DETROIT (AP) — A judge dismissed charges against a Detroit police officer who was accused of firing rubber pellets at three journalists covering a 2020 protest against police brutality.
Judge Roberta Archer on Tuesday cited a 1931 Michigan law that protects police when an unlawful gathering is declared, the prosecutor’s office said.
Daniel Debono, a corporal, was charged with assault. An MLive.com photojournalist and two independent photojournalists were struck with rubber pellets after identifying themselves and raising their hands, investigators said.
“The prosecution argued that the statute does not apply because the journalists were not a part of the protest, and the protest had been cleared at the time and place of the alleged assault by Cpl. Debono,” said Maria Miller of the prosecutor’s office. An appeal will be considered.
A message seeking comment from Debono’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.