Detroit Police Officer suspended for punching man in Greektown

The Detroit Police Officer who punched a man in the face in Greektown last weekend has been suspended while the department's internal investigation is conducted.

According to a spokesperson with the Detroit Police Department, the officer was suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. There is no timeline for long the police officer will be on suspension. 

"I have exercised my authority to suspend the officer in question, pending the conclusion of this investigation. That suspension took place last night," White said. "This incident is unacceptable and it gives me great concern."

White made the statements during a meeting with the Police Board of Commissioners on Thursday.

"I do not see a threat at the point the officer encounters the subject the second time," he said.

The unnamed officer had previously been placed on desk duty after the video surfaced Sunday that showed him punching a man in the face in Greektown, laying him out in the middle of the street.

The video, posted on Reddit this weekend, shows the man walking backward as two police officers are giving him commands. Then the punch knocks him out.

"Y'all ain't got to do that dog!" yells somebody as the man falls down.

The man who was punched doesn't appear to react when officers try to lift him up. He eventually wakes up and begins shaking his hand at the police. Pedestrians then help him up as officers leave the scene.

That prompted an internal investigation by the police department. 

Interim Detroit Police Chief James White said on Monday that an internal investigation was being done and he has concerns after seeing the video.

"I have some serious concerns as to how that was handled. We've come to expect our officers to deescalate situations. I did not see de-escalation there, I didn’t see our training there," White said. "If there is a violation, we are going to hold the officers accountable and we are going to be transparent about it to the community."

Officers had been trying to get the man away from a separate brawl. When he wouldn't, it escalated and it eventually ended with him being laid out by the officer.