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A Detroit Police officer uses tear-gas on protesters during a demonstration in Detroit in late May. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

A Detroit police officer faces felony assault charges over allegations that he fired rubber pellets at three photojournalists covering a protest against police brutality in the city in May, the Detroit Free Press first reported Monday.

Details: Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement MLive's Nicole Hester, 30, and freelancers Matthew Hatcher, 29, and Seth Herald, 28, each sustained injuries while wearing press credentials and having identified themselves when Cpl. Daniel Debono, 32, allegedly fired on them.

"The evidence shows that these three journalists were leaving the protest area and that there was almost no one else on the street where they were. They were a threat to no one. There are simply no explicable reasons why the alleged actions of this officer were taken."
— Statement by Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy
  • The photojournalists, who were covering protests triggered by the May 25 death of George Floyd, "had their hands up, asking to cross the street" during the incident early on May 31, the statement alleges.
  • Hester "sustained the most injuries to her face, neck, arms and legs," according to the statement. Hatcher's face and ribs were bruised, and he was left with a mark on his nose, while Herald's wrist was wounded.

What they're saying: The Detroit Police Officers Association has yet to comment on the allegations, but the city's police chief James Craig told a news conference Monday that Debono was suspended with pay, pending the outcome of the department's investigation.

  • Each of Debono's charges carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Go deeper: Tear gas and rubber bullets: Attacks on journalists investigated

Go deeper

Updated Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

25 face felony charges after downtown Chicago hit by looters

Police officers inspect a damaged Best Buy in Chicago that was looted and vandalized. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Local police officers are seeking felony charges in 25 cases following the arrest of 100 people in the wake of widespread looting and property damage in Chicago on Monday, per the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Law enforcement said the event involving hundreds of people was a coordinated response after an officer shot a suspect Sunday evening, according to CBS Chicago.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
52 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."