A Detroit police officer will face felony assault charges for allegedly shooting and injuring three photojournalists with so-called “nonfatal” rounds during a May protest.
Detroit Police Cpl. Daniel Debono, 32, was working crowd control during downtown demonstrations following George Floyd’s death. Previously unnamed, Debono had been on paid leave since June 10.
Debono and a group of officers crossed paths with MLive’s Nicole Hester and two freelance photojournalists, Seth Herald and Matthew Hatcher. The three were crossing the street at Woodward and State Street. They were attempting to return to their car parked near the One Kennedy Square building, MLive previously reported.
The May 31cincident was unprovoked and occurred after a majority of demonstrators had dispersed, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
They wore press credentials and held their hands up, identifying themselves as members of the press, according to the Prosecutor’s office. As the photographers began to cross, Debono allegedly fired, striking all three of them.
Leading up to the charges, MLive administrative staff had been pressuring DPD to take action for over a month.
If convicted, Debono could serve a maximum of four years in prison.