Officer Stephenson with history of numerous bias complaints should not be reinstated.

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In the course of 2 years, one officer of the East Lansing Police Dept. has received 42% of all complaints.  This officer’s name is Andrew Stephenson, and he is white.  Of the 5 complaints made against him,  ALL were from Black or Hispanic men.  (Most ELPD officers have no complaints against them.) 

Two of the incidents involved excessive force against Black men, and they were made within 6 weeks of each other.  Both cases involved Officer Andrew Stephenson using a “technique” that resulted in both men sustaining injuries to their face, after being taken face-down to the cement by the officer. 

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior:  does someone have to die before ELPD strips this officer of his authority to use excessive force against men of color?  Michigan State Police did an investigation and exonerated  Officer Stephenson, saying  “the use of ‘physical controls’ by police were justified because of verbal and physical resistance and the ‘totality of circumstances’” .  We do not accept this.  (Members of the community are pushing EL City Council to create an Independed Police Oversight Commission. ) 

In one of the cases of excessive force, charges were dropped on the complainant.  In another, the case was transferred to Ingham County, and the City Attorney Tom Yeardon said he doesn’t know the status of that case.   

We are fortunate these men are still with us.  Help prevent future harm to Black and Brown men in this community by signing to terminate Officer Stephenson from East Lansing Police Depeartment.