DPD Officer dies from friendly fire months after April shootout - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

DPD Officer dies from friendly fire months after April shootout

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Officer Patrick Hill Officer Patrick Hill

What took so long for the Detroit Police Department to report what happened?

DETROIT (WJBK) - Six months ago Officer Patrick Hill took fragments to his head when he was trying to stop a murder suspect. This past Saturday Officer Hill succumbed to those injuries and has died.

For six months the public was never given a full account of exactly what happened. Monday the chief of police, stopping short of calling it a cover-up, called it 'incompetence.' The investigation revealing now, that Officer Hill was killed by friendly fire.

DPD Chief James Craig: "Officer Hill made the ultimate sacrifice. Unfortunately, the suspect who initiated firing his weapon at police officers, striking one of the team members, and our officers responded. Unfortunately, Officer Hill was struck by friendly fire. It was a tragedy. The bad guy succumbed to his injuries. But I have some concerns about the overall piece. Certainly I'm concerned about the tactics that lead up to the shooting. I'm also concerned about our investigation after the fact; this was something that happened before I got here - three months before I got here. And here we are, six months later, trying to sort out what took place. That's not acceptable."

Charlie LeDuff: "Why was this thing just sort of shelved? Was it to avoid embarrassment?"

Craig: "You know, Charlie, I have no idea. And I wouldn't say it was necessarily shelved, ... as I pointed out earlier, it was no sense of urgency. Complacent. People weren't held accountable to get this thing done. Officer Hill deserved better than that. Detroit police officers deserve better than that. And the reason why we look at these things early on, determine whether or not tactics are flawed, because that may save someone else's life. That's what important here. This is about officer's safety. And so going forward we've created a new system and there will be in every officer-involved shooting incident an exhaustive review, what I'm calling a 72-hour brief. I want to know what happened."

LeDuff: "Another thing that changes here."

Craig: "Absolutely. Part of the change."

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