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NEWS UPDATES

Monday, September 23, 2019

Defendant James Lamont Lindsey - Lindsey was arraigned today on the charge of First Degree Murder in connection with the homicide of a 34-year-old Taylor woman discovered near Paul Street and the Southfield Freeway. The case remains under investigation. The Dearborn Police Department asks that Detroit residents in the area of Paul Street and the Southfield Freeway review their security camera systems for any suspicious activity between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on September 20, 2019.

Adult Designated Juvenile Charged in Fatal Hit and Run Crash

On September 11, 2019, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Jhanya Burton, a then 16-year-old juvenile female, (DOB: 09/23/2002), of Detroit, as an adult designated juvenile, in connection with the fatal hit and run of a 13-year-old girl. Upon conviction, the adult designation allows the judge to sentence the defendant as a juvenile, or an adult, or to fashion a blended juvenile and adult sentence.On August 31, 2019 at approximately 11:17 p.m., Detroit police officers were dispatched to the area of Bradford Avenue and East McNichols Road in response to a call regarding a car crash. Upon arrival, the officers observed medics treating several people who were transported to a local hospital for treatment. It is alleged that the juvenile respondent was driving a vehicle with six passengers: a 16-year old girl from Detroit, a 20-year-old woman from Eastpointe, a 15-year-old girl from Detroit, a 20-year-old woman from Detroit, a 14-year-old girl from Detroit and a 13-year-old girl from Detroit. Burton was driving the vehicle at a high rate of speed when she struck a tree. It is alleged that the 13-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Burton left the scene on foot but later turned herself in to authorities at Detroit's Seventh Precinct

Burton has been charged as an adult designated juvenile with Second Degree Murder, Operating - License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied, Causing Death, and five counts of Operating - License Suspended, Revoked, or Denied, Causing Serious Injury.* She has been arraigned and will have her Preliminary Examination on October 24,, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Edward Joseph at the Lincoln Hall of Justice on 1025 East Forest Avenue in Detroit. The respondent is being held at the Juvenile Detention Center.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Detroit Juvenile Charged in Fatal Shooting

On Friday, September 20, 2019 Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged a 15-year-old male juvenile respondent from Detroit in connection with the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old male acquaintance, also of Detroit.

On September 15, 2019, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Detroit Police were dispatched to a shooting in the 16600 block of Belton in Detroit. Upon arrival, the officers discovered the victim lying in the rear bedroom, unresponsive. EMS was called and the victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injures, where he was pronounced deceased.

Investigation by the Detroit Police led to the arrest of the defendant. It is alleged that the defendant fatally shot the victim.

The juvenile respondent has been charged with Careless Discharge of a Weapon Causing Death.* The Preliminary Hearing today and the respondent received a $7000 personal bond. A Pre-Trial Conference is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, before Judge Christopher Dingell at the Lincoln Hall of Justice. As a condition of bond the respondent cannot have contact with the victim's family during the course of the proceedings. He is represented by attorney Frank Becker.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

13-year-old Juvenile Respondent in Dearborn Cases has Preliminary Examination Adjourned Today - The 13-year-old respondent was adult designated in the Felony Murder and Armed Robbery of Ms. Saja Al-Janabi, and the Armed Robbery of a 59-year-old woman that occurred in Dearborn on the evening of September 6, 2019. Today the Preliminary Examination in the Lincoln Hall of Justice was adjourned because defense counsel had a scheduling conflict. The new date is October 22, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Edward Joseph.

No Criminal Charges to Issue Against
Former DPD Officers Steele and Garrison

Prosecutor Says the Alleged Conduct is Reprehensible and Could Support Other Possible Liability

Statement of Prosecutor Kym Worthy

"A thorough and complete review of the allegations against former Detroit Police Department Corporal Gary Steele and Officer Michael Garrison shows reprehensible, disturbing and unprofessional conduct following a January 29, 2019 police stop of a 24-year-old woman. However, we are charged with determining whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a crime. There is insufficient evidence to criminally charge either officer. The allegations reviewed could support other possible liability."

Warrant Request for January 29, 2019 Incident

On January 29, 2019 Gary Steele, 54, and his partner Michael Garrison, 45, observed a vehicle speeding and without proper license plate tabs that was driven by a 24-year-old Detroit woman. The officers signaled for her to pull over and the woman complied. Garrison informed the woman why she was pulled over and maintained a professional demeanor throughout the interaction. Steele did not speak with the woman.

