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149872-3; 150042 - People v Sean Harris, William Little, Nevin Hughes

The People of the State of Michigan,
 
David A. McCreedy
 
Plaintiff-Appellee,
 
v
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
 
 
(Wayne – Morrow, B.)
 
Sean Harris, William Little and
Nevin Hughes,
 
Steven F. Fishman
John P. Goldpaugh
 
Defendants-Appellants.
 

Summary

While investigating the alleged use of excessive force by defendant Officer Hughes, the Detroit Police Department interviewed each of the three defendants. Before the interviews, the defendants were informed that any statements that they made during the investigation could not be used against them in “any subsequent criminal proceeding.” They also signed a reservation of rights form setting forth their expectation that their statements would not be used against them in “any subsequent proceedings other than disciplinary proceedings . . . .” The defendants then gave statements denying that Hughes used excessive force. After a video surfaced that established that their statements were not truthful, they were charged with obstruction of justice. The defendants argued that the charges should be dismissed but, in a split published opinion, the Court of Appeals ruled otherwise. The Supreme Court will consider whether the Disclosures by Law Enforcement Officers Act, MCL 15.391, et seq., precludes the use of false statements by a law enforcement officer in a prosecution for obstruction of justice. The Court will also consider whether, in light of the forms signed by the defendants, the use of their statements in a criminal prosecution would violate their state or federal right against self-incrimination.