IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ionia County judge on Wednesday ordered a former Lowell police officer to stand trial for assault after he shot at a suspect’s vehicle and hit one of the passengers.
The August 2020 incident started with a police chase that began in Lowell and ended in Ionia County’s Boston Township. Former Officer Jason Diaz claimed the car that he was chasing turned on him on a dark road and that he fired his gun at the car to stop it from hitting him.
But after reviewing the dashcam and body cam video, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office found that the car was no longer a threat to Diaz when he fired off eight rounds at it. State prosecutors said the car was well down the road as Diaz continued shooting.
During Diaz’s preliminary hearing Wednesday, Judge Ray Voet saw body camera footage of what happened. The court had to cut the bodycam’s audio because of a conflict with Zoom audio, but the images were clearly visible. The video showed Diaz’s arm rise as the car was sideways on the road. As it took off, the shots were fired.
One passenger was shot in the arm and another, a 15-year-old boy, sustained a graze to the head. The teen took the stand during the preliminary hearing Wednesday and said he didn’t realize immediately he had been hit.
Diaz resigned from the Lowell Police Department in March as charges were filed against him. He faces prison time for assault if convicted.