DETROIT, MI – They were assigned to the burglary task force. Now these Detroit two cops are on the other side of that task force after being arrested and charged with home invasion. These “officers of the law” were also charged with misconduct in office after they allegedly kicked in the door of a house on the city’s west side without a search warrant and arrested the homeowner.
Officer Bradley Clark and Sgt. Paul Glaza are accused of kicking in a door at the 22550 block of Pembroke and arresting the homeowner with no justification. They were officially charged Friday with second-degree home invasion, misconduct in office, malicious destruction of property under $200, and entering without a homeowner’s permission.
According to the Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller the officers “were part of the burglary task force, and entered a home without a search warrant at 22550 block of Pembroke. They also did not have an arrest warrant for the person they were searching for, who was not in the house. They instead detained and arrested the homeowner.”
This violated the homeowners 14th Amendment right but under the color of law and protection of the badge, the officers went forward and subjected the owner to unwarranted persecution. The homeowner, 28-year-old Tashar Cornelius, is considering filing a lawsuit against the officers and the department.
“A couple cops came to the house looking for a suspect,” Cornelius said. “I told them the man they were looking for wasn’t here, but they refused to listen to what I was saying. They wanted to come in my house, and I told them ‘without a search warrant, you have no right to be here.’
“I guess that teed them off,” he said. “I shut the door on them, but they didn’t leave my property. They seemed convinced their suspect was here. So they kicked in the door and came in with their weapons drawn. Then they put me in handcuffs and searched the property.”
After the officers handcuffed Cornelius, they conducted an illegal search of the home. During the course of the search they allegedly came across a Taser and claimed that it was illegal for him to own the Taser. Because of that “infraction” the officers said they were taking him to jail. They drove him to the Mound Correctional Facility on the city’s east side.
“I spent 36 hours at Mound,” he said. “My lawyer assured me there were no charges against me. Finally they just released me and I walked out of there.
“They violated my constitutional rights,” Cornelius said. “I have to stand up against that.”
The officers were arrested and given $5000.00 bail. Because police are held to a higher standard, their punishment is lighter than the average citizen guilty of the same crimes. 10 percent of the bail was made payable.
A pretrial conference is scheduled for Friday before Judge Deborah Lewis Langston of 36th District Court. A preliminary examination for the two officers is scheduled for Oct. 18. If convicted of the charges the officers face up to 15 years in prison. In the meantime, both Detroit officers are on PAID administrative leave.