Off-duty officer arrested outside Detroit bar facing felony charges

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A Detroit police officer has been charged after an alleged violent incident with his girlfriend while he was off duty over the weekend. 

Willie Fortner, 25, is accused of beating his girlfriend, and pulling out his gun as witnesses tried to step in and help. 

The alleged incident happened around 2 a.m. in downtown Detroit when the bars were letting out. We're told the officer and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument in a business at Fort and Beaubien in Greektown, and that argument escalated when they took things outside.

Fortner, who's been with the force for two years, has been in jail since. He was arraigned on charges on Monday. 

He's been charged with two counts of Felonious Assault, two counts of Felony Firearm, and one count of misdemeanor Domestic Violence.

Cameras caught some of the alleged incident on tape, so police are reviewing that as part of the investigation. They have not released the footage. 

Prosecutors allege two men saw Fortner assaulting his 22-year-old girlfriend and intervened to protect her. It's alleged Fortner then got into a verbal fight with the men, went to the trunk of his car and got out a handgun and pointed it them, causing them to run for cover. 

Detroit Police say both an internal and a criminal investigation have been launched. 

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said there was a belief he may have been under the influence of alcohol but that has not been confirmed. He has been suspended with pay but DPD is requesting a suspension without pay at the next police commission board meeting, he said.

"I applaud the citizens that saw the dispute apparently what they saw was problematic and then the officer made the bad decision to arm himself allegedly," he said.

Craig said as of 2018, DPD has had seven officers charged and alcohol was involved in four of those cases.

"The majority of the officers that get in trouble - it usually happens off duty," he said.