By Metyia Phillips
YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, MI – A police officer here was caught on camera punching an unarmed black woman, and a Washtenaw County District Attorney candidate is speaking out against it, and suggesting the prosecutor may be biased in favor of the police.
On May 26, as people were protesting the death of George Floyd, yet another victim of police brutality emerged here.
Police were called to the scene because there were reports of a shooting. When officers arrived, they formed a perimeter circle in an attempt to keep the masses away from the potential shooter.
However, Sha’Teiny Grady was recording with her phone, and officers told her to step back and stop recording. Although she did what she was asked, an officer still charged her and punched her in the face multiple times.
In the wake of this incident on May 27, Washtenaw County District Attorney candidate Eli Savit went to the No JUSTICE, No PEACE protest to speak out about police brutality and called for a special prosecutor on the case.
Savit started off by saying, “What happened shows a deeper problem within our country.” He acknowledged that the problem is very deep and longstanding, but he also explained that he hopes to work to fix this problem if he becomes the District Attorney of Washtenaw County.
He also talked about how “70 percent of people in our detention centers are black, but black people only make up 12 percent of the population.” That moved him to his next statistic: “In Washtenaw County you are 8.5 times more likely to sit in jail due to past bail than a white person and that’s higher than any other county in Michigan.”
After those two stunning revelations, he promised to fight for justice and equality on behalf of the black community in Washtenaw County.
Savit admitted that the police were there because there were reports of gunfire, but there was “no acceptable reason” to tackle Sha’Teiny Grady to the ground and punch her repeatedly. He also noted she was unarmed and was only recording the interaction on her phone.
The current prosecutor dealing with this case has a history of partiality in police brutality cases, so the attorney general should take over this case, said Savit.
“There’s a law in Michigan that if an impartiality can be reasonably questioned, they should ask for the appointment of a special prosecutor from the attorney general,” Savit explained.
Since the impartiality of the current prosecutor can be questioned, Savit argued the attorney general needs to get involved.
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