East Lansing mayor promises transparency amid internal police investigation

Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The mayor of East Lansing spoke out after a man claimed police roughed him up during an arrest.

The East Lansing Police Department is conducting an internal investigation of that incident. Police are looking at surveillance camera and officer body cameras to figure out exactly what happened.

One man says he and a friend were wrongly arrested outside a 7-11 near Grand River Avenue.

“We were just walking to grab a drink, got accused of something we didn’t do,” Uwimana Gasito says. “And then all of a sudden we spent a night in a cell for something we didn’t do, and we’re getting charged with all this stuff we didn’t even know about.”

Police still have to tell their side, but that won’t happen until they finish an internal investigation.

Newly-elected mayor Ruth Beier says she looks forward to seeing those findings along with the rest of the East Lansing community.

“Our police do not want excessive use of force,” Beier says. “If that happened, they will do something about it. It will be public, and they will do something about it.”

With protests planned before the potential release of that footage, Beier says it’s important to let the facts come out.

“There will be transparency,” she says. “It won’t be very long, we’re not going to put this off. There will be 100 percent transparency and I wish people could wait before they make a judgement.”

Beier says the footage from that night was handed to a third party to make sure no one could edit or delete it. It’s a standard practice for the department, meant to hold everyone accountable.

“We’re doing a lot to make, to build trust in our police department, and will continue to do more.”

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