Detroit police officer who beat mentally ill woman on camera gets promoted

A controversial Detroit police officer is now being promoted to sergeant. The same officer, once caught on camera repeatedly punching a mentally ill woman.

It's a decision that has left the victim's family -- and members of the community -- outraged.

DPD Cpl. Dewayne Jones repeatedly punched a mentally ill woman. It happened at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 2018, and since then, Jones was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery - given probation, community service anger management classes.

Then, as of a couple days ago, he was given a promotion, to sergeant.

"He gets promoted as soon as possible and he get retroactive pay," said Willie Bell.

Bell, who sits on the board of police commissioners, says the board voted unanimously to reject his promotion in January. The Detroit Police Officers Association, or DPOA brought in an arbitrator, that just overturned the police board's decision. 

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"I was not shocked knowing the history of this arbitrator, arbitrators in general are in favor of the DPOA in terms of issues like this," Bell said.

Jones, who is still on probation, will get months of back pay too.

"Why are we turning around and promoting this person to the rank of sergeant," Bell said. "Nowhere in employment would he be allowed to be promoted but at the Detroit Police Department." 

A virtual protest was held Thursday for the victim - Sheldy Smith - who is currently undergoing psychiatric treatment. 

"She was mentally unbalanced, she was naked and she was not threat to him at all," Bell said. 

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Commissioner Bell met with the rest of the board by video conference. All agree, they're not done with this one. 

"We are saying to the community that the fight is not over," Bell promised. "Whatever we can legally do or morally can do, I think we need to take that stand."