DRACO, Oversight, Police Brutality, Police Commission

Statement from D.R.A.C.O. After the Trial of Dewayne B. Jones

On the afternoon of September 13th Defense Council Margaret S. Raben and Prosecuting attorney Joshua C. Holman delivered closing arguments, and the fate Sargent Dewayne Jones was placed in the hands of the Jury.

Jones is charged with the misdemeanor assault of patient and mother Sheldy R. Smith on August 1st 2022 at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Scotty Boman is the founder of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO). This is his statement on behalf of that group:

In the first days of the trial the court performed its due diligence in impaneling an impartial jury. The court limited arguments to avoid the introduction of opinions from civilians as to whether Jones’s use of force was reasonable. The defense made compelling arguments that Jones may have needed to use force during the encounter, however she failed to show that it was necessary, or legally reasonable, for Jones to punch Smith during critical moments. On Monday she even asked for a directed verdict.

The prosecuting attorney emphasized that, under law, force must be permissible at the time that the action occurred or the defendant’s behavior would be a battery. So the moments that mattered were the same moments captured by cell-phone videographer Ciara Morgen, who was in the waiting room when the beating started. Under law the force must be necessary for defensive purposes or for an officer to carry out his lawful duty.

At the time the Jones began punching Smith, she was being lifted up by another officer, the other officer had her restrained while Jones delivered a dozen punches. He continued punching her after hospital staff indicated they had her, including blows to the back of her head and back while she was turned away from him. While her words were offensive and disturbing, Ms. Smith never hit any of the people involved. She struggled to break free, but not to attack. Clearly, as the defense indicated, there was no credible claim to self-defense. During those moments, it was not necessary to strike her as she was being restrained. One officer even tried to pull Jones back from Sheldy.

Clearly, the people proved their case. Jones is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Felony misconduct charges should also be reinstated. But this case is bigger than one man or one woman. There is clearly a need for systemic change. The Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC), in consultation with the Detroit Police Department (DPD), needs to revise use of force policies to unambiguously limit “hard hand” or “closed hand” (BKA Punching) to circumstances where it is the most effective method and is necessary. The new contract between the DPD and the Detroit Police Officers Association must include language that recognizes the authority of the BOPC as described in the Detroit City Charter.”

Permission granted to reproduce, in whole or part, with attribution. Redaction of names (while retaining title) is recognized as reasonable editorial license and the statement may still be quoted.

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Office of Inspector General Finds BOPC in Violation of Detroit Charter

NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Scotty Boman, Founder
Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight
Phone: (313) 247-2052 [Voice Only]
Texting Phone: (313) 338-9769 [Text Only]
ScottyEducation@yahoo.com
Draco.Life

May 23rd, 2022

Office of Inspector General Finds BOPC in Violation of Detroit Charter

Detroit, MI – On Friday May 20th 2022 Detroit Inspector General Ellen Ha Replied to a complaint (attached) submitted by Scotty Boman, founder of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO). The attached response letter expresses agreement that the Board of Police Commissioners violated the charter in hiring the interim Secretary and Chief Investigators to serve for 2 additional years.

In the response, the Inspector general states:

Thank you for submitting your complaint to the Detroit Office of Inspector General (OIG). You alleged that the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) abused their authority by voting certain individuals in long-term interim positions in violation of the City of Detroit Charter. More specifically, you state that on January 13, 2022, the BOPC voted to appoint Melanie White as Interim Board Secretary and Lawrence Akbar as Interim Chief Investigator for a two-year term. However, both employees previously worked for the BOPC within the last 3 years which would make them ineligible for these positions based on the Charter.
The OIG investigation found that BOPC was made fully aware of the Charter violation and has been provided an opportunity to correct the violation by properly filling these positions in accordance with the Charter. Therefore, the OIG is closing our investigation at this time with no further action.

Boman commented, It is inexcusable for the Board of Police Commissioners to ignore their formative document. Without the Charter they aren’t police commissioners, and they have no oversight authority.” He went on to comment, “How can an organization claim the moral authority to hold law enforcement officers accountable, when they brazenly ignore the laws that apply to them?”

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Accountability for Dewayne Jones & Justice for Sheldy!

NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Scotty Boman, D.R.A.C.O. Founder (Event organizer)
Phone: (313) 247-2052 [Voice Only] Texting Phone: (313) 338-9769 [Text Only]
ScottyEducation@yahoo.comDraco.Life

Ashley Smith, victim’s sister
Phone:  (254) 290-7303
justice4sheldy@gmail.com

Lory Parks, National Action Network
Phone: (313) 492-6774

January 12th, 2021

Community Members: “Accountability for Dewayne Jones” & “Justice for Sheldy!”

When: 10:45 AM to 12:10 PM EDT. Wednesday January 12th.
Where: 36th District Court building 421 Madison Street. Detroit, MI 48226.
Why now? Dewayne Jones has a pretrial hearing at 11:00 AM

Detroit, MI – Members of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO), and others, will be holding a News conference, promptly at 10:45 AM this Wednesday, to express their displeasure with the injustice surrounding the August 2018 beating of hospital patient Sheldy Smith by then-Corporal Dewayne B. Jones. Community members will continue to picket outside the courthouse until after Noon.

Jones was convicted of assault and battery in connection with the beating, but received a promotion to the rank of Sergeant by the Detroit Police Department. His penalty for the assault was probation, but he could still be tried for a felony misconduct charge because it was dismissed without prejudice on January 15th 2019. Activists are calling on the Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to reintroduce those charges given the large amount of video evidence that surfaced, and the fact that Jones still had a badge and a gun while on probation.

