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Two officers fired after internal investigation related to death of Black woman in custody

Priscilla Slater

The City of Harper Woods has fired two police officers because they allegedly changed a police report connected with the death of a Black woman held in custody.

Priscilla Slater was detained in the early morning hours of June 9th in connection with reports of a shooting. She died in a holding cell that afternoon.

An internal investigation alleges that two officers were involved in altering the police report.

“And yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) terminated a deputy chief of police and a patrol officer for removing information from a police report that may have been relevant to the end to the investigation regarding Ms. Slater's death.”

The officers were respectively John Vorgitch and Michael Pineau.

Gillooly would not say what the deleted entry said or what its connection was to the death of Slater. He would only say officers do not have the authority to alter a police report.

“The City of Harper Woods believed we had absolutely no choice. Their credibility has been compromised and we stand by the termination of these officers,” Gillooly said.

He added that people should not jump to conclusions about the altered report.

Protests against police brutality and the death of Slater have been held in Harper Woods.

The Michigan State Police is conducting an external investigation into her death. 

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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