complete, it is likely all the video and photos available in this case will be subject to public disclosure under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.”

• Saginaw County 

After reviewing video of the incident and other evidence, the Attorney General’s Office is charging former City of Saginaw Police Officer Adam Collier with one count of misconduct in office, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and two counts of assault and battery, a 93-day misdemeanor. 

The charges stem from a July 11 incident in which Collier, who is white, allegedly assaulted a black female detainee twice while she was in his custody. 

The incident began with a report that the detainee was allegedly assaulting another individual at a Saginaw residence. Collier responded to the scene and took the woman into custody. The first alleged assault occurred when Collier forcefully pushed the woman into the backseat of his patrol car. As she resisted, he struck the woman on the face with a closed fist while she was handcuffed. The second alleged assault occurred in the sally port of the Saginaw County Jail. As the woman was exiting the patrol car, she spit at Collier, who then retaliated by striking the handcuffed woman with a closed fist three times in the face and head.

Collier was terminated from his position with the Saginaw Police Department on July 17.

Criminal charges have been filed by the Saginaw County prosecutor against the detainee for her conduct during this incident.

Collier was arraigned remotely on Tuesday in 70th District Court in Saginaw County before Judge David Hoffman. He was given a $7,500 personal recognizance bond. Future court dates have not yet been set.

• Washtenaw County

Austin Pearson, a white deputy with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, was one of the police officers who responded to a shooting in an Ypsilanti neighborhood on May 26. 

Police established a secure perimeter and attempted to locate the shooter. Shatina Grady and her husband, Daniel Grady, who are both black, began to interfere with the police activity and refused multiple directives to stop their attempts to compromise the established perimeter.

Pearson then began to arrest the Gradys for noncompliance, and the couple physically resisted. During the struggle to arrest, it is alleged Shatina Grady severely bit Pearson on the arm. Pearson then struck Shatina Grady three times with a closed fist in the head until she released her jaw. She allegedly bit Pearson’s other forearm and scratched his head with her fingernails, kicking at other officers as she was escorted to the patrol car. While in the vehicle, it is alleged Shatina Grady forcefully kicked the door of the car repeatedly, causing damage to the door and the door frame.

Following the review of video footage of the incident and other evidence, the Attorney General’s Office determined Pearson’s use of force was justified and appropriate given the suspect’s level of resistance, and that he committed no criminal offense in his interactions with Shatina Grady.

However, Shatina Grady was charged with:

  • three counts of resisting and obstructing an officer, a two-year felony.
  • one count of resisting and obstructing an officer causing injury, a four-year felony.
  • one count of malicious destruction of police property, a four-year felony.

Daniel Grady was also charged with two counts of resisting and obstructing an officer, a two-year felony.

Arraignment for Shatina and Daniel Grady is pending in Washtenaw County. Future court dates have not yet been set.

• Jackson County

Blackman-Leoni Township Public Safety Officer David Lubahn faces felony charges for perjury in a document and misconduct in office for his actions related to an investigation of shots fired near a hotel in Blackman Township on Oct. 23, 2019.

The investigation has revealed that after locating the suspects, officers discovered a gun safe and the key to open it in a hotel room. It is alleged Lubahn used the key to open the safe, without legal authorization, and located a gun. It is further alleged that after searching the safe without a warrant, Lubahn re-locked the safe and subsequently presented a court with a search warrant affidavit containing false and misleading information. 

Lubahn is charged with one count of perjury of a record or document, a 15-year felony, and one count of misconduct in office, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Lubahn was to be arraigned Tuesday in 12th District Court in Jackson before Judge Daniel Goostrey. Future court dates have not yet been set.

The Attorney General’s Office is grateful for the professionalism and assistance of troopers from the Michigan State Police for their work investigating the Saginaw and Jackson counties cases, and deputies from the Eaton County Sheriff’s and Lapeer County Sheriff’s offices that made up the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association MISSION Team, which investigated the Washtenaw County case.

“Law enforcement officers take an oath of office and we fully expect them to uphold that promise,” Nessel said. “Those who betray their oath behave in a manner beneath their position as trusted public servants and undermine the credibility of every upstanding officer who serves.”

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