Ex-Detroit cop gets probation in crash that killed lawyer

Detroit police vehicle
Posted at 2:00 PM, Oct 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-01 14:00:26-04

DETROIT (AP) — A former Detroit police officer has been sentenced to one year of probation and community service for a high-speed crash that killed an attorney last year.

Investigators said Teaira Funderburg disregarded a red light while rushing to help another officer when her patrol SUV smashed into a car driven by Cliff Woodards II on Interstate 96 in February 2021.

Woodard's daughter, Melissa Connelly, in a victim impact statement, said she will "forever try to forgive you for that day," but that's difficult when Funderburg took something she cannot get back, The Detroit News reported.

"I came today to look you in the face, I came to make sure you remember my father," Connelly said. "Every day you have with your children is a day I'll never have with my father."

The Wayne County prosecutor agreed to drop an involuntary manslaughter charge against Funderburg in exchange for a no-contest plea to a charge of willful neglect of duty.

Woodards was a defense attorney who regularly had cases in Wayne County courts.

Connelly is suing Funderburg and the city of Detroit over her father's death.