Southfield Police Chief changes policy in response to George Floyd's death

Saturday afternoon during one of more than a dozen demonstrations across metro Detroit, Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said policy changes at the Department have been made in response to the death of George Floyd.

Barren tells Fox 2, officers who stand by while police misconduct is underway, will be held accountable.

 "The policy revision was made looking at best practices," Barren said. "The duty to intervene has been applied to the Southfield Police Department where if you're there, if you witness police misconduct and you fail to intervene, you will be held accountable just as if you're the one actually applying the abusive force."

Barren said he met with all the members of the Southfield Police Department and he says they understood the policy revision. 

"I'm proud of these men and women because no matter the race…no matter the race…. Everyone in this department is outraged by what they saw," he said. 

Floyd a 46-year-old black man, died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer's knee in Minneapolis. 

The now-former officer recorded on top of Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder. 

The 3 other officers who were present for the arrest have also been charged with aiding and abetting murder

"When you look at the images of Mr. George Floyd, the way he was senselessly murdered by members of the Minneapolis police department, we have to show the community that we do not stand for that type of police misconduct and that type of police criminality," Barren told Fox 2.

Barren said his department will continue to be a part of change while engaging with the community and promised to keep enhancing policies.

"If there's an incident, be patient, allow me to look at the video. Look at the evidence. Make a very quick determination of whether it was misconduct or whether it was a justified incident," Barren said. "When you give the community honest dialogue, you start to develop a system of trust. When you start to try to justify or spin, if you will, police misconduct that's when the community parts ways with the police department, and the trust is broken."

Saturday afternoon rallies, demonstrations, and protests included a very well attended march against police brutality in Macomb County. Demonstrators went down Hall Road in Sterling Heights near the Golden Corridor, marching east to Macomb Community College in Clinton Township. After the march, local community leaders held a rally. Officials say 5,000 people were in attendance.
Here's a list of other protests in metro Detroit Saturday afternoon.·     

  • Rochester Hills, 10 am, Rochester hills public library
  • Grosse Ile, 10 am, Corner of Macomb and Meridian
  • Novi, 11 am, Novi Police Headquarters
  • Madison Heights, 12 pm, Madison Heights City Hall
  • Bloomfield Hills, 12 pm, City of Bloomfield Hills, MI - City Hall
  • Romulus, 12 p.m. Corey Elementary parking lot
  • Southfield, 12 p.m., Hope United Methodist Church
  • Oak Park, 1 pm, corner of Coolidge and 9 Mile Road
  • Detroit, 1:15 pm, Dequindre Cut
  • Royal Oak, 2 pm, 211 S Williams St
  • Ypsilanti, 2 pm, Ypsilanti District Library
  • Waterford, 4 pm, Waterford Police Department
  • Ferndale, 4 pm, Ferndale Police Department
  • Detroit, 4 pm, Detroit Police Headquarters
  • Sterling Heights, 4:30 pm Hall Rd near the Golden Corridor