The Lansing State Journal recently reported on a case that ended with felony charges being dropped against a man who had filed an excessive force complaint against the East Lansing police officer who arrested him. It was back in December when the arrest was made. The news source says Officer Andrew Stephenson pulled over Anthony Loggins Jr., 62 after he failed to use his turn signal.
The source says that it wasn’t long after the traffic stop was initiated that officers had thrown Loggins to the ground and pinned him down. Officer Stephenson allegedly then kneeled on Loggins’ neck similar to how former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck. The 62-year-old was later charged with resisting and obstructing arrest but did not ignore the excessive force that was applied during the incident.
Instead, Loggins decided to file an excessive force complaint with the department. Sometime after the complaint was filed, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office decided to drop the felony charges that had been filed against Loggins. The news source says Loggins is the second man this year to have criminal charges against him dropped after a use of force complaint was filed against Officer Stephenson.
Apparently, Stephenson has had six citizen complaints filed against him since January 2016 for “excessive force, improper traffic stops, improper detention, and racial bias.”
Prosecuting Attorney Claims the Use of Force Complaint was Not Initially Given to Her Office to Review
Prosecuting attorney Carol Siemon says that when the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office first received Loggins’ case to review, the use of force complaint was not included in it. She also says her office was not given videos from the dash camera or body-worn cameras. Siemon says the attorney who was assigned to Loggins’ case authorized the charges using only the police report that was provided. However, after Siemon learned more about the case and reviewed the police report, her office then requested the videos.
After Siemon’s office received the video footage, she then requested that the original attorney re-review the case with the new information they were provided. It was after this that the prosecuting attorney and her colleagues, “mutually agreed that had [their] office had all the information for the December event at the time the case was received, [they] would have not authorized [the charges].”
The court records cite that the charges that were initially filed against Loggins were dropped out of the “best interest of justice.”
Uwimana Gasito also had his charges dropped after suffered injuries after getting into an altercation with the same East Lansing police officer back in February. Like Loggins, Gasito also filed an excessive force complaint with the department after the officer used the same “head stabilization” technique that was used on Loggins. After the complaint was filed, the source says a judge signed paperwork in March to drop all criminal charges that had been filed against him.
Although State Police suggest that Stephenson’s actions were “appropriate,” the department says it plans to retrain all officers on the use of the “head stabilization” technique.
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If you think an officer of the law violated your rights while arresting you and wish to fight your charges, you are going to need to retain an East Lansing criminal defense lawyer to help you do this. While it might be clear to you that you didn’t break a law or that the arresting officer violated your Constitutional rights, you are going to have to prove this to court if you want your charges to be dismissed or reduced to a lesser degree.
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East Lansing, MI criminal defense attorney Stuart R. Shafer has over 40 years of legal experience and the skill it takes to get criminal charges reduced or thrown out. Proving an officer of the law wrongfully arrested you or violated your rights can sometimes be difficult as it is your word against theirs. However, when you have someone like attorney Stuart R. Shafer defending you, you stand a chance at obtaining a favorable outcome.
If you would like to learn more about how our East Lansing, Michigan criminal defense law firm can help you during this difficult time, contact us at 517-487-6603. The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. not only offers legal services to those in East Lansing but also to individuals who were charged with a crime in Lansing, Okemos, DeWitt, St. Johns, Grand Ledge, and Charlotte.
You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906