THURSDAY, July 23 — Decades-old allegations of misconduct levied against Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green will remain a mystery.
Those records, which the city was no obligation to keep, were destroyed sometime in the last two decades.
And Green isn’t providing too many details. Green has denied any misdoing.
Green, who has worked at LPD since 1997 and recently led the department’s patrol division, was named police chief last August following the recent retirement of Chief Mike Yankowski. He made headlines earlier this month when his name was spotted on a Brady List at the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office — a list of cops who have had sustained credibility issues on the job.
The routine disclosure form, a list commonly assembled by prosecutors nationwide, stems from a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, that found suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant who has requested it violates due process rights, requiring prosecutors to turn over all evidence favorable to the accused during any given criminal case.
Part of that disclosure includes a list of law enforcement officers who have sustained incidents of untruthfulness, criminal convictions, candor issues or some other type of credibility concern.
Green’s was among 15 names appearing on that list in Ingham County. Five are still employed. Essentially, it means prosecutors would be hesitant to call Green as a witness, officials said.
Green told City Pulse the incident that led to his placement on that list occurred over 20 years ago when he assisted medical personnel in holding a patient on a gurney. During a subsequent investigation, there was “disagreement” on whether force was technically used, he explained.
“If force was used, I was required to complete a use-of-force form,” Green explained in an email to City Pulse. “However, subsequently, I learned that holding down a person on a gurney at the request of medical personnel, was defined as force and I should have filled out the form.”
Yankowski, Green’s supervisor at the time, argued that Green’s statements were not truthful. The incident warranted a memo from Yankowski to the prosecutor’s office to include him on the Brady List.
“Green used force in effecting the arrest, but didn’t complete a use of force report,” Yankowski wrote in a letter recently obtained by City Pulse. “A report was filed by the subject for excessive force. During the interview process with internal affairs, Green was not truthful regarding the fact force was used, but quickly recanted his account of the incident to Internal Affairs.”
All other records of the incident have been destroyed. The County Prosecutor’s office only has Yankowski’s one-paragraph memorandum. And because the incident allegedly occurred in 2000, the Police Department no longer retains — nor is it required to retain — those records.
“At the close of the interview, the supervisor argued that my previous statement was not truthful. However, in reality it was a disagreement on the definition of use of force when I held him on the gurney. Importantly, there were no injuries or excessive force findings,” Green explained.
Green said the findings were assembled during a time when he and other minority officers had expressed concerns about a racist environment within the Police Department — one that Green was careful to note “no longer” exists under his leadership “and have not for quite some time.”
He also called the Brady List “illegitimate” and questioned the “fundamental fairness and constitutionality” of its creation. He’s actively appealing his placement on that list and argued that cops need to have more due process to dispute the implication of credibility issues.
There exist several “flaws, errors and omissions related to the credibility” of the report, he said.
“Apparently, when given the opportunity to address these concerns, this prosecutor failed to do so and released a non-credible, outdated and unvetted list,” Green added. “The failure to conduct the proper due diligence to verify the credibility of the entire Brady list is an injustice.”
Prosecutor Carol Siemon said the listing is a “very specialized and complicated” legal issue. She declined to discuss the topic further, except to note that she has no knowledge of what led to Green’s placement on the list and that more legal research would be necessary before deciding how to maintain a Brady List while ensuring due process rights of named officers.
After the Lansing State Journal first reported Green’s name on that list, the Lansing NAACP issued a statement in “continued support” of Green, touting his active involvement in multiple community-based organizations and experience in navigating LPD through “difficult” events.
“Our membership recognizes that the event of twenty years ago recently in the local newspapers appears to be due to a difference of opinion between now Chief Green and this then supervisor. Unless we learn of very strong evidence to undermine it, we shall continue to have faith and confidence in Chief Green,” according to an emailed statement from the NAACP that also offered to further review documents that detail the dated allegations against Green.