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Washtenaw County Sheriff: Sha'Teina Grady El bit deputy before he punched her in head

Tracy Samilton
Michigan Radio

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton has released body cam videos showing Sha'Teina Grady El fiercely resisting arrest, including biting a deputy on the arm.

Grady El was arrested after she refused to move away from the perimeter of a probable crime scene. Prior to her arrest, Grady El was videotaping deputies investigating a shooting, and advising the occupant of a nearby home that they needed a warrant to enter.

Protesters held rallies against police brutality for a fourth day on Friday, after the release of a bystander video showing the deputy punching her in the head during the arrest. 

Sheriff Clayton says that happened after Grady El bit the deputy. He would not weigh in on whether the punching was an acceptable tactic.

Clayton says Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will decide whether charges should be filed against the deputy. The Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office has asked for more information, including additional body cam videos, as it decides whether to charge Grady El and her husband, who attempted to prevent deputies from arresting her.

Clayton says the public deserves full transparency, which is why he released the videos. He says he wants the department not to be viewed in light of one incident, while promising a full investigation into what happened.

"Our relationship is built on the trust we have with the community and that was fractured on that night," he said during a media briefing on the incident.

Sha'Teina Grady El was being held in the Wayne County Jail after her arrest by Washtenaw County 

Credit Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Protesters on Friday, May 29 in Ypsilanti.

Sheriff's deputies. That's because there were outstanding warrants for her arrest, for resisting arrest and failure to appear for trial, in the City of Taylor.

Grady El was administatively released due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She appeared at the rally on Friday and thanked the crowd for their support.

Speakers at the rally said the forcible arrest of Grady El, for not complying with a deputy's order to move further from the scene of a crime, is part of a pattern of police brutality against black Americans.

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Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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