Warrant returned for more info in Meijer beating by Detroit off-duty officer

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The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said it is returning a request to police for more investigation related to charges against an off-duty officer who beat an accused shoplifter at Meijer.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy said on Thursday that it had received a warrant request for the off-duty officer who was on video beating an accused shoplifter with a baton earlier this month. Worthy said that more evidence is needed and has sent the request back to police for further investigation.

Simultaneously, Worthy said that the man was beaten, David Bivins, will not be charged in the case. A warrant was requested by police after the incident, it was returned for further investigation and re-submitted last week. Worthy denied that request.

“We will not be charging Mr. Bivins with any crime whatsoever.  However, a  few days ago we received a warrant request on the officer involved in this incident. That matter will be returned for further investigation by the police."

Bivins was accused of shop-lifting at the Meijer on 8 Mile on October 8. Captured on both cell phone and surveillance video, off-duty police officer Lonnie Wade was working a second job as security for the store and accused Bivins of shoplifting, then an altercation ensued. 

Video showed Bivins being beaten by Wade with a baton in the altercation. Bivins suffered a cut lip and broken tooth as a result of the beating.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said on October 16 that there was no evidence of retail fraud. The suspect was arrested for disorderly conduct, and resisting and obstruction. Worthy rejected charges for resisting and obstruction but the disorderly conduct charges remained until Thursday.

Craig said on October 16 Bivins and his girlfriend entered the store with several shopping bags, making Wade suspicious. When the officer decided to detain the two, the woman became upset. Holding receipts in her hand, she explained they wanted refunds for items they were returning. He says Bivins was moving items from bag to bag to get organized.

Craig explained that in their work with Meijer, it is not up to the Detroit police officer working a second job there to initiate contact with someone as it relates to a potential threat. He emphasized that it was the officer's decision to detain - not Meijer security's.

"What should've happened is the officer should have waited for security to say we believe that that person engaged in retail fraud and then detained," Craig said. "That didn't happen. It was solely the officer's decision."

He added that the officer made no attempt to de-escalate the situation.

Bivins filed a lawsuit against Meijer and Detroit police for the wrongful arrest and beating.