ROYAL OAK, Mich. (FOX 2) - The Royal Oak Police Department has apologized to a black man who was stopped for almost 20 minutes after a white woman called police saying he was 'looking suspiciously' at her.
Royal Oak Police said the department completed the internal review of the Tuesday incident that happened in front of Inn Season Cafe in Royal Oak and said that officers and supervisors did not handle the situation correctly.
The police chief and city manager released the statement, saying officers had no legal right to insist that Devin Myers provide his identification. In the statement, police said that the officer is a probationary officer and he made a mistake.
According to a Facebook live stream shot by Kimiko Adolph, Myers was stopped by police as he was walking down 4th Street Tuesday evening because a woman called police on him for looking at her. Adolph and Myers both said in the video that she called because he 'looked suspiciously' at her.
"On behalf of the police department, I would like to apologize to Mr. Myers for how he was treated. What should have been a very short encounter was extended when the officer involved insisted on getting Mr. Myers’ identification. The officer had no legal right to demand the identification and should have simply advised Mr. Myers why we were there and allowed him to go on his way. The officer involved is a new, probationary officer and he made a mistake. This officer will be provided with remedial training to address this issue."
However, it wasn't just the probationary officer or the second officer on scene who made mistakes, police said. After Myers asked for a supervisor, the responding leader did not handle the situation correctly, police said.
"The responding supervisor did not handle this situation in a manner I expect Royal Oak supervisors to conduct themselves. He did quickly advise Mr. Myers that he was free to go; however, he did not effectively look into the situation or allow those present the opportunity to express their concerns."
In the letter, police said the practice is "not acceptable", the supervisor has been disciplined, and every Royal Oak Police supervisor would receive additional training.
According to police, the caller said she was uncomfortable because a man was circling her car, staring at her from across the street, and possibly taking pictures of her and her son.
All told, Myers was detained for about 19 minutes by Royal Oak Police and a supervisor arrived 17 minutes into the encounter and advised he was free to go after two minutes.
"This is an unfortunate incident where the ROPD did not live up to our own standards. Corrective action has been taken and we will continue to hold all members of the ROPD to the highest standards."