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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.

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.