Benton Harbor officer pleads guilty to neglect of duty

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) — A Benton Harbor police officer has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge after he didn’t arrest a suspect, who prosecutors say he knew.

Reginald Gee, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to neglect of duty, a 1-year misdemeanor. He was sentenced to pay $535 in fines.

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office says on Sept. 12 Bridgeman police took a stolen vehicle complaint involving a 2003 Honda Element. Two days later, Gee told central dispatch he found the vehicle unoccupied in the parking lot of Wings and Things, located at 790 E. Main Street in Benton Harbor.

It was discovered that Gee didn’t properly report the incident after authorities looked at surveillance video of the parking lot while trying to identify the suspect.

The video showed that Gee went up to the vehicle and talked to the person inside vehicle. Investigators later determined that the officer and suspect knew each other.

The identity of the suspect is still under investigation.

Prosecutors say “Gee’s employment status at the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety is in administrative proceedings.”