Police kicked out of court by judge in shooting suspect's hearing

- These days, officers want to stick together more than ever. That's why some members of Detroit police were very upset about what happened Wednesday in court.

Detroit police officer Jamarian Holloway was a victim of a crime last June. He was shot in the hand as he wrestled a gun away from a man who resisted arrest.

On Wednesday, it was time to head to court.

"My friends and family couldn't be here today, so I needed my brothers in blue to be here today," said Holloway.

"We do not know if the suspect may have individuals show up to do harm to our officer," said Cmdr. Elvin Barren. "It is physical support and then it is emotional support. I am the commanding officer of the Metropolitan Division what kind of boss or leader am I, not to show up when one of my officers was involved in a violent encounter."

About a dozen Detroit police officers filled the evidentiary hearing to show support for their fellow officer -- but it appears Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Craig Strong had a problem with that.

"He talked to each of the officers individually asked us who we were and why we were here," Barren said. "We all pretty much told him we were there to support the officer. He took exception to the word 'support' he kept asking what does the word support mean."

In the end, Judge Strong kicked all but three officers and Holloway out of his public courtroom.

"If this would have been any other individual who was there and he wanted his family or co-workers there, it wouldn't have been a problem. But because it is law enforcement I feel that was the rationale behind the judge dismissing us from his courtroom," said Barren.

After the hearing FOX 2 spoke to Judge Strong by phone. He said he didn't understand why the officers were there in the first place, especially since there was no jury or testimony.

He felt it was to intimidate him or influence his decision on whether to dismiss any of the charges against the suspect.

Judge Strong claims he allowed the off-duty officers to stay, but as far the brass and other on-duty officers - they were forced to leave. The judge questioned why they were there to offer support in court when they were being paid to be police officers.

The attorney for defendant Donald Simmons agreed.

"I just think the nuances of this matter like bringing in 10 to 12 officers in the court room was trying to intimidate the judge and it was not particularly a good move," said Simmons' attorney, Karri Mitchell.

In the end, the suspect pleaded guilty to resisting and obstructing police causing injury and felony firearm.

Barren believes their solidarity shouldn't make a difference.

"We have to follow the rules so I did leave the courtroom" he said. "But I'm definitely not happy with the way we were treated."

Officer Holloway was off the job for two months because of the gunshot wound to his hand. He is back to work now and doing fine.

As for the commander, he says what happened today will not stop his rank and file from supporting the thin blue line in court or anywhere else in the future.


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