Detroit police officer charged in crash killing attorney has checkered driving record

A Detroit Police Officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of attorney Cliff Woodards, who was killed in February when the officer was responding to a call and ran through a red light.

Officer Teaira Iris Funderburg, 29, was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter and one count of willful neglect of duty for the February 8th death of Woodards as she was on duty. Manslaughter has a maximum penalty of 15 years behind bars.

"My name is Teaira Funderburg," she said, appearing in court via teleconference.

"The defendant has been charged with driving a motor vehicle while on duty as a police officer in a grossly negligent way," said the assistant prosecutor Kyle Heika. "neglecting her departmental duties while running a red light between 45 and 49 miles an hour, causing the death of Mr. Woodards."

Heika added that Officer Funderburg’s driving record is not clean.

"Ms. Funderburg’s driving record shows four speeding citations, one disregarding a stop sign citation, and four motor vehicle accidents - this being the fourth," he said. "One of those prior motor vehicle accidents was while on duty, running a red light. The crash was found by her superiors as avoidable.

"For these reasons ask for a bond with no driving a motor vehicle."

Funderburg is currently not working and is on disability - but her attorney said the wife and mother of three still needs to drive.

"I would ask that she still be allowed to drive to places that she needs to get," said Jill Schinske. "Like I said, she has been in counseling. She does have children that she has to assist with."

Detroit police officer Teaira Iris Funderburg.

Detroit police officer Teaira Iris Funderburg.

The judge did not restrict her driving but set the bond at $100,000/10 percent.

As the court case played out on Thursday those who knew the attorney reacted to the charges.

"It’s hollow, right? Because he's still gone," said attorney Lillian Diallo. "And it was so unnecessary."

Detroit police also weighed in.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the Woodard family," said DPD Interim Chief James White. "What they must be going through and to add that tragedy, it was a member of our department that was responsible for the act. We are going to let the judicial process play itself out."

White said he is making a recommendation to the board of police commissioners that she be suspended without pay.

Detroit Police Officer Teaira Funderburg

Detroit Police Officer Teaira Funderburg

Funderburg is set to be back in court in two weeks.