Michigan bad-boy cop keeps courts busy

dupuis-800x430This Michigan police officer, who has bounced between at least 7 different Michigan police agencies over a period of 17 years, has become one of that state’s most notorious cops.

“Whether it’s an arrest caught on camera, shooting himself in the leg, or having to be rushed to the hospital after a police raid – Sgt. Ronald Dupuis just can’t stay out of the spotlight,” WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported this month. (This story also is being followed by Daily Kos here.) It might’ve been more accurate to say he can’t stay out of court:

  • In September 2013, Dupuis arrested a Detroit parking enforcement officer and her female domestic partner for engaging in mild horseplay and held them in jail without charges for 4 days; they’re suing him and his employer.
  • In 2012, Dupuis sued his current employer, claiming he was unfairly demoted and treated differently than his African American colleagues, but that lawsuit was dismissed.
  • Also in 2012, Dupuis was sued by a female jail inmate for refusing to let her use the restroom and allegedly choking her and calling her vulgar names.
  • In 2006, Dupuis a previous employer after a female officer accused him of assaulting her with a taser. He was fired from the police force, but acquitted of the assault charges, and sued the city and got a settlement. Two years later, he sued the city again for not defending him against the taser complaint, but that lawsuit was dismissed.
  • In 2004, Dupuis was sued for wrongful arrest, the case was settled for an undisclosed amount.

And according to this website, Dupuis also was:

  • Accused in 2005 of tasering his female partner in the leg; he was fired a few days later;
  • Accused in 2002 of assaulting a man during a traffic stop, resulting in a lawsuit;
  • Accused in 1999 of stalking a woman; he resigned in lieu of being fired;
  • Reprimanded in 1998 for allegedly beating up a mentally disabled man;
  • Written up in 1997 for careless driving while on duty.

And according to this news report, in 2012, Dupuis shot accidentally shot himself in the leg.

By the way, Dupuis’ current employer — the Highland Park, Michigan, police department — also hired notorious “Robocop” William Melendez after he was fired by another police department following a notorious traffic stop punching incident.

Dupuis’ and Melendez’s cases demonstrate how easy it is for bad cops to get another law enforcement job after being fired or disciplined. It happens because there’s no central database to track police disciplinary cases, police agencies do little or no background checking of prospective hires, and even they’re aware of a trouble cop’s history they often hire him to save training costs and get someone who can be assigned to duty immediately. But communities and citizens pay a price for these terrible hiring practices.



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