IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Lowell police officer has been charged with assault for shooting and wounding a suspect following a chase in August, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.
Jason Diaz, 40, of Wyoming, was arraigned Monday in Ionia County District Court on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, one count of misconduct in office by a public official and one count of weapons – careless discharge causing injury.
The shooting happened in Ionia County’s Boston Township on Aug. 29, 2020. The Attorney General’s Office says after a high-speed chase through Kent and Ionia counties, Diaz allegedly shot eight times at the fleeing vehicle and struck the passenger in the head. That passenger, a teen whose name News 8 is not using because he is a juvenile, survived.
In August, Lowell police told News 8 that Diaz fired at the car as it drove toward him.
The Attorney General’s Office claimed Diaz broke the law and violated the Lowell Police Department’s use of force policy.
In a statement released to News 8, the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council argued that Diaz behaved appropriately, protecting himself and following the law. Attorneys for the union say he was cleared by an internal investigation of his own department.
Lowell Police Chief Chris Hurst told News 8 that Diaz had been off the streets since the shooting in August, though the union said he was back on patrol duty in the last several weeks. Hurst said Diaz then resigned, effective Monday.
Diaz bonded out of jail Tuesday afternoon. He is scheduled to be back in court on March 22 for a probable cause conference.
The city of Lowell released the following statement Tuesday:
“In our judicial system, everyone enters with the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a court of law. Although this individual is not currently employed by the City, pending the outcome of the case, he could reapply for a position in the department or with the City.”Mary Ann Sabo, spokesperson, city of Lowell