Officer Thomas Michael Joseph Jones was convicted of assaulting Officer Christopher Williams, who Jones chased down, shoved into a fence, and forcefully handcuffed at the department’s training center where about 100 plainclothes cops were in attendance to meet yearly training hours in 2019.
According to Williams, Jones saw him with a “large sum” of cash in the bathroom of the training center and suspected him of wrongdoing.
“He put my hand behind my back, pushed me into a fence, cuffed me, grabbed my pocket, and told me, you’re not supposed to have this large sum of money on you,” Williams said previously, describing the arrest, per the Atlanta Black Star.
Williams believed the arrest was a clear incident of racial profiling.
“For him to work the street, what would he do to my grandmother, to my mother,” Williams said. “I hope he wouldn’t put them in cuffs for having money on them.”
Detroit Police Chief James White, who was an assistant chief at the time, shut down allegations of racism, saying Jones’ actions weren’t unreasonable if he believed Williams was committing a crime.
“To say there is a racial component, I’ve got someone in the bathroom with a very large sum of money on him and inquiries being made as to where did you get the money? It’s not unreasonable to me,” White said previously.
The chief later said that he had received inaccurate information about the incident, prompting the department to send the case to Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, which charged, tried, and ultimately got a jury to convict Jones.
Though Officer Jones has been off the streets since 2019, he’s still on the job, according to Fox 2.
When asked by reporters if Jones should still be a Detroit cop, Williams said: “No, he’s going to do it again. One hundred and 10 percent.”
As Jones’ sentencing looms, a civil suit against the officer and the city of Detroit is still pending.
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