Detroit police chief thinks sergeants were overcharged in Greektown Casino assault

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Nearly a year ago at the Greektown Casino a physical altercation happened between Detroit police and a group of four or five people. 

The encounter was caught on security video.  Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says it shows Sgt. Raytheon Martin hit a 26-year-old man in the back of the head. and punch him while he was on the ground. 

Sgt. Lacell Rue is accused of using a Taser on a man who the prosecutor said had his hands in the air. Both sergeants have been charged with felony misconduct and assault. 

"An unruly group of young men who appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant and it led to several officers using force," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "When I had a chance to look at the video, I can tell you I am troubled."

Troubled, but not in a way you may think. Craig says he saw something very different in the same video. 

"Right now it appears as though the officer was overcharged," he said.

| MORE: Two Detroit Police Sergeants charged in beating man at Greektown Casino parking garage

Craig says from what he saw the police were being provoked.  He's not surprised charges came against Sgt. Martin, "certainly one officer did initiate contact," he said.

He said he did not see it coming for Sgt. Rue.

"The incident had escalated to a point where to de-escalate it, appeared that a Taser deployment would be appropriate," Craig said.

FOX 2 did some digging and found Martin named in three lawsuits as a member of DPD. One was dismissed, another settled and the third is ongoing. 
In the case ongoing, it was Halloween 2012 at the Fillmore concert venue downtown. A concert goer, Anthony Jacobi, was outside having a cigarette and claims he wasn't allowed back in, prompting a call to police. 

According to court documents, Jacobi says Martin - then an officer - grabbed his wrist, pulled him away from the door, and hit five times in the head, giving him two black eyes, and needing eight stiches on his forehead. The lawsuit is still awaiting trial. 

Whatever the outcome of this latest case stemming from July 2018 in Greektown, Chief Craig says charges alone carry weight. 

"This has a direct impact on how officers do their jobs," he said.

Both sergeants are on paid leave pending the outcome of their criminal cases.