A Michigan police department apologized to a black man after a white woman called the police and accused the man of looking at her “suspiciously” and taking photos of her and her son.
In a now-viral video shared to Facebook, an onlooker filmed two white officers on Tuesday approaching the man, Devin Myers, in Royal Oak, Mich., and keeping him on the sidewalk outside of a local restaurant, the Inn Season, Tuesday.
The man was stopped by police for more than 20 minutes as he was walking into the restaurant, according to a statement from Royal Oak Police Department Chief Corrigan O’Donohue. Officers demanded to see his identification, and Myers requested that a supervisor come to the scene. The supervisor continued to detain Myers, although he was not handcuffed or arrested.
The restaurant’s manager, Erin Frey, told the Detroit Free Press the man was questioned for almost an hour. She said the man was trying to find a parking spot and waited for the white woman to pull out of her parking space. When she did not drive away, he pulled away to find another spot.
Frey also said the man’s girlfriend was already waiting inside the restaurant when he was stopped.
The department launched an investigation following the incident and concluded it on Thursday, finding that “what should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer-involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers’ identification,” according to a statement from the department.
“On behalf of the police department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Myers for how he was treated,” O’Donohue said in the statement.
“The officer had no legal right to demand the identification and should have simply advised Mr. Myers why we were there and allowed him to go on his way,” the statement continued.
It explained that the officer was “a new, probationary officer,” who “made a mistake” and “will be provided with remedial training.” O’Donohue also said the supervising officer who arrived at the scene “did not effectively look into the situation or allow those present the opportunity to express their concerns.”
“This is not the practice of the Royal Oak Police Department and it is not acceptable. The supervisor has been disciplined and every Royal Oak police supervisor has received additional training in procedural justice,” the statement said.