CNN, MEET TUESDAY US, Montie Wicks, via CNN) — Videos show an officer in one of Michigan’s largest cities being attacked at a traffic stop. A police chief says he’s looking into the attack as a possible hate crime.
Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski is calling the assault “totally unacceptable” and is asking anyone with information to come forward.
“(An officer) is going to exercise his discretion (to stop you) based on certain circumstances, based on a heightened sense of public danger,” Yankowski told CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “These individuals were able to detain the officer for their own unlawful and violent purposes, and so for them to have been able to detain the officer for that length of time is a great injustice to our officer.”
Yankowski says in a statement that a passenger in the car was arrested at the scene and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
While the police chief would not identify the passenger, video from the scene does show a young man in red clothing attacking a white police officer.
“I don’t know how anyone could rationalize or rationalize what they did to him, but I can tell you that they are not representative of the Lansing police department,” Yankowski said.
CNN affiliate WZZM-TV reported Saturday that a passenger on the car was released by police when a short fight broke out, and that police were later called after the passenger’s mom found him with a gun in the car.
An emergency manhunt was launched for the passenger, who has not been found, Yankowski said.
“That is certainly a worry to us,” Yankowski said, adding that police consider the possibility the incident was related to hate crime.
Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer tomorrow on CNN to hear more from Chief Michael Yankowski.