Social media posts after Saginaw police arrest create controversy

"Defund the police" and "police lie" posts draw criticism
Social media posts critical of police draw criticism
Social media posts critical of police draw criticism(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:15 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WJRT) - Social media posts regarding the latest controversial incident involving the Saginaw Police department are themselves generating a lot of controversy.

A Saginaw City Councilwoman is defending a post she made about defunding the police following the tasing of a protester.

And the Saginaw County Democratic Chairperson stands by her post, where she claims some police have lied in the past.

The tasering and arrest of Cornelius Phelps for protesting on private property on Sunday in Saginaw has generated a lot of emotion on how the situation was handled by police officers.

The incident was captured on police body cam video, which was released by the city. Other protesters also recorded it with cell phones. That emotion was evident in a social media post by Saginaw City Councilwoman Jamie Forbes, who posted “Defund the Police.” Forbes and Phelps are friends.

She has since deleted that post, clarifying, “It’s not about cutting funding to our already underfunded police department, it should be about analyzing how we respond to the needs of the community.”

Saginaw County Democratic Party Chairperson Judi Lincoln is also being criticized for her post, in which she wrote a significant part of the problem is that police lie.

When reached for comment about the post, the retired attorney said “based on my experience as a young lawyer in the late 1980′s to the mid 1990′s prosecuting tickets written by municipalities in Saginaw County, I found that some police officers were far too often not truthful. It extended from writing tickets, to search warrants to testifying.”

Lincoln did say she does not support defunding police.

Her post though has received swift reaction from the law enforcement community and others. Police Officers Association of Michigan union board member Dan Kuhn, a retired Saginaw police officer, says Lincoln should resign her position, saying” she is an embarrassment to every Democratic candidate we’ve ever endorsed or supported.”

City officials reviewed the Phelps tasering incident and found no policy or procedure violations by the officers involved.

Phelps was arrested, but was released pending further investigation.

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