TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union asked the federal government Thursday to investigate the use of force by a suburban Detroit police department, especially incidents involving Black people.
Officers in Taylor have injured people and created an "atmosphere of fear and intimidation" among residents and visitors, the ACLU said in a 14-page letter to the civil rights section of the U.S. Justice Department.
The ACLU referred to 20 instances of alleged or documented excessive force.
In August, a white Taylor officer was charged with assaulting a Black driver in 2020 by punching him in the face through an open window while holding a gun in his other hand. The driver had stopped while being pursued for a domestic disturbance. The case against the officer is pending.
“We aren’t after blood,” said Mark Fancher, an attorney who specializes in racial justice at the ACLU in Detroit. “We’re after a police department that’s responsible and which treats the residents of the community and visitors to that community in a manner that respects their civil and human rights.”
The City of Taylor issued a statement saying it “has been made aware of the complaint filed by the ACLU and will cooperate as requested by the Department of Justice as we always do. The City takes all matters of public concern seriously, especially any alleged improper police conduct.”
Taylor has a population of 63,000.
Council member Butch Ramik, a retired Taylor officer, said he has raised his own concerns about excessive force.
“Anybody has a right to come in and investigate something. If things aren’t getting fixed, then somebody has to do it," Ramik told The Detroit News.