Warren Police Commissioner 'will not be bullied' by deputy chief lawsuit

Image 1 of 3

Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer called a lawsuit filed against him and the city by the deputy commissioner alarming and invalid Thursday.

"When you are named individually in this kind of a lawsuit, it is just incredible," Dwyer said.

The lawsuit is by Deputy Commissioner Matthew Nichols, currently on unpaid leave pending the results of an excessive use of force investigation.

"Police officers are not above the law and if a crime was committed, they need to be subject to the same criminal investigation and prosecution that anyone else would be subject to."

The lawsuit stems from a retail fraud case. Dwyer says officers working under Nichols came forward after they saw Nichols assaulting a prisoner who they say, wasn't struggling or trying to escape. 

"Contrary to the lawsuit, Nichols was interviewed twice his side of the story," Dwyer said.

Dwyer says after reviewing surveillance footage he asked the Macomb County Sheriff to investigate whether or not Nichols used excessive force.

"Sheriff Wickersham concluded that Nichols should be criminally charged with one count of aggravated assault," said Dwyer,

But Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith did not authorize the charge. The investigation is now back in the hands of Warren police to handle internally.
"They won't let him come to work, he's been barred from the police department."

Dwyer anticipates the internal investigation to wrap up in about two weeks... then he says -- there will be a hearing to determine Nichols' punishment.

Nichols has been sued six times throughout his career with Warren PD. All of the suits claiming excessive force or racial profiling. And all were either settled or dismissed without prejudice.

But attorney for Nichols, Jim Akhtar asked Thursday what if Nichols is found not guilty? He says Dwyer appears to already have his mind made up.

Akhtar also accused Dwyer of lying while speaking to media Thursday stating Nichols's paid leave turned to unpaid four days before the sheriff's investigation. His photo was taken down and his name scraped off of the door.

"They won't let him come to work, he's been barred from the police department," Akhtar said.

Dwyer says he's simply following protocol.

"I will not be bullied. I will take whatever action is necessary," he said.