A DeWitt police officer was reinstated less than a year after being fired for pulling his gun out at a black newspaper delivery driver outside his jurisdiction earlier this year.

Chad Vorce, an 18-year-old veteran of the department, was cleared to return to the force after pulling a gun twice on 19-year-old Alexander Hamilton, who was parked near the DeWitt Township home in Vorce prior to the dawn of january. 14.

Screenshot of officers on duty at the scene after an officer on leave confronted a teenage boy delivering newspapers

The officer was reinstated by referee Thomas Barnes, citing that while the cop’s action affected the department, it was not to the extent that it “otherwise undermined or significantly damaged the good reputation of the department” , WLNS reported.

“Based on Grievant’s compelling testimony that he learned his lesson; his real display of remorse; the fact that he has taken corrective action; as well as the devastating effect this disciplinary action has undoubtedly had on his life, there is sufficient evidence that the applicant has rehabilitated himself so that the city can operate with reasonable assurance that the conduct will not recur ”, Barnes wrote.

However, department officials disagree. In a statement to the point of sale, they wrote that they were “extremely disappointed” with the choice to give Vorce back his job and to uphold their decision to fire the officer.

Still, the city said the arbitrator’s decisions are binding under Michigan’s Uniform Arbitration Act and the city must comply with the orders.

“The public should know that the town of Dewitt has not resolved this matter,” the statement said. “The City chose to argue the decision to fire Agent Vorce and have exhausted all options available in the arbitration process.”

Last May, Vorce was fired for several factors, including using excessive force and failing to defuse a situation as he faced Hamilton.

The latter was delivering journals for the Lansing State Journal when Vorce confronted him about allegedly fitting the description of a suspect behind a series of recent break-ins. “I thought it was him because he fit the same description, black hoodie… Fricken black,” Vorce said at the time.

Vorce, who was not in uniform at the time of the meet, began following Hamilton’s minivan after pushing back on Vorce’s questions about why he was in the neighborhood – “I’m just kidding myself.” he said as he was interrupted as he bagged newspapers – and shot the teenager when Hamilton pulled up on the street to see why he was being followed.

When Hamilton took off, the cop on leave followed him to a nearby gas station. Once there, the teenager got out of his vehicle to try to speak to the officer on leave, but Vorce again pulled his gun at him. The two started arguing there.

A DeWitt police officer and a Michigan State Police Soldier arrived shortly after, and Hamilton was detained until state police determined that Vorce was the instigator of the confrontation. No charges were laid by Hamilton or Vorce.

For his part, Vorce testified that he had a “stomach ache and wished he had handled the situation better.” Adding that he realized how things could have “tragically gone wrong”.

The referee further backed up his decision to reinstate Vorce, saying: “This is unlikely to happen again given [Vorce’s] recognition of what he did wrong. [Vorce] testified that he was not a racist and that he was upset by any inference that he was. … [He] admitted that he had had several occasions to simply drive away and let the duty officers take care of the delivery driver.

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