Detroit sued for $50M after grandfather's death following punch from Detroit police officer

The family of a 70-year-old retiree who died after he was punched by a Detroit cop and hit his head on the pavement in 2023 has sued the city for $50 million.

A civil suit filed by the Vance family Thursday sought to find some sense of closure after his kids and grandkids lost a beloved family member. 

"We miss him a whole lot," said Andre Vance, talking about his dad Daryl. "The kids ask about him a lot and it's just very sad, it's very sad for us. Someone needs to be held accountable and take responsibility for killing my dad."

Daryl Vance used to work as a welder. He also survived cancer and was a grandfather who loved to bowl. 

Last year on Sept. 1, he was at Garden Bowl in Detroit having a drink when he allegedly became disorderly, prompting police to be called. Security footage shows an apparent argument before then-Detroit Police officer Juwan Brown is seen punching Daryl in the head. 

He crashes to the ground and was left there for 20 minutes. His nephew Nathaniel Banks said they didn't give him CPR.

"The doctor was telling me he was in the hospital hurt and a cop hit him," Banks said at a press conference, describing the moment he learned about Daryl. He died 20 days later. 

The Fieger law firm is now suing Brown and the city of Detroit. James Harrington, who is leading the case for the family called it a "a horrific display of police brutality."

"Our intent and our goal is to get to a jury trial as fast as possible. I don't think the issues are complicated, they're very simple and it's a 100% clear excessive force case - one of the clearest cases I've seen in the near 25 years that I've been here at the Fieger firm," said Harrington.

The city has not said anything about the case, only offering that they don't comment on pending litigation. 

A criminal case was also presented against the former officer. Manslaughter charges brought by the Wayne County Prosecutor were dismissed. Kym Worthy's office has since filed an appeal.

Brown was fired from the Detroit Police Department. He appealed his termination to arbitration.


Ex-Detroit police officer charged with manslaughter after striking 70-year-old man

A verbal altercation between Daryl Vance and Officer Juwan Marquise-Alexander Brown escalated to the victim being punched in the face, causing him to collapse and hit his head on the pavement. He later died from his injuries.