East Lansing City Manager requests use of force review by Ingham County Prosecutor

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas requested Ingham County Prosecutors to review video of an arrest that took place on December 28, 2019.

During the incident, police records said ELPD Officer Austin Nelson made a traffic stop in the area of Lake Lansing and Pryde Road after a vehicle turned out of the nearby Meijer without using a turn signal.

Police said the individual had an expired driver's license and the officer decided to arrest the individual for driving with the expired license. Police records indicate two other ELPD officers, Andy Stephenson and Evan Siemen, arrived on scene to assist with the arrest.

Police records said the individual was asked to step out of the vehicle, notifying him that he would be placed under arrest for the offense of Driving While Suspended. Police documents say the individual sat back into his vehicle and said, "Come and get me," and began honking the horn.

Police documents said the individual was then removed from his vehicle and after resisting, was taken to the ground to be placed in handcuffs. Police documents say the individual was then placed in the patrol car.

Police documents say the individual complained about the handcuffs being too tight a couple of times and when he was asked by Officer Stephenson if they needed to be adjusted he told them he "was fine, (and) they did not need to be adjusted."

According to police records, the individual said that he felt police didn't have the right to arrest him for a suspended license, but only to cite him. Police records said the individual also said the officers slammed him to the ground and then slammed his head into the ground three times after he was taken down.

This incident led to a complaint of the officer using excessive force in the arrest.

East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas issued this statement regarding the complaint.

"“The City of East Lansing has requested a use of force review from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office regarding a complaint of excessive force," said Lahanas. "The City was notified this week by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office that they did not perform a video review of the use of force during an arrest made by ELPD last December, which resulted in a subsequent complaint of excessive force. It was the City's understanding that this was a regular part of their review for charges. ELPD requested a review of the use of force from the Michigan State Police (MSP) on March 13, 2020. That review found no excessive force, but MSP did note in support of their finding that the Ingham County Prosecutor's review resulted in the issuance of charges against the individual arrested and not the officer who had been the focus of the MSP review. As we have now learned that the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office did not do a video review of the arrest, we have requested that they complete a use of force review in this case.”

Video along with MSP reports and ELPD documents for the incident can be found

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