Sunday, November 14, 2004

Officer Joanne Buiwitt-Schafer - Ann Arbor PD





Ann Arbor Police Officer Joann Buiwitt-Shafer assaulted her boyfriend in the parking lot of the Vicksburg Hide-Away Bar on November 14, 2004.  According to the police reports, Ann Arbor Officer Buiwitt-Shafer punched, kicked and dragged her boyfriend.











When police officers from the Vicksburg Police Department arrived at the scene, they arrested one of the witnesses, because Officer Buiwitt-Shafer falsely claimed the witness had stolen her purse.  During the March 2005 trial, Officer Buiwitt-Shafter admitted that she had lied to the police about the witness stealing her purse.






At trial, jurors found Officer Buiwitt-Shafer guilty of aggravated domestic assault. She was sentenced to a year on probation.




Officer Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer was fired from the Ann Arbor Police Department.












Fired officer placed on probation for domestic assault
Kalamazoo County jury finds her guilty of attacking boyfriend
Saturday, March 26, 2005
BY AMALIE NASH
http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-12/1111835463181820.xml

A fired Ann Arbor police officer has been placed on 12 months probation by a Kalamazoo County judge for aggravated domestic assault in the criminal case that led to her termination.

Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer, 39, was also ordered to pay a fine and court costs of $795 after being convicted by a jury Thursday of assaulting her boyfriend following a confrontation at a bar in Vicksburg, near Kalamazoo. The 17-year veteran officer was fired from the Ann Arbor Police Department following an internal investigation into the Nov. 14 incident.

A related charge of larceny less than $200 against Buiwitt-Shafer was dropped earlier after the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office determined that charge didn't fit the case. She was accused in that charge of taking the cell phone from the boyfriend that she was convicted of beating.

According to police reports of the incident, Buiwitt-Shafer and a 48-year-old man identified as her boyfriend were at the Hide-Away Bar when he became upset with her and left. He told police she found him, tried to get him into her car and then began punching and kicking him while dragging him toward the car, the reports said.

Buiwitt-Shafer said Friday that she is appealing the verdict. She told The News in January that the police reports contained inaccurate information, but declined to comment further about the decision or her testimony in court.

A witness told police that he was across the railroad tracks from the parking lot and saw a person lying on the ground and someone above that person kicking and punching him, reports said. The witness said he yelled at them to stop fighting, then ran to Buiwitt-Shafer's car, grabbed the keys to prevent her from leaving before police arrived, and went to a nearby party store to call 911, reports said.

Reports said that Buiwitt-Shafer yelled that the witness who was holding her keys had gotten into her car and stolen the keys and her purse. The witness was handcuffed for a short time and placed in a police cruiser after Buiwitt-Shafer accused him of stealing her purse, reports said.

Authorities said in January that they believed the witness had not taken Buiwitt-Shafer's purse, and that she made the claims to divert attention from the assault.

Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein said Buiwitt-Shafer admitted on the stand that she lied when she said the witness had taken her purse.

"This case says something important about domestic violence - that it does not matter who you are or what your occupation is, domestic violence is not appropriate," Klein said.

Ann Arbor Police Chief Daniel Oates called the incident a sad chapter in the department's history and said the department took swift action.

"We hold our officers to a very high standard in their on- and off-duty conduct," Oates said. "This incident showed she was not worthy of being a member of our department."

Aggravated domestic violence, which requires a serious or aggravated injury less than great bodily harm, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.













Assault charges lead to officer's firing
Longtime Ann Arbor cop denies beating her boyfriend outside bar in November
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
BY AMALIE NASH
The Ann Arbor News
http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1105542608248690.xml

A veteran Ann Arbor police officer has been fired from her job after she was charged with severely beating her boyfriend and stealing his cell phone after leaving a bar on the west side of the state.

Joanne Buiwitt-Shafer, 39, was charged in a warrant with aggravated domestic violence and larceny less than $200 and will go to trial on the charges Jan. 25.

Buiwitt-Shafer, who was employed at the Ann Arbor Police Department for nearly 17 years, on Tuesday called the case "an alleged incident" and said she believed she would be vindicated in court.

"I will have my day in court," Buiwitt-Shafer said. "It's too bad the city had to render a decision before I had my day in court."

Police Chief Daniel Oates said Buiwitt-Shafer was placed on paid administrative leave following the Nov. 14 incident in Vicksburg, near Kalamazoo, and was fired Dec. 21 after an internal investigation. Oates said he could not elaborate on the department's investigation.

"I think the actions of the department speak for itself," Oates said. "The conduct here is not acceptable for an Ann Arbor police officer."

According to police reports, the incident took place around 8 p.m. Nov. 14 in Vicksburg after Buiwitt-Shafer and a 48-year-old man identified in police reports as her boyfriend were at the Hide-Away Bar.

Reports say the victim said he became upset with Buiwitt-Shafer and left the bar after she lifted her top and exposed herself to other customers. He told police she found him, tried to get him into her car and then began punching and kicking him while dragging him toward the car, the reports said.

Buiwitt-Shafer told police that night that she was trying to get the man into her car, but could not explain his injuries, reports said. Police reports said the man had cuts and bruises, a bloody nose and complained of not being able to breathe because of soreness of his rib cage.

Buiwitt-Shafer said Tuesday that she was advised by her attorney not to discuss the case because it is pending, but that the police reports contain inaccurate information.

A witness told police that he was across the railroad tracks from the parking lot and saw a person lying on the ground and someone above that person kicking and punching him, reports said. The witness said he yelled at them to stop fighting, then ran to Buiwitt-Shafer's car, grabbed the keys to prevent her from leaving before police arrived, and went to a nearby party store to call 911, reports said.

Officer Christopher Owens said in his report that when he got to the scene, Buiwitt-Shafer yelled that the witness who was holding her keys had gotten into her car and stolen the keys and her purse. The witness was handcuffed for a short time and placed in a police cruiser after Buiwitt-Shafer accused him of stealing her purse, reports said.

Vicksburg Police Chief Mike Descheneau said that it was his officer's opinion after investigating the case that the witness had not stolen Buiwitt-Shafer's purse and he believes that was a diversion by Buiwitt-Shafer.

Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carrie Klein said she could not comment on that issue or any other aspects of the case while it is pending. The victim's cell phone was in Buiwitt-Shafer's vehicle, but it was unclear from reports when or how she was accused of taking it.

Ann Arbor Detective William Stanford, president of the Ann Arbor Police Officers Association, would only say that the union is ensuring that the contractual rights of its officer are protected. "The process is continuing," he said.

Aggravated domestic violence, which requires a serious or aggravated injury less than great bodily harm, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The larceny charge is a 93-day misdemeanor.





[MI POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED PERPETRATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW ENFORCEMENT MURDER SUICIDE]

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