A ticket was issued to the woman by Garrison and she became upset when she was told that she could not drive the car home, but could stay in the car until a tow truck came. She declined to remain with the car and told Garrison that she lived around the corner. The woman was having a video chat with a person while being told that she could remain with the car. The person offered to come and pick her up, but she declined and walked from her car to her home. The incident was recorded on the DPD body worn camera (BWC) video. BWC evidence shows that Steele and Garrison treated the citizen fairly during the official police interaction.

As the woman walked away from her car, Steele recorded her from on his phone from the scout car and published the video on Snapchat. The Snapchat had a filter over it saying "Black Girl Magic". It is alleged that Garrison can be heard in the background saying, "Walk of shame". After the woman can no longer be seen, Steele is heard saying, "Bye Felisha". WXYZ aired the Snapchat video and DPD subsequently investigated the case. A warrant request was submitted to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office for Steele and not Garrison.

Analysis of the Allegations

This case must be analyzed as Misconduct in Office. Videotaping someone in public is lawful. The First Amendment ensures that even hate speech is protected, absent some form of intent to intimidate the target of the speech. Steele did not create this video while exercising his official police duties or under color of office. It was not taken using police property. The video was taken after, not during, the time the citizen was in custody. There is insufficient evidence to show that during his interaction with the woman that he treated the woman unfairly or inequitably during the official police interaction.

Conclusion

While the Snapchat Video and the comments made on it by Steele are abhorrent and unbecoming a law enforcement officer, it does not support a charge of misconduct in office. The alleged comment made by Garrison is also highly disturbing and unacceptable for a law enforcement officer. The alleged conduct is something that could support other possible liability.

Warrant Request for May 31, 2018 Incident

On May 31, 2018, Steele and four other Detroit Police officers were dispatched to Felonious Assault in progress run hear Faust and Dover on Detroit's west side. This incident was captured on body worn cameras worn by Steele and other officers at the scene. The incident was reported to the police after the January 29, 2019 was in the news.*

The 23-year-old victim admitted on the scene that she shot at someone she knew and claimed self-defense. It is alleged that Steele ordered his subordinates to arrest the woman on probable cause for a felonious assault. The victim was uncooperative because she refused to surrender her infant child to another police officer when directed to do so. Steele twice offered to allow her to call her mother to get the child but indicated that she would need to surrender the child temporarily to the police while the mother was contacted. The victim declined the offer, and wanted to walk a block away to give her child to someone.

Steele told her that she could not do that and twice asked her to please not resist arrest because she was holding her son. She refused and Steele told officers to take the child. The child was taken away safely but the victim was able to slip her left arm free. Steele lifted her left arm up in the air and can be seen moving it sideways in an attempt to handcuff her. During this action, the victim screamed that her arm was broken. The video does not show any obvious sudden movement before the victim's arm is fractured. Steele immediately called for medics to arrive at the scene.

Analysis of the Allegations

In this case, the victim was told by Steele why she was placed under arrest. There was probable cause to find that she had committed a felonious assault with a hand gun. Steele knew that the victim had fired shots at people and she admitted it.* A shell casing was found in her car. She alleged self-defense at the scene, but this is a legal conclusion and does not bar being arrested on probable cause until that determination is made.

The victim was objectively resisting arrest when her arm was fractured as Steele was trying to handcuff her. The victim backed away repeatedly and said that she was not going to be arrested. She was continuously non-compliant during the incident. His reaction to her arm being fractured, his statements and demeanor are consistent with an officer not intending to do harm. The force that Steele used to overcome her resistance appears reasonable and not done intentionally to cause harm.

Conclusion

There is insufficient evidence to find that a crime was committed in this case. The injury objectively appears accidental during the course of a lawful arrest without malice. As a result, no charges should issue in this incident. The alleged conduct is something that could support other possible liability.

*The May 31, 2019 incident resulted in a cross-complaint where the 23-year old victim was accused of shooting at another woman. The woman also brought a complaint against the 23-year-old woman. After a review of the warrant requests it was determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge either woman with a crime.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Grosse Ile Township School Teacher Charged with
Indecent Exposure and Obscene Conduct

Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Christopher Metzger, 37 (DOB: 01/17/1982), of Trenton, in connection with an allegation of indecent exposure. Metzger is a Grosse Ile Township School teacher.

