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Cop with 85 citizen complaints promoted in Detroit

An investigation by WXYZ in Detroit found 85 citizen complaints against Sgt Stephen Kue in 12 years on the force.

The average uniformed officer receives about eight complaints. WXYZ could not find any other officer who accumulated as many complaints as quickly at Kue.

Most of the complaints have been made by people of color.

“It’s somewhat of a concerning pattern, simply because you probably would want to see a mix of different races that we’re talking about,” said Chris Graveline, the director of DPD’s Professional Standards Division.

“It was mind-blowing, frankly,” said Julie Hurwitz, an attorney suing Kue and the department for a man she believes was wrongly shot at and arrested.

Despite all this, Kue received a promotion to sergeant.

WXYZ also found a consistency in the complaints, even though they came from different people and different cases.

He is often accused of using demeaning language, using the N word and threatening or excessive force, says the station.

“He’s a gangster with a badge,” said one complainant.

In 2018, he was nearly fired after internal affairs found he had fired his weapon in a drug raid, although he denied it. Later Kue would say he just forgot.

The entire drug case had to be dropped after investigators determined Kue and the other officers were untruthful. A disciplinary sergeant recommended Kue be terminated, but his commanding officer dismissed the entire case. Three months later, Kue received a promotion.

After the investigation aired, Detroit Police Department’s interim chief James White placed Kue on administrative leave.

“The Detroit Police Department is deeply troubled and disappointed by the perceived pattern of conduct and behavior shown by Sergeant Kue. I’ve immediately launched a full investigation and removed him from patrol and placed him on administrative duty.I will personally review each complaint against Sgt. Kue as well as, review the previous actions of the command team member(s) who dismissed the disturbing allegations. This does not represent the values of the hardworking and dedicated men and women of this police department. Our community expects and should receive policing excellence, respect, and integrity.”

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