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Editor's Note: This story was corrected to accurately reflect Scott Hughes' title and that the two teenagers will be charged as juveniles in Ingham Probate Court.
WEDNESDAY, June 19 — The two teenagers involved in a controversial arrest on Dakin Street in Lansing last Friday will face a series of felony charges, including resisting arrest, destruction of police property and assaulting police.
Scott Hughes, Ingham County's juvenile justice coordinator, confirmed today that four criminal charges — all of them felonies — were authorized against a pair of teenage runaways that were arrested Friday.
Details about those juvenile cases and their timelines will be made available after they’re filed in Ingham Probate Court.
“I know our office has signed off on those charges,” Hughes added. “They were charged as juveniles."
Police reports released yesterday afternoon by the Lansing Police Department detail how a 15-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl — both sought on prior probation violations — had run from police and resisted arrest. The boy allegedly kicked and cracked the window of a police cruiser. The girl also allegedly spit on an officer’s boot.
If convicted on the criminal charges listed in the reports, the teenagers could spend time in jail. Records show both face charges of resisting arrest. The boy also faces his own charge of malicious destruction of police property. The girl is charged with felony assault on a police officer — all two-year felonies.
The recent arrest triggered demonstrations after police and civilian video footage showed Lansing Officer Lindsey Howley — a 31-year-old white woman — repeatedly punching the 16-year-old, unarmed, black girl who had been handcuffed in the back of a Lansing Police Department SUV.
Howley and Officer Bailey Ueberroth have since been placed on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation continues into their behavior that has since been labeled as “not the conduct of what we want from our Lansing police officers,” according to Police Chief Michael Yankowski. The investigation could take months.
Police reports noted the girl had squirmed loose from a pair of handcuffs, eventually requiring an officer to “escort her to the ground,” before dragging her into the back of the SUV. Video footage showed the girl had wedged her foot in the doorway to stop officers from closing it; that’s when the punches were thrown.
The officers’ reports contended that “closed fist strikes” became necessary after the girl ignored commands to stop, became “irate” and fled, spit on Howley’s boot and threatened to “fuck up” one of the police officers. Howley said the girl also kicked her in the chest, requiring several more “straight arm punches” to subdue her.
Reports show the girl was treated for minor injuries, including scrapes, bruises and complaints of neck pain. Howley was also medically treated for a swelled-up right hand, an injury sustained during the altercation with the teenage girl, according to police reports. All told, the girl was struck at least 14 times, mostly in the legs.
The girl’s mother, Tonia Lilly has called for both officers to be fired from the department for what she and others have labeled as police brutality. She has also asked for an unnamed amount of compensation for emotional and physical trauma. Black Lives Matter activists are also looking for changes to department policies.
Protests Friday night and Saturday were staged in front of City Hall. A Board of Police Commissioners meeting yesterday — the first of its kind since the incident — also drew complaints from dozens of residents.
“We want to make sure they’re not just using these police officers as scapegoats,” Activist Jordan X. Evans said. “These are tactics that are being trained and are actively being used, and it needs to be changed. There is a systemic issue of state-sanctioned violence in this country, and it can’t be allowed in Lansing.”
Visit lansingcitypulse.com for previous and continued coverage on the investigation as it continues.