DETROIT (FOX 2) - A Detroit police sergeant who was suspended with pay for not responding to the shooting of two officers that resulted in the death of 16-year veteran Rasheen McClain last week was previously fired for cowardliness from the department but got his job back.
Chief James Craig announced the suspension of the 10-year veteran Monday evening, saying Sgt. Ronald Kidd allegedly was in the area and never responded to call of the officers down.
FOX 2 learned from sources that the Sergeant was fired from the Detroit Police Department for cowardliness when he was an officer in 2014. However, Kidd got his job back after he was suspended for 68 days without pay. Craig explained he entered a plea deal within the department and he was reinstated.
In that case, Kidd was in a cell block with his female partner as she was getting assaulted by a mentally ill person who had been arrested. Chief Crag said Kidd did nothing while the assault happened. He also said he walked away and never called for help.
Chief James Craig spoke at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. to discuss the shooting.
"The actions by Sgt. Ronald Kidd absolutely does not reflect the phenomenal work done by supervisors in this organization. I'm talking about the sergeants and lieutenants who are out in the field providing the type of leadership that we expect," Craig said.
Craig said at one point during the shooting, Kidd appeared to be in conversation with a newer officer, standing next to his cruiser when he saw four or five officers running in a certain direction.
"All (Kidd) could say was, 'they must know something that we don't know,'" Craig said. "And here is the part that causes me great concern: 'We should take cover.'"
Craig said he would expect his officers to follow the group to track down the suspect.
"It's appalling. I speak not just for myself but on behalf of every man and woman in this police department who are deeply troubled by what they know," Craig said.
Craig said there are three things that upset him most: "Cowardness, lying, and engaging in criminality."
Regarding the 2014 firing of Kidd, Craig said he was out of the job for 68 days, something Craig said he didn't sign, but someone did.
"I would not have wanted to agree to 68 days. Because that was a serious allegation and there are many in this organization who are aware of it, who remember this case," Craig said. "I hate to use the word forged because that constitutes a crime. I will just say someone signed my name, and it was not my signature."
"How do you stand by and watch someone, your partner, take a beating?" Craig wondered.
Following Kidd's reinstatement, he was later promoted from officer to sergeant. Craig explained that the department is able to skip some people from promotions but there is a point where officers have to be promoted to sergeant.
Craig said the body cameras the night McClain was killed have revealed a lot about what happened that night but he said the department would not be releasing the video at this point.
Craig said assist police chief James White saw the body cam video first and Craig said White was so angry, he got up and walked out of the room.
He said the department is discussing with the Wayne County Prosecutor regarding possible misdemeanor charges against Kidd.
The charge would be a neglect of duty, punishable by less than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
McClain and his partner Phillipe Batoum Bisse were called to a home off Wyoming near Chippewa to investigate a home invasion as they armed man broke into a house at 7:20 p.m. and wouldn't leave. Police say the suspected shooter was at the home looking for his teen girlfriend. Four officers went in to clear the house - that's when the man started shooting, fatally wounding McClain and wounding Bisse. Another cop on scene fired back hitting the shooter who was arrested a short time later.
DPD Officer Rasheen McClain
"A determination was made that Officer McClain did request a supervisor, and a supervisor was assigned," Craig said Monday. "As we did our investigation we determined that allegedly he did not go to the scene in the shootings that happened."
Craig said that he has watched video showing the sergeant not responding to the shooting - saying it is a "grave concern" to him and his department.
The man accused of killing McClain has not been charged and the warrant is being reviewed by the Wayne County prosecutor.
Craig would not reveal what the sergeant was doing at the time nor would he say if his appearance could have saved McClain's life.
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