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Wash Co Sheriff Launches Immediate Investigation Into Video Showing Deputy Striking Subject In Head

May 28, 2020

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Credit Washtenaw County Sheriff Department

There have been demonstrations and community outrage after cell phone video of a recent Ypsilanti Township incident was made public.  It shows what appears to be a white Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy striking an African American woman in the head after she refused to leave the scene of a shooting.

WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Washtenaw County sheriff Jerry Clayton, who says he immediately launched an investigation into what happened.


The deputy, who is white, is seen repeatedly punching the African American woman in the head at the scene of a recent Ypsilanti Township shooting, because she refused to leave the scene as ordered by police.  Upon seeing the video, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says he launched an immediate investigation.

Sheriff Clayton said, "So when I see it, I thought, 'Why is he doing that?  Why would he do that?  Why would anybody respond in that way?'  I can’t see what she is doing, so it is incumbent upon us to investigate that.”

Sheriff Clayton says he has spent the last decade trying to repair the culture and relationship police have with the community, which is even more personally challenging for him as an African American sheriff.  He says there are no easy answers, but he says he is sensitive to the trauma and the anger and the rage people have from the incident.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu