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Charges filed against two Michigan police officers after AG's misconduct investigation

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday the results of her office's investigation into three separate incidents of alleged police misconduct involving officers in Jackson, Saginaw and Washtenawcounties.  

Former city of Saginaw police officer Adam Collier, who is white, will face felony charges for allegedly using excessive force during an arrest on July 11. Collier is accused of striking a handcuffed woman, who is Black, with a closed fist, first as she entered his patrol car and later at the jail after she allegedly spat at him. Collier was fired on July 17.

But no charges are being brought against Austin Pearson, a white deputy with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, after Nessel's office determined that Pearson's use of force was justified in light of the alleged level of resistance of the suspect and her husband, both of whom are Black. Pearson punched the suspect with a closed fist after the suspect allegedly severely bit his arm and would not release her jaw.

"While the outcomes in terms of charges are different in these cases, in both cases I can assure you a thorough, unbiased review of the evidence was conducted," Nessel said.

"We recognize that cases of excessive force are always sensitive and of great concern to the public," Nessel said. "But that is particularly so because of the terrible tragedies involving aggressive acts by law enforcement across the country this summer."

In the third case, Blackman-Leoni Township public safety officer David Lubahn faces felony perjury charges for allegedly using false and misleading information to obtain a search warrant.

"Law enforcement officers take an oath of office and we fully expect them to uphold that promise," said Nessel. "Those who betray their oath behave in a manner beneath their position as trusted public servants and undermine the credibility of every upstanding officer who serves." 

Nessel said her office reviewed the cases at the request of county prosecutors with the goal of avoiding potential or actual conflicts of interest by local officials.

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Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
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