Westland police chief resigns after decades-old videos surface showing behavior as officer
WESTLAND, Mich. (FOX 2) - Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik resigned Wednesday after old videos surfaced showing him allegedly mistreating citizens before he was chief.
These videos from 1999, posted by an advocacy group, sparked an investigation and outcry from state leaders.
Jedrusik initially responded to the videos by saying they were more than 25 years old, and he could not recall his involvement in them. He called the behavior immature, adding that he had reached out to the city attorney and the deputy mayor.
In the videos, Jedrusik asks mostly intoxicated people to sing and perform tasks to get out going to jail.
"The sickest thing I think is to be taking advantage of the citizens of Westland in their most vulnerable time," said Trische Duckworth, with Survivors Speak. "We don't know what has happened off camera. We can only imagine if they film those acts, what acts did they commit off-camera that could be more egregious?"
Jedrusik said the videos were old, and no laws were broken, so an investigation is not needed.
He also accused his ex-wife of editing and releasing the videos while they go through post-divorce matters, which prevented him from commenting further.
"I realize the motive was to embarrass me. I apologize to the citizens of Westland, the individuals on the videos and the Department for my actions," he said in a statement released to media.
Sources told FOX 2 the videos were not released by the chief's ex-wife, and instead were posted by the Survivors Speak advocacy group.
On Tuesday, Michigan Reps. Dylan Wegela (D-Garden City) and Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) called for Jedrusik's termination or firing.
"It wasn't a victory for the people who were victimized by this rogue cop who abused his power," Coleman said.
Councilman Peter Herberg confirmed on Facebook the chief had left the department.
In an email to Westland Police Department employees Wednesday, Jedrusik announced his departure, saying that it was "not a reaction to the public criticisms, but a matter of timing."
He went on to write, "I have served this community for 28.5 years and have been the Chief of Police for nearly 11 years. I now feel that I have accomplished everything that I set out to do for this Department."
FOX 2 has reached out to the Westland mayor for comment.