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Off-duty officer fired after pointing gun at Black man

November 12, 2021 GMT

DeWITT, Mich. (AP) — A white Michigan police officer was fired after pointing a gun while off-duty at a 19-year-old Black man who was delivering newspapers in January.

Chad Vorce was appealing his May 5 termination from the DeWitt Police Department, near Lansing, WLNS-TV reported. He told investigators he thought the man was a suspect in recent break-ins when he followed him Jan. 14, asking if he needed directions.

Vorce followed the 19-year-old in his vehicle as the man drove from the neighborhood, and also called 911 and told a dispatcher that there was “a Black male in the area, and he needs to be checked.”

Vorce later told 911 that the man tried to back into his truck. “He’s trying to ram me! I’m going to go shots fired if he does it again!” according to the 911 call.

The man said he drove to a gas station after Vorce pointed a gun at him. He told police he didn’t know Vorce was a police officer.

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The Associated Press was unable Friday to find a telephone number for Vorce to seek comment from him.

The incident occurred outside the DeWitt city limits, city officials said.

When officials learned of the encounter, Vorce was placed on administrative leave, the city said in a statement sent Friday to the AP.

“At the conclusion of an investigation by the Michigan State Police on March 24, 2021, the incident did not result in the Clinton County prosecutor pursing criminal charges,” the city said. “The city of DeWitt then conducted an internal investigation of the incident involving the off-duty police officer.”

“We have the utmost confidence that the city of DeWitt has taken appropriate action in this matter,” the city said.

WLNS-TV said a police union attorney representing Vorce did not returns calls or emails seeking comment.

Vorce was fired for violations of departmental policies and regulations. State police investigators also determined he didn’t have law enforcement authority to investigate the situation, used excessive force and put the community at risk, the television station reported.