WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) issued the following statement in regard to instances of police violence happening in her district. In Westland, the city’s police department recently released a video showing an officer severely beating a young man with a developmental disability with a baton, and that officer has since be fired. In Detroit, several protestors were injured when a police officer rammed their cruiser into the group surrounding the car, and protestors continue to demand accountability from the police department.
“The tragic videos many of us have seen showing actions taken by officers with the Detroit Police Department and Westland Police Department were disturbing and hard to watch. As people have mobilized in Wayne County and across the country to call for an end to police brutality and structural racism, it is disheartening to see continued police violence happening here.
“In Westland, a young man with autism was brutally beaten while being arrested. This is unacceptable, and while the police officer has been fired, I echo calls for a full independent investigation to be carried out into what happened that night and to ensure that there are policies in place within the department to ensure residents are not being brutalized.
“In Detroit, protestors have gathered daily to demand change and unfortunately, on Sunday night, many who were peacefully marching were intercepted and intentionally hit by a police officer in their cruiser. As more information comes out, it is clear that what happened Sunday night is unacceptable. We expect police officers to be held to a higher standard of grace under pressure, and unfortunately, I did not see that happen on Sunday night.
“We have a civilian oversight board in the city of Detroit to ensure that the Detroit Police Department is actually accountable to the residents of the city and those who visit. It is essential that the Board of Police Commissioners conduct a full independent investigation of what happened on Sunday night and ensure full accountability happens.
“As I continue to fight for meaningful change with the recent George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and other measures to reimagine what public safety truly looks like, it is critical that we don’t wait until someone else is killed before changes are made at home.”