BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (April 17, 2014) — Michigan State Police are taking a close look at an arrest video involving a Battle Creek police officer from 2012. The outcome of the investigation may decide how officers in the city are trained in the use of force in the future.
Acting Police Chief Jim Blocker said after seeing the arrest video himself last month, he decided to hand the recording over to the Michigan State Police to investigate whether the officer went too far when he slammed the suspect to the ground.
According to sources close to the investigation. Officer Christopher Hug claims he was kicked by the suspect, Kenneth Moye, while confronting the suspect about pulling a woman out of a car by her hair. Hug responded by striking Moye the head and throwing him to the ground.
The actions were caught on a surveillance camera outside a convenience store in the city on October 2, 2012.
Moye would serve 221 days in jail after he pleaded no contest to assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
While this happened years ago, the city just recently paid Moye not to sue the city. “Everyone knew but nobody knew how to take care of it,” saidCity Commissioner Jeff Domenico. “We settled with (Moye) a couple of weeks ago so now liability is no longer there.”
Domenico has made claims about police corruption for years.
“Rather than communicate it and further prove my point that we have a corrupt police department, I decided to continue to withhold that information, hoping that there would be an appropriate time that we could address this and not put the city at risk,” said Domenico.
As far as the settlement with Moye, Domenico said it was under $50,000. Any amount above that would have required a vote by city commission.
Officer Hug was investigated internally by the Battle Creek Police Department. He was cleared of any wrongdoing back in 2012. He currently remains on-duty. The chief said officer Hug is aware of the investigation by state police.
A source tells us Officer Hug is also in charge of teaching defense techniques to others within the department.
Chief Jim Blocker told FOX 17 he is reviewing policies and procedures in the use of force. He invited an expert to come speak to the department about that issue in May.
Domenico said these are issues that should have been dealt with years ago. He looks forward to the outcome of the MSP investigation. “We will see what they have to say in the weeks ahead,” he said.
The video from the store is only one angle the state police will take a look at, according to Chief Blocker. They are also reviewing the officer’s statements, the statements of other officers that arrived on scene, as well as any dash cam and audio from the arrest that may be available.