Senator On Mission to Hold Cops Accountable
The Senate Majority Communications office issued a statement by Senator Rick Jones R-Grand Ledge on Tuesday morning. The statement is very similar to a release by Jones' office three weeks ago announcing legislation Jones was drafting that would hold police officers accountable.
"I was shocked when I read the “Traffic Stop Gone Bad” article in two Lansing papers and viewed the video in April.
However, I was even more stunned to read that the Eaton County Sheriff deputy went right out and got another police job.
In the article, reporter Todd Heywood described how he obtained a cell phone video of a June 2014 traffic stop through the Freedom of Information Act. The deputy in the video was not wearing his body camera, but the young man who was stopped, Todd Brenizer, recorded the incident with his phone.
The article described how Brenizer was stopped for having a tail light out and then an “abusive and improper arrest” was made. The Eaton County Sheriff did not fire the deputy or seek charges against him. After the video surfaced, Brenizer was released from jail and not charged by the prosecutor. While Brenizer’s attorney was negotiating a settlement with Eaton County, the deputy resigned and got a job with another sheriff’s department.
After working with the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), I introduced legislation to ensure that a police officer’s bad behavior will not be hidden by his resignation.
Senate Bill 1022 would require a law enforcement agency to maintain a record regarding the reason for and the circumstances surrounding a separation of service of a police department and shall allow a prospective employing law enforcement agency to seek a copy of reasons and circumstances surrounding the separation.
I was in law enforcement for more than 30 years, so I know the importance of trust in the position. I want to ensure that Michigan has the best police officers on the road. To do that, we must make sure that bad behavior isn’t tolerated or hidden."