GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Michigan State Police trooper has been charged with assault and battery and misconduct in office related to an on-duty incident that occurred last September.
Saginaw County Prosecutor John McColgan authorized the charges against Trooper Paul Arrowood on Thursday after an internal investigation by MSP. He was arraigned on Friday.
The assault and battery charge is a misdemeanor, but the misconduct in office charge is a felony. If convicted, Arrowood could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The incident happened on Sept. 4, 2022, in Saginaw. According to a release by MSP, Arrowood and his partner were patrolling a neighborhood and encountered a black man walking in the roadway.
Bodycam video shows the troopers exit their cars and attempt to take the man in to custody with no discernable explanation for why the man was under arrest. While questioning why he is being arrested, the suspect refuses the troopers’ orders to put his hands behind his back. A scuffle ensues and video shows Arrowood throwing the man to the ground and punching him several times “causing visible injuries,” per MSP investigators.
The suspect’s identity has not been released and there is no indication that he was ever charged with a crime. In the bodycam footage released by the agency, the suspect’s face is heavily blurred.
“The actions of Tpr. Paul Arrowood fall outside of MSP policy and procedure and they constitute an unwarranted use of force,” Col. Joe Gasper, MSP director, said in a release. “The members of the Michigan State Police are committed to treating everyone with dignity and respect, and we will tolerate no less. When we fall short of this standard, we will hold our members accountable.”
The agency released its investigative report and a 41-minute clip of bodycam footage “in the interest of transparency.”
Arrowood was suspended without pay as of Sept. 30, 2022. He will remain on unpaid suspension pending the outcome of his charges and an internal investigation. Arrowood is next due in court on March 21 for a preliminary exam.
MSP’s Third District has two other non-related use-of-force cases that are still under investigation.
“Whether or not a criminal charge is issued, our members will be held accountable for violations of department policy,” Gasper said. “While each of these situations represents an individual incident, we are taking a wholistic review to look beyond the surface to identify if there are improvements we can make department-wide to prevent similar situations in the future.”