Southfield Police say excessive force allegations are false after Facebook post
SOUTHFIELD, Michigan (FOX 2) – The Southfield Police Department responded to the allegations of excessive force after a police check last week. A video posted on social media claimed that a man was arrested by police, torn from his truck and then sprayed with pepper. But on Monday, the police released their own video.
A Facebook post posted last week by user TJ Monroe has been shared hundreds of times. He claims he was thrown to the ground and sprayed with pepper when traffic stopped on Southfield Road near 12 Mile.
When Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren spoke on Monday, he posted a body camera video that showed Monroe being handcuffed for a short time. But Barren said there was no pepper spray.
“He wasn’t pepper sprayed – in fact, Southfield Police Department, we’re not even equipped for pepper spray,” Barren said.
It all started with a call to 911. The appellant said his car was stolen and saw it driving north on Southfield Road.
This call to the police led them to the Dodge Durango they believed was stolen. It was parked behind a spot off Southfield, near 12 Mile.
The driver had a gun in the cup holder, which he told the police about, and then they ordered him out of the car.
For 30 seconds, Monroe was handcuffed to the ground while maintaining his innocence.
“My gun is right there. It’s taped. All my papers are in the car. I didn’t steal a fucking truck, man,” he said in the video released by Southfield Police.
Monroe calms down and the agents check her papers. During this time, no pepper spray was deployed.
Then the police give him advice on how to protect his new SUV.
“Make sure you have stuff for your ride because people take it like crazy,” said an officer from Southfield.
The arrest and the handcuffs were a mistake and not a stolen car, police told him. And the video even ended cordially.
“We’ve had so many of these vehicles stolen with guns inside that unfortunately we have to deal with it that way,” he said. “Alright man, take it easy. Be safe. He’s a dangerous man of the world.”
Barren said Monday he understood Monroe was upset with the detention because he was innocent, but said he wanted to end the case before the story was misinterpreted.
“I understand that Mr. Monroe is upset, but the answer cannot be to wrongly accuse the Southfield Police Department of misconduct,” Barren said.
Barren is warning everyone not to believe what they see in a short video posted online.
We spoke to Monroe on the phone and explained the body camera footage. He maintained his claim of being pepper sprayed and promised that he himself had a video he would provide. At 5 p.m., he didn’t.