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Michigan police apologize to black man stopped after white woman claimed he was staring at her

Posted: 7:47 AM, Aug 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 12:26:57-04
Michigan police apologize to black man stopped after white woman claimed he was staring at her

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — A Michigan police department apologized Thursday for questioning a black man after a white woman allegedly said he was staring "suspiciously" at her.

A video captured by a witness on Facebook Live Wednesday shows four officers surrounding Myers after the witness claims a white woman called police on him because he looked suspicious.

The man, Devin Myers, says he was waiting for a friend in his car outside the Inn Seasons Cafe when a woman called police on him. He wasn't arrested but did say he was humiliated over the incident.

"I never would have thought racism was amongst the urban city. I have tons of white neighbors, and they all like me. So, I never paid racism too much attention," he said.

Myers even apologized to officers for the inconvenience.

On Thursday, Royal Oak Police issued a statement apologizing to Myers for the way he was treated.

"What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers' identification. 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," police said in a statement, in part.

According to police, the officer is a new probationary officer and made a mistake. Police also said he will be provided with remedial training to address the issue.

Police also said the responding supervisor was disciplined, and every supervisor on staff has received additional training.

"This is an unfortunate incident where the ROPD did not live up to our own standards. Corrective action has been taken and we will continue to hold all members of the ROPD to the highest standards," the statement read.

Read the department's entire statement below:

The Royal Oak Police Department has completed our internal investigation into the August 13 incident involving an African American man and the Royal Oak police.

On behalf of the police department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Myers for how he was treated. What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers' identification. 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 officer involved is a new, probationary officer and he made a mistake. This officer will be provided with remedial training to address this issue.

Early in this encounter, Mr. Myers requested a supervisor make the scene. Although the first officer did not call for a supervisor, the second officer on scene did.

The responding supervisor did not handle this situation in a manner I expect Royal Oak supervisors to conduct themselves. He did quickly advise Mr. Myers that he was free to go; however, he 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.

This incident stemmed from a 911 call in which the caller reported she was uncomfortable because a male subject was circling her vehicle, staring at her from across the street, and was possibly taking pictures of her and her son. In total, Mr. Myers was verbally detained for approximately 19 minutes. A supervisor was called to the scene, per Mr. Myers request, about 6 minutes into the encounter and the supervisor arrived approximately 11 minutes later (17 minutes into the encounter). Mr. Myers was advised he was free to go 2 minutes after that.

This is an unfortunate incident where the ROPD did not live up to our own standards.

Corrective action has been taken and we will continue to hold all members of the ROPD to the highest standards.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.