WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Cut on Camera: a local cop – yanking a young mother’s head back and hacking off her hair.
Action News Investigator Heather Catallo has the exclusive story behind
an incident inside the Warren jail that was caught on video.
many jails, prisoners are required to remove hair extensions that clip
in because they could be used as a weapon or to commit suicide.
But Charda Gregory didn’t have clip in extensions. She had a weave that was sewn right into her real hair.
Gregory is a young mother who loves her hair. And the 22-year-old hair
dresser loves changing her style often by using weaves.
But Gregory’s hair changed dramatically after an encounter with a Warren Police Officer.
though there’s no audio on the video from inside the Warren Jail, you
can see Gregory kick her legs and writhe in pain as the officer plunges
scissors into her hair, hacking away at the weave that was sewn into
braids on her scalp.
So how did this all begin?
“I was confused. I didn’t know what happened and what was going on,” said Gregory.
Gregory says on November 13, she went to a party in Detroit, where she believes someone drugged her.
Paul Misukewicz is her lawyer:
had a couple of drinks, then woke up in a strange place. Didn’t know
how she got there, completely disoriented, said Paul Misukewicz,
That strange place was the Suez Motel on 8 Mile in Warren, where Gregory got arrested for trashing a room.
the time she was brought in to the jail lock-up on the top floor of the
Warren Police Department, Gregory had been pepper sprayed, but she
It’s clear in the video that Gregory can barely stand as she comes face to face with Officer Bernadette Najor.
took it upon herself to get the scissors. And for whatever reason,
decided that she was going to butcher my client,” said Misukewicz.
As Officer Najor pats Gregory down, the officer pushes Gregory against the wall twice.
Najor starts going for Gregory’s hair. The officers struggle with
Gregory, dragging her over to a restraining chair to tie down her arms
Officer Najor starts yanking Gregory’s head from side
to side, chopping out chunks of hair. It takes 3 full minutes before
Najor gives one final yank and removes what’s left of Gregory’s weave.
Gregory tells us in some places she now has bald spots because Najor ripped her real hair out by the roots.
“She’s a very horrible person,” said Gregory about Officer Najor.
words can describe how I feel about that right now. I’d rather not say
exactly how I feel about that, I’m just very upset,” said Yolanda Ford,
As the son of a retired Warren police officer, Misukewicz says he’s never seen anything like this.
guess the best way to describe it would be sadistic. There’s absolutely
no reason for it. And it’s demeaning,” said Misukewicz.
a real simple thing: it’s called right and wrong. And to me this is
something that I won’t tolerate, I don’t think the citizens of Warren
will tolerate it,” said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green. Green
says Najor’s explanation that she had to remove Gregory’s weave because
of alleged threats of suicide makes no sense.
“I don’t buy that’s
the proper way to treat a human being. I don’t think it’s decent, I
don’t think there was any reason to do it, and when I look at it – that
bothers me,” said Green.
Green says as soon as he learned about the incident, he placed Najor on leave and she has since been fired.
“Is this the first time she’s had discipline problems,” asked Catallo.
“No,” said Green.
“Can you tell us about the past experiences with this officer,” asked Catallo.
“No I can’t,” said Green, citing restrictions on what he can legally say about a former employee.
7 Action News obtained Officer Najor’s personnel records – that show
she was suspended without pay for 10 days in 2010 for being
Despite several attempts to reach Najor by phone,
she refused to talk to us when we caught up with her, instead screaming
at Catallo as she tried to get Najor’s side of the story:
“If that camera is on me I will call the police! Call 911 right now!”
Meanwhile, because of what happened in the jail, all of the criminal charges against Charda Gregory have been dismissed.
believe it’s a travesty that someone in that position feels that they
have the authority to abuse it. And I’m just very glad that she’s not
able to do it to someone else,” said Ford.
The other officers who
were present during Officer Najor’s haircutting incident are still
under investigation and facing possible discipline.
officials say while those officers did not intervene, they did report
Najor’s use of force to their superiors. Officer Najor did not report
what she did that night.
Warren Police complied very quickly with
the 7 Investigator’s requests for information about this incident, and
did not try to hide what happened inside the jail.
“The men and women of this department are high-caliber, they’re ethical, they’re moral, they consider the
rights of prisoners, of the citizens they come in contact with,” said
Green. “What I want to communicate to the public is, the Warren Police
Department doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior, and we take it
immediate action when something occurs. We are always in the process of
reviewing things that happen, and trying to make ourselves better and
more responsible to the people we work for.”