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Thursday, November 12, 2009


Police tasers handcuffed man

Lansing cop suspended for Taser incident

Prosecutor concludes no criminal wrongdoing

Kevin Grasha 

Detroit Free Press

November 12, 2009


UPDATED 4 PM -- LANSING -- A Lansing police officer who Tasered a man after the man had been handcuffed and subdued has been suspended, officials said today.

Officer Ryan Smith -- a two-year veteran of the department who is assigned to the South Precinct – has been suspended without pay for two weeks for violating department policies and procedures, officials said.




Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley said the incident that led to the suspension occurred about 1 a.m. Aug. 16 in the 2400 block of North Wadsworth in Lansing after police responded to a call of a dispute between Rocky Allred, 43, of Lansing and a former girlfriend.

Alley said there was a scuffle between Allred and Smith prior to an arrest being made, and that Allred head butted Smith while Smith made an unsuccessful attempt to handcuff him. Smith attempted to use his Taser on Allred, but the weapon did not fire and Smith dropped the weapon. Two other officers were able to subdue and handcuff Allred, and which point Alley said Smith used his Taser on Allred, causing Allred to fall to the ground.

According to documents released from the Lansing Police Department, Allred suffered injuries to his face, including a broken jaw, a chipped tooth and eight stitches to his chin.

Allred was charged with assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, being loud and boisterous and breaking and entering with no forced entry. Those charges were later dismissed.

After an investigation by Michigan State Police, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed the incident and determined there was no criminal wrongdoing, the news release said.

The department’s Internal Affairs Unit investigated the incident and found that Smith “acted outside the (department’s) policies and procedures.”

The two-week suspension is the maximum penalty less than firing that may be issued to an officer, according to department policy.

In a statement released through the Lansing Police Department, Allred said, “I wish that incident would not have happened. However, it’s important that the public know that one bad incident with a police officer does not mean that all officers are bad.

"I feel real good about the way Chief Alley and the Lansing Police Department handled the entire investigation.”

In a statement, Police Chief Mark Alley said: “When an officer makes a poor choice on the level of force to be used, we will not hesitate to hold them accountable. Officer Smith’s poor decision in this matter is regrettable and certainly will not be tolerated by this agency.”

Alley said Smith was placed on paid administrative leave on Aug. 17 and remained on that status until today. Today, he was placed on his two-week unpaid suspension.

Alley said Smith will be allowed to rejoin the police force, but will have to undergo additional training on using a Taser.


Lansing police officer Ryan Smith


Lansing police officer Ryan Smith (Courtesy photo)

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