Less than ten days into the month of March, a Detroit police officer was arraigned this Friday with charges of sexual assault against a woman who made a 911 call last year—this is the latest in a set of charges against Detroit police this month. The first instance involved female Officer Dana Bond, 41. While already suspended without pay for allegedly stealing food and wine from various stores in the city, Bond drove intoxicated on Sunday, March 2. She was in an accident, which caused personal injury and property damage. Bond left the accident site and because of this is facing “misdemeanor charges” of high blood-alcohol content and fleeing the scene.
The second incident involved 47-year-old Johnny Ray Bridges, a police officer who got into an argument with a woman while off duty earlier this month. Reportedly under the influence of alcohol, Bridges fired a handgun into the air during the argument, then punched and kicked the woman in the face and body. His charges include assault and intent to do bodily harm, unlawful imprisonment, unlawfully discharging a firearm and domestic violence.
The latest incident involves Police Officer Deon Nunlee, aged 40. Nunlee and his partner responded to a 911 call in the month of October last year. A Detroit woman claimed her boyfriend had sexually assaulted her. While there, the officers broke protocol and were separated from each other long enough to allow Officer Nunlee to assault the female victim who had made the call. When the woman informed police the following day of the sexual assault perpetrated against her by Nunlee, who has been with the department since 2008, he was immediately placed on administrative duties. The officer’s latest charges follow former minor misconducts on his record. Nunlee swas suspended without pay when the rape kit came back positive with his DNA. The charges of sexual assault against Nunlee are just the latest filed against a Detroit police officer this month.
Police Chief James Craig gave a news conference in which he stated that this behavior is not representative of the behavior of the majority of men and women in the Detroit Police Department. He defended the actions of Nunlee’s partner, saying that sometimes in domestic violence cases the victim and the alleged abuser are kept apart by the two officers present. He emphasized, however, that although being out of the line of sight of one’s partner for any length of time is not an infraction, it does go against Detroit police training. He stressed that while the two people in the residence may be kept apart from one another, officers, for their own safety, should be able to see each other at all times, as they are very vulnerable without their partner to back them up in the case of potential violence. In this case it was the female caller who was vulnerable to Nunlee being out of his partner’s sight.
Craig, Chief of the Detroit Police for less than a year, told reporters he takes all allegations made against officers in his department very seriously. Craig had previously been Chief of Police in Cincinnati for two years, putting his combined years of experience as a police chief at under three years, total. One wonders how he will handle any further allegations made against individuals in the Detroit Police Department after this month’s latest charges of drunk driving, domestic violence and sexual assault by three police.
By Julie Mahfood
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