Activists call for Eastpointe boycott 1 year after police brutality claim
EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WJBK) - A man beaten by Eastpointe police while strapped to a chair - the incident captured on surveillance video inside the police station.
FOX 2 first showed that video one year ago, prompting a federal investigation but the alleged victim, Frankie Taylor, and his attorney say nothing's been done.
These allegations of police brutality are not new, but a year after that video went viral - the case is not resolved either.
On Monday Frankie Taylor protested outside the Eastpointe Police Department, the place where he says he was restrained and beaten until he was unconscious after being arrested for drunk driving.
The video came to light last December but the incident happened in August of 2015 when Taylor was pulled over for driving drunk. Taylor was shown on video being uncooperative and later falling to the ground before being restrained.
Police say once restrained, Taylor was trying to bite them and spit on them. But his supporters say police had no right to assault him, fracturing his face - further injuring his eye -- which was already damaged from a pre-existing condition.
"I've been living with this, I've had these horrible nightmares, I've got people that are standing up behind me," Taylor said. "I am ready to stand up. It took me two years to do what I am doing right now, to build up the courage to stand up for not just me, but for everybody who has had police brutality done to them."
"I'm asking that chief fire these cops, put them on administrative leave pending an investigation," said Pastor W.J. Rideout. "It has been over a year. It's time for action."
Last year activist pastors called for a travel ban for African-Americans in Eastpointe - they met with the chief and city leaders but say nothing has changed. Now they're encouraging people not to shop there.
Taylor's attorney says he's now forced to take the case already in federal court - to trial.
"They don't want to take responsibility so we'll have a jury," said Jim Rasor, Taylor's attorney. "A jury will make them take responsibility for their actions. They still remain on the force, there is not repercussions for them, they have not been suspended, there has not been an internal investigation, that is what we've learned. It's outrageous."
Eastpointe police would not comment on the court case or on disciplinary action, but say there has been an internal investigation. And the department conducts training in cultural diversity and de-escalation of force every year.
"The officers acted within policy," said Deputy Chief Eric Keiser, Eastpointe police. "The Eastpointe Police Department is not racist, we don't advocate being racist, we treat everybody fairly with courtesy and respect."
The FBI has also conducted an investigation and forwarded the case to the U.S. attorney - their findings are not yet known.