He had asthma, told police, but they yanked him out of new Dodge Charger anyway, likely causing his death
Traffic stop took place at Vernor near Lawndale, two blocks from his father Pastor Kevin Clark’s church on Springwells
Mother Leda Reed: “This is ridiculous they are doing this to our children”
By Diane Bukowski
Updated April 2, 2014
DETROIT – Anthony D. Clark Reed, 24, took his last breath two blocks from his father Pastor Kevin Clark’s Springwells Avenue Baptist Church, after Detroit police officers stopped him on Vernor on the city’s southwest side March 30, allegedly because his car had tinted windows.
“I am devastated,” Pastor Clark said. “In a short time I have to bury my only son. This was definitely racial profiling. My son is 6’ 2” tall, and was driving a new Dodge Charger, right around the corner from my church. My son died on W. Vernor at the hands of the Detroit police.”
Clark said he talked to a witness who saw six police cars at the scene after his son’s body had been taken away. All the doors and the trunk to the car were open, indicating there had been a search.
He said a Lt. Mills contacted him two days after his son’s death to read him the police report, but that he still has not received a written copy. Mills did not tell him the names of the officers involved.
“They said they pulled him over because it looked like he was doing something under his seat,” Clark said. “I asked, don’t you realize he was probably looking for his inhaler because he has asthma? The first thing he said was ‘I can’t breathe.’ They yanked him out of the car, shortened his breath more, and increased his heart rate. That’s why he died.”
He said the police report claimed that the officers found his son’s inhaler, gave him two quick puffs, and when that didn’t work, performed CPR until EMS got there. EMS could not resuscitate him.
Clark said it was amazing to him that there was no news coverage at all the night his son died, and that it took his son’s aunt calling Channel 7 from New York to get a brief broadcast on that station.
“I didn’t receive any information until 11 to 12 hours after my son took his last breath, when his mother called me to tell me he was in the hospital, after someone called her,” Clark said, adding that he drove as fast as he could from his home in Pontiac to meet her at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“About 11 or 12 midnight, they took me downstairs to see his body,” Clark said. “There was no one from the Detroit Police Department, Internal Affairs, or the homicide division there. The only way we found out anything was from the chaplain at the hospital.”
Clark said he called the number the chaplain gave him, was told it the number for homicide, and that no one ‘was around,’ and ‘they had no police report.’
“Where are the officers that saw my son take his last breath?” Pastor Clark asked. He was told they were not around either.
“It is ridiculous they are doing this to our children,” Leda Reed told VOD in a phone interview. “Those tinted windows were factory-installed. Anthony was driving his girl-friend’s car, and the police hit the car. We finally found the car at the police impound.”
Ms. Reed said there was no cause to pull her son out of the car.
“My son was 24, and was going to Henry Ford College. He worked at the Chrysler plant in Wixom. I have three children, and I have made sure they got an education. He has twin sisters who are going to college, and they plan to be a doctor and a lawyer. My son just got a notice for an internship at Chrysler. I worked hard to raise and educate my children.”
On her facebook page, she added, “This is the time for everyone to stand up go get your t shirt the dpd said in a statement to channel 7 that my son is dead because they pulled him over for atinted window. When is that a crime. That’s on the car in question is how it came off the line. So in support get this pic with the statement I’M DEAD BECAUSE I HAD TINTED WINDOWS. Lets stop this before you lose your child, or loved one.
A friend of Ms. Reed’s, Yolanda Delgado, added: “Everybody in Michigan and BEYOND has to get out there and be vocal. . . .OUR CHILDREN are being murdered in the streets by the Men Who Swore to Protect Them. The death of my nephew is a repeat of the Eric Garner and Ferguson situations. How many more will die like this. Don’t wait until something like this touches your family or household. Do Something Now! . . . .pick up your phones and start calling people that hold the titles and offices in Detroit and Michigan state. Flood their lines and let them know this is not acceptable and they have to Do Their Jobs and Do Something about this. . . . . demand they step and push the Internal Affairs and local FBI units to launch an investigation against the officers involved. If we continue to stay silent our country will eventually become a military regime and all of our human rights preserved under the US Constitution will be erased forever.”
Ms. Reed referred VOD to her attorney, Wolfgang Mueller.
“Right now, details are scarce,” he said in an email. “The family has not been provided the names of the officers. I am doing a FOIA today. We are looking for surveillance video in the area, as there were cameras all around the area of the traffic stop. It appears the autopsy has not yet been performed. We will likely send the autopsy results to Dr. Werner Spitz. We will not know the cause of death until then. I don’t want to speak prematurely until we learn more.”
Pastor Clark said during a prayer service at his church for his phone, packed with relatives, and friends, many of whom had grown up with his family, that Police Chief James Craig had finally contacted him to apologize for the delay. (See photos of candelight vigil after prayer service below.)
VOD has not received a response from the Detroit Police Department regarding the following request:
I am requesting information regarding the death of Anthony Clark Reed on Vernor near Lawndale March 30, after being stopped by Detroit police. I would like the following: 1) A copy of the police report. 2) The names of the police officers who stopped Mr. Reed, plus the names of the other officers who came to the scene in six patrol cars. 3) Their reason for stopping him. His vehicle had factory-supplied lightly tinted windows. 4) Their reason for searching his vehicle. 5) A description of what they did to halt his death after he told them he couldn’t breathe. 6) A copy of the EMS report. 7) A statement regarding whether this was racial profiling, since this was a tall young Black man driving a new Dodge Charger in a multi-racial neighborhood.
MLive reported that Detroit Police Officer Jennifer Moreno of the Media Relations Department said, “Officers did stop the gentleman for a traffic violation and subsequently he exited the vehicle … had an asthma attack. They gave him his inhaler (and) they administered CPR when the gentleman passed out and then (an ambulance) was ordered ..”
Channel 7, the Huffington Post, the Detroit News, MLive, and the Daily Mail have been the only news outlets to cover this case so far. The News article, by George Hunter, did not mention that Reed was Black, and carried no photo of him. The lack of news coverage of Reed’s death at the hands of the police is all the more startling because of the broad coverage given to the near-fatal choke-hold and beating of Floyd Dent in Inkster, MI. He too told notorious Inkster Robocop William Melendez, “I can’t breathe,” and said he was afraid he was about to die.
According to the group, Killed by Police, Reed’s death may bring the number of people killed by police in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2015 to 292.
FUNERAL FOR ANTHONY CLARK REED WILL TAKE PLACE AT SPRINGWELLS BAPTIST CHURCH; TIME PENDING COMPLETION OF AUTOPS(IES).
CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR ANTHONY CLARK REED APRIL 1, 2015 AT THE SPRINGWELLS AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH: