DPD sergeant gets new trial in beating of mentally ill woman caught on camera
DETROIT (FOX 2) - A Detroit police officer who was convicted for beating a mentally ill woman yet received probation - and later got promoted, is getting a new trial.
"I think the right thing can be done this time," said Ashley Smith. "I think that Detroiters have seen enough for themselves."
Smith is the sister of Sheldy, the nude unarmed woman with mental illness seen in a viral video beaten by Detroit Police Sgt. Dewayne Jones at Detroit Receiving Hospital in 2018.
Smith is not happy Jones has another trial, which led to protesters outside the 36th District Court Tuesday. Her sister spoke of the lasting effects the beating inflicted on her.
"She can't go to sleep at night, she still has an actual physical indentation into her forehead from the punches," Smith said. "She still has headaches. So she is reminded of this all the time."
Smith joins the call of these demonstrators for Jones to be removed from the police force.
They say Jones, who was convicted of misdemeanor assault and battery and sentenced to probation along with anger management and community service, should not be in the DPD ranks - and should not have been promoted from corporal to sergeant, which happened a short time afterward.
Jones was granted a new trial after a judge said he did not get proper legal representation as part of his defense the last time around.
"We have a case where we have a person who at least at one time was convicted of a violent crime, who has a badge and a gun, (and) police authority on the streets of Detroit," said activist Scotty Boman. "We don’t think that’s acceptable."
"That officer, he had many other recourses other than to body slam that woman and beat her like a man. And this is the perception from the streets," said activist Tyrone Allen.
His defense team previously said Jones followed the right protocols for handling a person who was a threat to the public, calling the woman in the video clearly violent.
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Witnesses said she was biting and spitting during the incident.
Meanwhile, demonstrators are also taking aim at the Detroit Police Board of Commissioners calling for reform, as it relates to use of force.
FOX 2 was unable to reach the new legal team for Sgt Jones tonight. Members of the Board of Commissioners say they have a subcommittee meeting on the subject of updating the use of force policy for next month.
At left, video still of Dewayne Jones beating a mentally ill woman at Detroit Receiving Hospital. At right, his mugshot.