Wednesday, December 8, 2021

ELPD officer's attorney urges prosecutors to make swift decision in use of force incident

June 18, 2020
<p>The East Lansing Police Department is pictured on July 6, 2017.</p>

The East Lansing Police Department is pictured on July 6, 2017.

Photo by Jon Famurewa | The State News

Defense attorney Mike Nichols called for prosecutors to clear East Lansing Police Department Officer Andrew Stephenson of any potential charges in a Facebook post on June 16.

Stephenson has not been charged, and Nichols, his attorney, said he doesn't think Stephenson will be charged and would like a swift decision.

Most recently, Michigan State Police submitted a warrant request to Ingham County prosecutors asking for the review of Stephenson's actions during a December 2019 incident.

This request follows an investigation conducted by Michigan State Police into two use of force complaints against Stephenson. The investigation concluded last month with an exonerated disposition.

The December 2019 traffic stop involving Stephenson's interactions with Anthony Loggins was involved in the state police investigation.

Initially, Loggins was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer. However, these charges were issued based on the police report without notification that Loggins had submitted a use of force complaint.

Upon further review by the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office, the charges against Loggins were dismissed.

In terms of a review involving Stephenson by prosecutors, Ingham County prosecutors filed a petition with the attorney general's office to have a review conducted by a special prosecutor.

Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi confirmed the attorney general's office received this petition. A special prosecutor has not been appointed and the request is under review, according to Jarvi.

Nichols said Officer Stephenson was following the department's use of force training during the incident, according to the statement. Additionally, Nichols commented on the footage of the incident.

"Officer Stephenson followed his MCOLES and department training and briefly utilized a knee-press to stabilize him," Nichols said. "I counted for 18 seconds, at most, and as soon as the man was in handcuffs and compliant, the officer got up."

Specifically, Nichols said he wants East Lansing City Council to show Stephenson support.

According to the release, Stephenson has been with ELPD for more than nine years and is currently on assignment within the Detective Bureau.

In calling on East Lansing City Council to support Stephenson, Nichols said "this is not about police brutality — this is about a police officer who did his job and should go back to work," according to the statement.

Nichols said by going back to work, he means "lots of guys would rather be on the road and I think he’s among them."

East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier declined to comment.

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