A reprimand has been issued against a Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer who was accused of grabbing a man by the throat as he approached.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says on Tuesday that they began reviewing the July 10 incident involving Sgt. Derrick Turner and Deonte Churchwell before a complaint was officially filed by Churchwell’s father, and as well the office went over available bodycam and dashcam footage with community groups like the NAACP during the course of the investigation. Sgt. Turner was then issued a written reprimand for violating the KDPS’ Use of Force policy by using “a subject control method not taught or recommended”.

Sgt. Turner had approached two subjects July 10 after they were seen with an open bottle of alcohol, and subsequently one of the men, Antonio Churchwell, was arrested; after his arrest he was found to have suspected crack cocaine on his person.

Body cam footage shows Antonio’s brother Deonte approaching officers in a manner described by police as “aggressive”, at which point Sgt. Turner grabbed Churchwell around the throat with both hands before transitioning to a more standardized hold.

The incident can be seen in the following dash camera and body camera footage.


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