Thursday, July 2, 2020

Police officer fired following brutality probe

A Westland police officer has been fired following an internal department investigation including the review of body camera video of the violent arrest of an autistic man last January.
Officer Kristopher Landis was terminated by Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik when allegations of the beating of a man with developmental disabilities were validated by the body camera video. According to reports, Landis struck the man about the head multiple times with his retractable baton. The video shows the man with his face covered in blood during the altercation which took place Jan. 16 near the Woodcrest Apartment complex. The man reportedly suffered a severe injury to his eye during the arrest.

Police were dispatched to the area following a report of an armed robbery in progress at the nearby Westland Arby's restaurant. No firearm was recovered during the arrest, according to Jedrusik.
The man was apprehended apparently running from police near the apartment complex and body cameras show him surrounded by several Westland officers. In a prepared statement the city stated: “In accordance with Department policy, the Chief of Police placed that officer involved on administrative leave while an internal investigation was conducted. At the conclusion of that internal investigation it was determined that the officer used excessive force on the arrested suspect and that he did not adhere to Department policy or training. This officer's employment was terminated from the Westland Police Department. The Westland Police Department immediately contacted the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and advised them of the incident and that a criminal investigation would also taking place.”
Landis was previously arrested and charged for driving under the influence in March 2013. At that time he was working with the Farmington Hills Police Department. After hitting an unoccupied car in South Lyon while reportedly driving home from a shift, Landis' “speech was greatly slurred” and there was “a very strong odor of intoxicants on his breath,” according to police reports. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit of .08, reports stated. He joined the Westland Police Department in February of 2017.