Detroit Police Officer Rasheen McClain (above) was fatally shot while responding to a home invasion in West Detroit on Wednesday night
The Detroit police sergeant who was suspended for sitting in his squad car while an officer was shot dead a block away by a gunman with a high-powered rifle on Wednesday was once fired from the force for cowardice – only to get his job back.
Police Chief James Craig said on Tuesday that he is investigating how Sergeant Ronald Kidd was reinstated after an internal review board fired him in 2014.
When Kidd was an officer in 2014, he and his female partner were in a cell block when a mentally ill person they had arrested began to assault her.
Kidd’s body camera showed that he stood by while the assault happened. He then walked away and never called for help, according to WJBK-TV.
Craig revealed on Tuesday that Kidd was reinstated after he was suspended for just over two months.
He said that someone forged his signature on an agreement signed in 2015 reinstating Kidd, downgrading his penalty from termination for cowardice to a 65-day suspension.
‘I wouldn’t have entered into that kind of deal, and when I looked at the agreement, someone signed my name agreeing to this,’ Craig said.
‘Someone scrawled a signature, but that absolutely is not my signature. So I’m trying to find out what happened.
‘I remember vividly the video of the female officer getting beat up. There’s no way I’d have signed that agreement.’
Kidd was eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2018, according to The Detroit News.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig (second from left) revealed on Tuesday that the officer who was suspended for sitting in his squad car a block away while McClain was shot had also been fired in 2014 for cowardice
Craig said union rules required that Kidd be eligible for a promotion, though the police chief said ‘if it was up to me, I wouldn’t have promoted him.’
On Monday, Craig announced the suspension against Kidd, who ‘sat in his scout car a block away while you could hear people screaming “officer down” on the radio.’
Kidd was a block away when Rasheen McClain, a 16-year veteran of the police force, was killed in a deadly shooting on Wednesday night.
McClain died when a gunman opened fire with a high-powered rifle during a home invasion on the 20000 block of Wyoming Avenue in West Detroit on Wednesday night.
Initially, Craig did not name Kidd, but he confirmed the sergeant’s identity in response to numerous media inquiries.
Kidd, who serves in the Detroit Police Department’s 12th Precinct, is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation ordered by Craig.
The police chief said a review of the sergeant’s actions during the incident were worrying, according to The Detroit News.
‘A determination was made that Officer McClain did request a supervisor, and a supervisor was assigned,’ Craig said Monday.
‘As we did our investigation we determined that allegedly he did not go to the scene in the shootings that happened.
‘It was clear to everyone who reviewed the video that he made no effort to get to the scene and take control.
‘His response was that he was sitting in his car a block away waiting to see if the suspect ran his way.
‘But that’s not acceptable when there’s an officer down.’
Craig said he will petition a board to get approval to withhold Kidd’s pay during his suspension.
‘He’s been a sergeant about a year-and-a-half, and this kind of alleged behavior is unbecoming of a supervisor,’ Craig said.
Craig lauded McClain as a ‘hero and natural leader.’
McClain and his partner, Phillippe Batoum-Bisse, arrived first on the scene at 7:20pm, where they were greeted by ‘frantic’ occupants fleeing from the residence who told them there was a man armed with a rifle inside.
The two men summoned for back up, and when two additional officers arrived they all entered the home through the front door.
‘It’s no surprise to me that when McClain arrived on scene, he took charge,’ Craig said during a press conference Thursday. ‘He understood he was faced with a dangerous situation … and the officer made a conscious decision it was time to go in and deal with the dangerous situation.’
McClain and his partner, Phillippe Batoum-Bisse, arrived first on the scene at 7:20pm, where they were greeted by ‘frantic’ occupants fleeing from the residence who told them there was a man armed with a rifle inside
On McClain’s lead, the four officers moved quickly through the home, clearing the upper level and the main level first.
Both of the floors were in darkness. However, a light was on in the basement.
The officers then slowly made their way down the basement stairs to locate the suspect.
As they descended, bodycam footage shows that the suspect emerged from a hiding place on the officers’ left-hand side, firing quickly twice – fatally striking McClain in the neck and wounding Batoum-Bisse’s leg.
Reviewing the footage, Craig said it became immediately clear to investigators that the 28-year-old suspect has ‘had some type of tactical training’, but declined to specify further.
Meanwhile, as the two other officers backed up to gain a tactical advantage, the suspect ran up the stairs and fled the residence.
A second gunfire fight then erupted outside as the additional officers – one armed with a shotgun and the other with a .40 pistol – engaged with the suspect several times as he fled.
The man was eventually struck by a single shotgun shell, sustaining a ‘serious’ injury to his arm causing him to drop his weapon.
According the Craig, the suspect was not fully disabled, however, and he continued running before being apprehended a block away.
‘It was very clear this suspect was trying to bait the officers and had a presence of mind,’ Craig said. ‘He wanted suicide by cop.’
As they descended down the stairs, bodycam footage shows that the suspect emerged from a hiding place on the officers’ left-hand side, and fired quickly twice, fatally striking McClain in the neck and wounding Batoum-Bisse’s leg (pictured: the weapon used by the suspect)
‘It was very clear this suspect was trying to bait the officers and had a presence of mind,’ Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. ‘He wanted suicide by cop.’
The police chief theorized the suspect had purposely left the lights off in the two upper floors, in a bid to bait the officers down stairs where he lay in waiting.
‘It’s easier to identify a target when the lights are on,’ he added.
Craig described the shootout as ‘part of a domestic situation,’ saying the ‘angry’ suspect had entered the home looking for his girlfriend.
Two weeks prior, the same individual had shot at the home after being denied access to see his estranged partner by one of her family members, Craig said.
McClain was remembered by the police chief as a ‘heroic leader’ who ‘made the ultimate sacrifice’.
‘This is a tragic day for the Detroit police family,’ Craig declared. ‘Certainly, our hearts and prayers go out to his family, certainly our community and all of the officers in the Detroit Police Department. He really is a hero.’
‘I’m always struck by the fact that we seem to lose the best of our officers in these tragedies,’ Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan echoed. ‘The city of Detroit is lucky to have the finest police force in America and the whole city mourns one of our heroes.’
Craig described the shootout as ‘part of a domestic situation,’ saying the ‘angry’ suspect had entered the home looking for his girlfriend. Two weeks prior, the same individual had shot at the home after being denied access to see his estranged partner by one of her family members, Craig said
Batoum-Bisse, a National Guard veteran who has worked for the department for two-and-a-half years was first taken to hospital in a serious condition but is expected to make a full recovery.
The 28-year-old suspect, who has not yet been named pending his arraignment, remains at the Sinai-Grace Hospital in a serious condition.
He used an automatic assault rifle in the attack with an extended magazine and a folding stock.
Craig said the man was clearly trained to use the weapon and was skilled in his operation of it. He said the man has no military background and declined to clarify what training the he may have had when pressed by reporters.
He has a ‘lengthy’ criminal history including violent crime charges, and was recently paroled having served eight years in prison on charges of unlawful weapon possession and grievous bodily harm.
His first criminal charge dates back to 2009, when he was just 14, which was a case of home invasion, Craig said.
Around 275 police officers, including those from surrounding states, showed up to Sinai-Grace Hospital to show solidarity with McClain last night.
But despite doctors’ best efforts he succumbed to his wounds. McClain is survived by his wife of 10 years and two beloved step-children.
‘He was a natural leader in all situations,’ Duggan continued about McClain. ‘Everyone looked up to him. In this case he was first through the door, first one down the stairs to confront the suspect. Unfortunately this urge resulted in a tragedy.’