Friday, November 23, 2001

Officer Aleem Abdullah - Benton Harbor PD

Also See:

Officer Aleem Abdullah - CSC charges [December 1999]

2000: Officer Aleem Abdullah [Benton Harbor PD] was charged with having sex with an underage girl while on duty. But a jury acquitted him.

2001: Nikkita Abdullah [wife of Officer Aleem Abdullah] is placed on probation for a domestic violence charge.
November 21, 2001: Nikkita Abdullah [wife of Officer Aleem Abdullah] was charged with assault and battery against Verna McGruder, while on probation for domestic violence.

November 23, 2001: An alteraction takes place between Nikkita and Officer Abdullah. Nikkita files a domestic violence complaint against her husband / Officer Abdullah. Berrien County SD is unable to determine who the instigator was, therefore the prosecutor did not file charges.

Police officer won't be charged
Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2001 12:00 am
Updated: 5:00 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
By LYNN STEVENS / H-P Staff Writer
The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH -- Berrien County Prosecutor James Cherry on Wednesday denied a request for an arrest warrant against Benton Harbor Patrolman Aleem Abdullah in an incident his wife, Nikkita, alleged was domestic violence .

Instead, Cherry recommended adding a requirement to her domestic violence probation order that Nikkita have no contact with Aleem Abdullah.

He said he also will recommend she obtain a personal protection order preventing him from contacting her.

In a memo to the investigating officer, Chief Sheriff's Deputy William Marx, Cherry said based on the report of the Nov. 23 incident it was impossible to figure out whether Abdullah or his wife, Nikkita, started the fight.

But Cherry noted that her history of assaultive behavior and the fact that she was at his house at the time seemed to point to her as instigator.

Cherry wrote, "No clear evidence exists which would lead me to believe that we could prevail in a criminal trial where we would have to choose one side over the other."

Cherry added that he has authorized a warrant against Nikkita Abdullah for assault and battery against Verna McGruder at 1252 Bishop St. Nov. 21, two days before she complained her husband assaulted her.

Cherry pointed out the assault and battery warrant "is a problem for Nikkita as she is currently on probation for domestic violence."

If the allegation involving McGruder proves to be true, Nikkita Abdullah would have violated terms of her probation.

Patrolman may face charges
Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 12:00 am
Updated: 4:53 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
The Herald-Palladium

BENTON HARBOR -- A Benton Harbor police patrolman is facing a domestic violence complaint stemming from an alleged incident Friday, officials said Monday.

Berrien County Prosecutor James Cherry said he will review a sheriff's department report on Aleem Abdullah. Sheriff's Chief Deputy William Marx reported the department is investigating the complaint filed by Abdullah's wife, Nikkita. The sheriff's department was asked by Benton Harbor police to handle the investigation because Abdullah is one of its officers.

Marx released no details about the incident, other than it occurred at 6:08 p.m. at 1252 Bishop St., Benton Harbor, and no arrests were made.

Cherry said he received the report minutes before 5 p.m. Monday and had not yet read it. He said he probably would make a decision Wednesday whether to press charges in the incident.

Abdullah was charged last year with having sex with an underage girl while on duty. But a jury acquitted him.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Chief Douglas Wright - Benton Harbor PD

Chief Douglas Wright charged with obstruction of a police investigation, in regards to his August 02, 2001 domestic violence assault against his wife.

Also See: Chief Wright charged with domestic violence:

Police chief charged
Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 12:00 am
Updated: 4:58 pm, Tue Nov 15, 2011.
By MIKE RUPERT / H-P Staff Writer
The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH -- Benton Harbor Police Chief Douglas Wright is being charged with domestic violence for allegedly assaulting his wife and attempted obstruction of justice for trying to interfere with the investigation when police were called.

Wright, 59, allegedly used his position as police chief to "influence and/or obstruct a criminal investigation" into his alleged assault on his wife in the early morning of Aug. 2, according to a warrant issued Nov. 19.

Wright is visiting a sick relative in Nashville, Tenn., and is expected to turn himself in when he returns to the state next week, State Police Det. Lt. John Slenk said Tuesday.

Wright could not be reached by The Herald-Palladium for comment Tuesday or this morning.

If convicted, Wright could face up to 2 1/2 years in prison and $5,000 in fines for the felony attempted obstruction of justice charge, and 93 days in jail and $500 in fines for the misdemeanor assault charge.

Lucy Wright called 911, which rang into the Benton Harbor Police Department, around midnight on Aug. 2 to report Wright assaulted her at the couple's home at 1118 Colfax, according to court documents. Douglas Wright was not living at the house at the time.

Lucy Wright asked that the dispatcher contact an outside agency and that the department notify the Berrien County Sheriff's Department, documents said. She called the Benton Harbor police station a second time and directly asked for a sheriff's deputy to come to the house.

Douglas Wright also called the Benton Harbor Police Department and told a dispatcher the physical fight was between his wife and his adult son, Donald Wright, who is Lucy's stepson, and he told the dispatcher to disregard the call, documents said.

Benton Harbor Police Sgt. Raynard Shurn, who was already headed to the home, returned to the station before arriving there, Slenk said.

Lucy Wright called the Benton Harbor police a third time, again requesting that police come to the house.

Wright came to the Benton Harbor police station and directed dispatch to contact state police and to ask troopers to respond to the station, not to the Wrights' home.

First Lieutenant Jerry Sunday, commander of the Bridgman state police post, said troopers were called to the Benton Harbor police station about 3 a.m. and took statements from the chief and his son, who had been in the house at the time of the alleged assault.

Although Douglas Wright greeted the troopers with the information that his wife was filing the complaint, Sunday said Wright claimed his wife assaulted him. Douglas Wright said he and his wife were arguing over a financial matter. When the argument turned physical, Wright said he pushed her to defend himself, documents said.

Troopers went to the Wrights' house to take Lucy's statement. She told troopers that Wright grabbed her by the throat and swung at her with his right hand, documents said.

Donald Wright told troopers he found his father on top of his stepmother and pulled him away to keep her from kicking him.

Sunday said troopers observed no marks of a struggle on Douglas or Lucy Wright.

Berrien County Prosecutor Jim Cherry was called at home between 3:30 and 4 a.m. and told state police that, based on the information they had relayed, there was not enough evidence to arrest anyone. Cherry asked for written reports.

Cherry deferred the case to Allegan County Prosecutor Fred Anderson, who recommended the two charges on Nov. 15.

Cherry said he sought a special prosecutor because he works closely with Wright and did not feel it would be appropriate for him to review the case. Anderson said Tuesday he would not comment on the charges until an arrest was made.

Berrien County Family Court officials on Tuesday said that Lucy Wright took out a personal protection order against her husband shortly after the incident.