Video: Mich. chief says dash cam refutes brutality claim

Michael Sollitt Kinney was pursued in July 2013 for driving erratically — at one point nearly slamming into an oncoming vehicle before crashing


By PoliceOne Staff

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — Officials have released dash cam video that refutes claims a suspect was mistreated during a traffic stop, according to the department’s chief.

MLive reports 60-year-old Michael Sollitt Kinney was pursued by officers in July 2013 for driving erratically – at one point nearly slamming into an oncoming vehicle before crashing into a ditch.

Kinney was pulled out of his vehicle and placed into handcuffs as medical workers arrived at the scene. EMS discovered Kinney was having a diabetic episode. He was transported to a hospital by an officer shortly after.

In a lawsuit filed in April of this year, Kinney claims his face was shoved into the gravel and he was placed in a chokehold by police. The lawsuit also states he was not offered medical transport by an ambulance.

South Haven Police Chief Tom Martin said the patrol video shows Kinney’s claim "grossly misrepresents" what actually occurred during the stop. Kinney can be heard refusing transport by ambulance in the dash cam.

"The video shows that the officers acted in a professional manner at all times and that officers were acting under the color of the law and were compliant with all policies and procedures," Martin told MLive.

Kinney’s attorneys filed another suit last week following the release of the dash cam. They claim the South Haven Police Department wrongfully withheld the video from them for more than a year.  Both legal matters are ongoing. 

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