The Battle Creek Branch of the NAACP is calling for a full investigation into a September altercation between police officers and a mentally ill man.

And Carey Whitfield, president of the local chapter, said Tuesday that the complaint stems from an altercation on Sept. 19 about 10:30 p.m. outside the employee entrance on the north side of the police department.

Whitefield said Frederick Williams, 25, who he described as mentally impaired, was walking in the area and saw the construction site for the new police department and began to ask questions about the building to officers who were outside. Whitfield said the officers eventually asked Williams questions including if he had warrants and determined he did not.

Five officers were outside the building and were about to leave to respond to a call but, according to Whitfield, Williams told him when the officers saw he kicked his backpack, one of the officers, Corporal James Bailey, approached with his his hands in a fist and said he would be arrested. The officer didn't say why he was being arrested, Whitfield said.

Williams, according to Whitfield, was afraid and swung at Bailey.

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"He didn't know if he hit him or not," Whitfield said, but then was punched in the face by Bailey and then was kicked and hit six times with a electric stun gun before he was arrested.

Chief Jim Blocker disputed those facts on Tuesday.

"We don't agree completely on the facts," he said. "The only agreement is that the officer struck the gentleman."

Blocker said Williams approached a new officer and they had a conversation. Williams told the officer he might be wanted for an assault in 2014. The officer determined he was not wanted for anything. Bailey then approached and some conversation continued.

When the officers had to leave for another call, Williams was instructed to go to the main entrance because the area on the north side was restricted. Police said Williams refused to leave and officers were concerned about his intentions for staying.

Bailey approached Williams, telling the man he was not in trouble but he had to leave, police reported. Police said Williams threw down his backpack and appeared ready to fight, including balling his fist. It was then that Bailey said he was under arrest and, as he approached, Williams struck Bailey, police said.

Bailey was knocked back against the building and to the ground, according to police.

The officers said Williams grabbed for keys on Bailey's duty belt and then was face down on his hands, resisting officers who were directing him to show his hands because officers didn't know if he had a weapon.

"If it is going south, officers have to respond appropriately," Blocker said. "Officers know that, when they get into a fight, there are all kinds of tools on their duty belt that can be used against them. They have to stop the threat immediately, and this is one of those cases."

In their reports, police said they used a stun gun one time, which had no effect on Williams, and pepper spray. He suffered a broken orbital bone near his left eye and broken nose and scrapes and bruises. Bailey had a scrape to his forehead.

Williams was arrested on five counts of assaulting or resisting a police officer. He was ordered to undergo a mental exam and is scheduled for a competency hearing and preliminary examination before Calhoun County District Judge Samuel Durham on Jan. 12.

Blocker said he had to limit his discussion of the event because of expected litigation but said the incident portrays the broader issue of mental illness and interactions with police.

"They are so remarkably unpredictable," Blocker said. "There is no one method or tactic."

He said officers with space and time can can try to deescalate a situation, but sometimes it's not possible, and officers must respond with force.

"It is a challenge for all of us," he said. "It is a challenge for the community."

He said the department has been working with mental health services at Summit Point, that 10 officers have been trained in crisis intervention and eight more will be trained in 2018.

"That gives us another resource to recognize when there is a mental health crisis, and, if they can recognize it, they can respond differently," Blocker said.

Whitfield called for the city to establish a Citizens Review Board to monitor complaints by citizens toward officers.

"The Citizens Review Board should have the opportunity to review the actions of police officers," Whitfield said. "Members would be selected and trained to understand police work and be able to ask questions of the officers with the evidence in front of them, and they can determine if the officer acted appropriately and did what he was suppose to do."

He said the board could present their findings to the chief and if there is no action perhaps ask for an independent review by the FBI.Whitfield said

Blocker said he is not opposed to discussing a citizens review board. "We need to see what it would look like and if that would help us move forward as a community."

Whitfield said the incident is an example showing that the minority community is not always treated with the motto of serve and protect.

"It is different the way they treat the minority community," Whitfield said. "They did it because they could, and there was no accountability. They are not going to be blamed for it."

Whitfield is critical of the police department review process for complaints against officers because officers write a report and it is reviewed by the department administration, he said.

"When we do an investigations, we listen to both sides, but they do not include both sides of the story," Whitfield said.

During discussions with Blocker, Deputy Chief Jim Grafton, Inspector Brad Wise and City Manager Rebecca Fleury, Whitfield "told them we are kind of disappointed in the process and are asking them to discuss a citizen's review board. We need to have a citizens review board to at least hear the other side of the story."

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