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Head of Detroit police union in trouble with the law

DPOA President Mark Diaz
via Twitter
DPOA President Mark Diaz

The head of the Detroit Police Officer’s Association is facing criminal charges himself.

Mark Diaz is charged with malicious destruction of property, a felony, and reckless driving. He was arraigned at a district court in Clarkston Friday afternoon, and released on $10,000 bond.

The charges apparently stem from a December incident at Holly Academy in Holly. Diaz allegedly drove into school property, causing serious damage.

A Michigan State Police spokesmantold the Detroit Free Press that MSP investigated the incident, which was caught on surveillance video.

Diaz issued a short statement to media outlets, declaring himself “very shocked by the charges,” but pledging to "cooperate 100% with the justice system to get this matter adjudicated as quickly as possible." He did not comment after his arraignment.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig has suspended Diaz without pay, and launched an internal affairs investigation. Craig said he was “concerned” about the accusations, but noted Diaz has so far has cooperated with investigators.

Diaz took over as head of the DPOA, the union representing Detroit’s rank-and-file officers, in 2012. His future with the union is unclear at this point.

Also unclear is Diaz’s future with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards. Gov. Snyder just appointed Diaz to a three-year term on the commission to “modernize policing standards” earlier this month.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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