Corunna police chief fired after arresting man who was filming officers
Thousands of people from around the world saw the man’s video, including the Corunna City Council. Members voted to terminate the Chief Monday night.
CORUNNA, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/17/2020) - “It just shows that, you know, we the people, if we speak loud enough, we can make change,” Bennington Township resident, Matthew Wrosch said.
That change -- the Corunna Police Chief was terminated over a confrontation with the self-proclaimed constitutional watchdog.
Wrosch live-streamed police Friday as they responded to a call for a man attempting to jump from a utility tower. It’s important to note the man was rescued and provided with mental health services.
Since Friday, thousands of people around the world have seen the video posted to Wrosch’s Youtube channel. That includes Corunna City Council, who voted to fire Chief Nick Chiros Monday night.
Wrosch said he showed up to the Mitchell Field Park in Corunna around noon Friday to record police responding to the mental health crisis.
He’s been doing this for several years under the name Michigan Constitutional Crusader.
Wrosch has taken it upon himself to do what he calls a “First Amendment Audit” of police activity.
He explained, “Police are usually not the best people to deal with mental health issues. So I went out there specifically to film the police and make sure that his rights weren’t being violated in the process.”
A few minutes into Wrosch’s recording, two Michigan State Police troopers come up and ask him to move back.
He argued with them for a moment and then agreed to comply.
“I’m willing to compromise,” Wrosh is heard saying.
Wrosch added that he moved back 477 feet from the situation.
The recording continued for about 15 minutes; and then, Corunna Police Chief Nick Chiros approached Wrosch.
“Hey you, I need you to get out of here,” he said. “Nope,” Wrosch responded. “This is a crime scene. Get out of here,” the Chief said again. “This is a First Amendment protected activity,” Wrosch said. “If you don’t. I’m going to arrest you,” the Chief yelled.
The argument continued for about 5 more minutes, with Chiros repeatedly asking Wrosch to leave. When Wrosch didn’t, Chiros arrested him on charges of interfering and resisting and obstructing police.
As the recording continued, it becomes clear the now-former chief is heated. He told Wrosch he’s worried about the man attempting to take his own life.
“Listen, I can give a f-- about your rights right now… I’m not politically correct. So shove that up your a--. I can give a f--- less about what you think,” the Chief is heard yelling at Wrosch.
Wrosch said this interaction happened after he believes the Chief thought he turned off the recording.
Proof he said that area police agencies need body cameras.
“That was a stroke of luck right there,” Wrosch laughed.
Wrosch spent 22 hours in the Shiawassee County Jail. He said he got out Saturday morning with no charges.
“Oh, I knew I did nothing wrong,” he said. “And all the support I was getting from everybody that watches these, these videos, I guess there was like 15,000 calls to the city, city offices there from people that were watching my live feed.”
That support continued through the weekend with a protest outside City Hall Saturday and Monday before the City Council meeting.
Council voted unanimously that night to fire Chiros.
“There’s a lot of good cops out there, too,” Wrosch said. “I have two uncles and a grandfather that retired from the Detroit Police Department. So, I love good police. But, I won’t stand for tyrants.”
Wrosch wouldn’t comment on if he’s pursuing any legal action against Chiros.
ABC12 reached out to the former chief, as well as the current City Manager and Mayor for a comment. None of them have responded.
Because Council fired Chiros without cause, he will keep his pension and benefits.
Chiros has been the Chief of Police since 2015. He joined the department in 2005, after 23 1/2 years with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
He did plan to retire in January.
Corunna City Council appointed Mark Schmitzer as the interim police chief, as they search for a full time replacement.
Schmitzer is currently the Gaines Township Police Chief, a job he says he’ll continue to do.
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