On August 28, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., Metzger was in his car at Commerce Park at Hornet Avenue near Fourth Street in Grosse Ile. At that time, the park was occupied by youths practicing sports nearby. A parent walked by Metzger's car and it is alleged that he observed Metzger engaging in lewd behavior. The incident was reported to authorities and resulted in the defendant's arrest. Metzger has been placed on administrative leave.

The defendant has been charged with one count of Aggravated Indecent Exposure and one count of Disorderly Person - Obscene Conduct.* He was arraigned this morning in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven. The Probable Cause Conference is scheduled for October 1, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.; the Preliminary Examination is scheduled for October 8, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Both hearings are before Judge Michael McNally in 33rd District Court. The defendant received a $15,000 personal bond. Please request a photograph of the defendant from the Grosse Ile Police Department.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

WCPO Sexual Assault Kit Task Force News

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Receives One Million Dollar DOJ Grant Award

Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced today that the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs has approved and awarded one million dollars to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Sexual Assault Kit Task Force for fiscal year 2019 under the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

The National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) reduces violent crime and supports local law enforcement officers and prosecutors by:

  • Providing resources to address sexual assault kits in their custody that have not been submitted to a forensic laboratory for testing.
  • Improving investigation and prosecution in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process.
  • Aiding sites in collecting DNA samples from individuals and loading the profiles into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). CODIS compares DNA profiles electronically and can link violent crimes to known offenders.
  • Helping investigators with how to more effectively question subjects, which could provide stronger investigative leads and build stronger prosecutorial cases, which in turn, could help solve more crimes.

Prosecutor Worthy said, "Now that the testing phase has been completed, this award will greatly assist our continued efforts to focus on investigating and prosecuting these cases. We are proud to receive support from the DOJ. This award certainly validates the decade of hard, tireless work that we and all of our collaborators have done in testing, investigating, and prosecuting Detroit's - and Michigan's - stockpiled sexual assault kits. It is rewarding to know that this grant will help to bring justice to sexual assault survivors.

"I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the public/private partnership Enough SAID comprised of Michigan Women Forward, the African American 490 Group, the Detroit Crime Commission and the Wayne County Prosecutors Office, who have continually supported this important initiative."

I Am Evidence Wins Emmy for Best Documentary

The HBO documentary, I Am Evidence, produced by actor Mariska Hargitay and co-produced and co-directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, won an Emmy Award for Best Documentary on Tuesday, September 24th. The movie focuses on the national issue of untested rape kits by looking at how the cities of Detroit, Cleveland and Los Angeles have dealt with the issue of discovering tens of thousands of untested rape kits by focusing on the story of four sexual assault survivors. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement! https://www.iamevidencethemovie.com/

"It was my one of my life's greatest privileges to be a part of this movie. It highlighted the issue of stockpiled sexual assault kits for many that may not have known, and clearly exposed what inaction can do. I am so thankful for Mariska's unwavering commitment and that of the directors and producers", said Prosecutor Worthy.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hamtramck Man Charged with Criminal Sexual Contact with Student

Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Ibrahim Aljahim, 37 (DOB: 02/10/1982) of Hamtramck, on September 21, 2019, in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a teen aged male.

On September 18, 2019 at 8:55 a.m., Hamtramck police officers went to the Oakland International Academy, located on Florian and Lathem in Hamtramck. While there, the officers investigated an allegation against Aljahim, who is employed as a student liaison with the school. It is alleged that on September 18, 2019, Aljahim had inappropriate sexual contact with an 18-year-old male student on school property during school hours. Investigation by the Hamtramck Police is ongoing and no further details will be released until the matter is heard at the preliminary examination.

Aljahim has been charged with two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree, under multiple variables for a mentally disabled victim and that the defendant was in a position of authority over the victim.* He was arraigned in 34th District Court in Romulus on Saturday, September 21, 2019 before Magistrate Millicent Sherman and has a $10,000/10% bond with the condition that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the complaining witness or his parents. His Probable Cause Conference will be held on October 3, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. and his Preliminary Examination will be held on October 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Alexis G. Krot in 31st District Court in Hamtramck. A photograph of the defendant is attached.

*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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