DETROIT (FOX 2) - Officials and members of the community are debating whether a Detroit police officer caught on camera punching a patient at Detroit Receiving Hospital and facing charges should be paid while preparing for trial.
Caught on camera, video showed an incident where a Detroit police corporal pummeled a naked, mentally ill woman inside Detroit Receiving Hospital after she bit and spit on hospital staff and officers.
Dewayne Jones, who spent 18 years with DPD, is now charged with assault and misconduct in office. Detroit Police Chief James Craig asked that he be suspended without pay.
"It just doesn't make sense for him to be on the job while he's in the midst of being prosecuted," said Reverend Charles Williams with National Action Network. "They don't deserve to be receiving a paycheck from the citizens of the city of Detroit."
But in early December, the board of police commissioners voted down the chief's request, despite a number of objections.
"What we saw in this video should not have happened here in the city of Detroit or anywhere else in America. Our citizens deserve better," said Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton.
Burton didn't vote but disagrees with the commission's decision. He said he wants this issue revisited and wants more time to investigate.
"It bothers me dearly because it's our responsibility to protect the community and keep citizens safe," he said. "We let the community down. She did not deserve a beat down by Detroit police, she deserved treatment."
"I think in this particular incident we got it wrong and I want to say it loud and clear. We are not happy with it. I'm not happy with it," said Willie Bell, chair of the Board of Police Commissioners.
Bell, a former police officer himself, said Jones should be suspended without pay but numerous officers told the board that Dewayne Jones did the right thing.
"The whole incident with this woman biting the hospital personnel, he used hard hands. It's what everybody else here would have done and it's what I would have done," DPD Lt. Lori Pierce said.
The question now is what will a jury do as Jones prepares for court and remains suspended with pay.
"We will move forward with our internal investigation, and then there's the prosecutors, who have made a decision to charge so now it will be in the hands of the courts," said Chief Craig.