On April 21st 2021 Jones was granted a new trial. On Wednesday January 12th Dewayne Jones will have a pre-trial hearing in the courtroom of Judge E. Lynise Bryant at 11:00 AM.  His new trial will be on February 22nd.

“Dewayne Jones was able to get a promotion in spite of being a convicted violent criminal. In spite of the conviction he wasn’t held accountable.  Now he is trying to be exonerated while his victim (Sheldy Smith) remains captive and isolated from her family.  This isn’t justice,” Said Boman. “The DPD contract is up for renewal.  It is essential that the Board of Police Commissioners make it a matter of policy that the DPD insists on a clause, in the new contract, barring usurpation of the BOPC’s authority to be the final word on promotions.”

The actual hearing may be virtual, but concerned community members will still meet and protest outside the 36th District Court building. Organizers feel it can be the symbolic location of the hearing, which is scheduled to be held in the “Court room” of Honorable E. Lynise Bryant on Wednesday, January 12th, 2021 at 11:00 AM. This is a “Pre-trial Hearing” for Case No. 1806106901. Dewayne Berran Jones. Assault and battery case. Anyone can look up the court schedule here: https://www.36thdistrictcourt.org/online-services/case-inquiry-schedule

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Statement on the Criminal “Promotion” of the Criminal Corporal

Honorable Board of Police Commissioners:

Fire Dewayne Jones, then we don’t need to dance around this promotion BS! Criminal charges are being appealed, but officers have been fired for much more benign conduct without a criminal conviction.

You must correct Grant Ha.  Jones has not been legally promoted and it is your duty to fire any insubordinate employee of the Department that facilitates this farce! Including anyone who calls him “Sargant.”

If you acknowledge a promotion while saying you are against it, you are lying.  You have the following avenues to pursue without Jones being promoted:

On April 16th Grant Ha restated the same information he first shared on April 9th and that he still didn’t have the official document from the arbitrator. At their April 9th meeting Ha announced the decision by appointed arbitrator George Roumell to promote Jones to the rank of Sergeant. Roumell sent the message to Ha by email.

Even if you believe Roumell is more powerful than the Charter, his ruling isn’t effective without the official letter. Virus or no virus, you are not required to accept the email as an effective document and there is no way the virus prevents a person from producing said document.

On January 16th the BOPC voted unanimously to reject the promotion. Section 7-814 of the Detroit City Charter says all promotions must be approved by the BOPC.  Simply assert your authority under the Charter. Don’t recognize userpations.

Section 7-807 says, “Decisions of the trial board may be appealed to the board of police commissioners.”   If they delegate their decision to an arbitrator, it is still an appealable decision.

Sincerely,
Scotty Boman
Founder
Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight

DRACO, Event, Events, News Release, Oversight, Police Brutality, Police Commission

D.R.A.C.O. Organizes #Virtual Protest Against Promoting Violent Detroit Police Corporal

News advisory in PDF format.

NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ashley Smith
Victim’s Sister
justice4sheldy@gmail.com
(254) 290-7303
Event video: https://youtu.be/Ber5ZfUMarE
#Justice4Sheldy #JusticeForSheldy

Scotty Boman, D.R.A.C.O. Founder
Phone: (313) 247-2052
scottyboman@hotmail.com

Draco.Life

April 16th , 2020

D.R.A.C.O. Organizes #Virtual Protest Against Promoting Violent Detroit Police Corporal

Detroit, MI – Members of the victim’s family, and community organizers are outraged by arbitrator George Roumell’s claim that Detroit Police Corporal Dewayne Jones should be promoted to Sergeant, and are resolved to hold a virtual protest at the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) meeting this afternoon (April 16th, 2020).  The protest will include statements during the “Oral Communication” portion of the meeting. Dewayne Jones was convicted of assault on March 19th 2019 in the August 2018 beating Detroit Receiving Emergency Room patient Sheldy Smith.

Smith’s sister Ashley has produced a video to promote the protest.  In it she said,

My name is Ashley and I am the sister of the victim in this video. I am a Central Michigan University graduate and a disabled U.S. Army vet. Please join D.R.A.C.O. (Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight), my family, and the residents of Detroit in a virtual protest against the promotion of convicted criminal, Detroit Police Corporal Dewayne Jones.

At their April 9th meeting Detroit Police Department (DPD) attorney Grant Ha announced the decision by appointed arbitrator George Roumell to promote Corporal Dewayne Jones to the rank of Sergeant. Roumell sent the message to Ha by email, but a Ha said he expected a formal letter to follow.  On January 16th the BOPC voted unanimously to reject the promotion. The Detroit City Charter says all promotions must be approved by the BOPC.

Boman, founder of Detroit Residents Advancing Civilian Oversight (DRACO) said,

We must make it clear that we don’t recognize any effort by anyone to usurp the Board’s final authority on promotions. It is their duty to instruct the DPD to refrain from this promotion, and to instead, dismiss this bad apple from the company of Detroit’s finest. This may be challenged in court. Insubordinate elements in the DPD may try to defy the Board. It is their duty to take on court challenges and dismiss insubordinates.

The meeting (and thereby the protest) will be via the Zoom meeting app at: https://cityofdetroit.zoom.us/j/397380647?pwd=S1kzVzU4RURFb2NBRGJIb1kwWVNjdz09

By telephone, call one of these numbers:
1 (929) 436-2866, 1 (312) 626-6799, 1 (346) 248-7799,
1 (301) 715-8592, 1 (669) 900-6833, 1 (253) 215-8782
Enter the BOPC Meeting ID 397380647 and press ##

The virtual meeting will use a form for public comments:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d26fa38cc5e94a018836d065000714ce

Link to agenda: https://draco4life.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/agendaapril-16-2020.pdf