Community Rallies Around Fired Belding Police Officer

BELDING, Mich.- Dozens of people picketed outside the city council meeting in Belding Tuesday, showing support for a former police officer who was fired.

Jason Cooper was terminated late last month following a bar fight he was involved in while off duty.

A pregnant woman also told FOX 17 she was punched in the stomach while trying to break up that fight.

According to the police report, the fight started when someone allegedly called Cooper by a racial slur.

Though there were no charges filed in the case, he was fired.

Dozens were turned away from the city council meeting protesting his firing.  The room holds a little less than 50 people.

The rest protested outside and stood in the doorway patiently waiting for public comment at the end of the meeting.

Dan Blunt spoke on behalf of Cooper’s supporters, saying he’s an upstanding officer and citizen and does a great job.

It was the decision of Belding Police Chief Dale Nelson and City Manager Meg Mullendore to fire him after the fight.

“As policemen we’re expected to be on a higher standard and set the example in the community,” Chief Nelson said.

It seems the platform supporters of Cooper base their loyalty on is the same reason the decision was made to let him go.

“It’s an integrity issue, we all have to live it when we’re in uniform,” Chief Nelson said.

A petition with more than 400 signatures gained several more at Tuesday’s meeting asking the city to give Cooper his job back.

Chief Nelson says the next step in the grievance process is arbitration.  He said there’s no timeframe for that but that it can be a lengthy process.


8 Comments to “Community Rallies Around Fired Belding Police Officer”

    kenr said:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    This so called law officer is a criminal thug who terrorizez grattan /belding area for many years

    he commits his crimes under the cover of a uniform

      Dale said:
      November 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM


    kenr said:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:33 AM


    Lenya said:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    Jason will get his job back! This is not the first time Belding Police Chief has wrongly terminated an Officer! That seems to be his MO, he does not support the Officers! Very sad!

    KENR said:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM


    ivan said:
    November 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    The police chief signed off on firing this overweight steve austin look alike wannabe. Good riddance. Hes probably a drunk hothead anyway.

    IMOP said:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    There are responsibilities that come with that uniform, in or out of it. I feel the right decision was made.

    Just me said:
    November 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Not sure what kind of man he is to be able to say if he should get his job back or not. I’d like to know why in the heck was a pregnant woman in a bar in the first place?

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