Judge changes bond for 2 Detroit cops facing charges in assault cases

Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 12:38:02-05

Detroit police officers Richard Billingslea and officer Lonnie Wade have both been granted a $10,000 personal bond and will both be released Thursday night.

Neither of them will have to wear a tether.

Billingslea was arraigned on multiple felony assault charges. He was allegedly seen beating and pepper spraying a man in an incident caught on a cell phone camera at a Detroit gas station. 

A $50,000 bond was originally set for Billingslea. 

Wade was arraigned on charges connected to a violent incident at a Meijer on 8 Mile in October. It was also caught on camera. He was off-duty and working security at the time and beat a man he suspected of shoplifting with a baton.

Wade is charged with assault, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. He was originally given a $50,000 bond and a GPS tether. 

The change comes as a result of an appeal by the Detroit Police Officers Association legal team and it was granted by 36th District Court Judge Debra Langston who overruled a previous magistrate's decision.

Officer Billingslea also had to pay $500 for bond on his obstruction of justice charge.

Wade will be released from Dickerson Correctional facility. Billingslea will be released from the Wayne County Jail downtown.

Mark Diaz, the President of the Detroit Police Officers' Association has released the following statement:

Earlier today two Detroit Police Officers were arraigned on charges of Assault With Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm (AWIGBH).  One of the Officers had an additional charge of Obstruction of Justice. 

Chief Magistrate Bari Blake Wood of the 36th District Court issued a bond of $50,000 (10%) for each officer on the AWIGBH charges and a $500 bond for the charge of Obstruction of Justice regarding the one Officer. Magistrate Wood, also ordered both Officers to be fitted with GPS Tethers should they post bond.

The Detroit Police Officers Association (DPOA) directed its legal team to file an immediate appeal of this bond, as it is not aligned with the bonds granted to defendants in most other cases.  This appeal was heard by the Honorable Deborah Lewis Langston who adjusted the bonds of both Officers to reflect bonds of other defendants with like charges.

Though Magistrate Wood indicated her intent in setting the bond was to not treat the Officers differently than other defendants, the bond she set for these Officers indicates otherwise. When setting bond, the Court looks at several factors; among them are the risk of flight and danger to the public. Both of those Officers have known about the allegations against them for quite some time, and both have continued to work in their official capacities as Detroit Police Officers; therefore there is no risk of flight and no danger to the community. The bond set by Magistrate Wood, therefore, was not fair and just. At the end of the day the true question is whether the level of force used by these Officers to make their arrests in their official capacity was appropriate or not. 

Tonight, both Officers have been released on the adjusted bond conditions set by the Honorable Deborah Lewis Langston and we are confident both Officers will be afforded the same level of treatment all American Citizens are afforded unlike the lip service Magistrate Wood feigned in the original bond hearing in this matter.