(Independent File Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
Longtime Corunna Police Chief Nick Chiros was fired during the city council meeting on Monday, Nov. 16 after an online video demonstrated Chiros had become angry and proceeded to arrest a man for recording a person perched on an area electrical tower. The council voted 7 to 0 to remove Chiros and then voted Mark Schmitzer, Gaines Police Chief, as the interim chief in Corunna.
The online video posted on YouTube by Matthew Wrosch, who was arrested in the incident but released the following day, was posted under the Michigan Constitutional Crusader account. In the video, a person is vaguely seen up in the tower. Two state troopers approached Wrosch and asked him to move away while they were trying to talk the individual safely down from the tower – not wanting to agitate the person in the tower any further. Wrosch stated he was on public property and within his First Amendment rights. Wrosch agreed to move further back from the location. “I’m willing to compromise,” Wrosch stated.
“Just because a person’s life hangs in the balance here, I decided I would move back,” he said in the video, mentioning he wanted to be less noticeable.
Shortly after Wrosch moved further back from the scene at the urging of the state troopers, he was approached by Chiros. “Hey, you, I need you to get out of here,” Chiros directed. Wrosch again mentions his First Amendment rights. From that point, Chiros threatens to arrest him.
“You’re going to get him upset,” Chiros said two or three times, referencing the person in the tower. A harsh conversation ensues from that point between Chiros and Wrosch, with Chiros being firm in requesting that Wrosch leave while the officers on the scene are negotiating with the person in the tower. Chiros continues to threaten arrest in the video. Wrosch identifies himself as media. It is not known if he had identification on his person to back up that claim. Wrosch is then arrested.
Toward the end of the video, it appears Wrosch is searched and in ongoing conversation, he states to Chiros, “You are violating my rights.”
Chiros follows up with, “I don’t give a [expletive] about your rights right now. I’m not politically correct. So shove that up your [expletive].”
Wrosch was then taken to the Shiawassee County Jail, but released the next morning after prosecutors did not issue a warrant. Wrosch continued with more YouTube videos in protest after he was released.
Chiros started in his Corunna position in mid-2005.