EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – On Wednesday, East Lansing Police talked about their use of force policy nearly a year after officers shot a man in a Meijer parking lot.

That man was injured last April after police got a call about a person putting a gun in his pocket and walking into the store.

His family and some in the community said the shooting was uncalled for and believed he was targeted for his race.

At the request of community members, the East Lansing Police Oversight Committee brought in experts and heard from the public, discussing possible changes in the department’s use of force policy.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first public hearing on the topic.

The committee started the conversation with experts on the use of force and also heard from the activists in the community, including one from the Black Lives Matter movement in Michigan.

The set of hearings is part of the lasting impact made by the April 2022 shooting of DeAnthony VanAtten outside of a Meijer.

Speakers said the use of force policies similar to that used in East Lansing are outdated.

They said there are no set standards on how violent interactions with police are recorded in East Lansing and other departments around the country and that has made it difficult to get a full picture of what led to these problems and how to find solutions.

Each researcher said changes that range from the use of body cameras, improved diversity, and different training can help decrease violent police interactions.

But one researcher suggests taking a look beyond what policy can do.

“It’s broader policing practices that contribute to a lot of ways when force ends up being used and so thinking about implementing alternative response, co-response,” said Angie Weis Grammell, the policy director at Wilson Center for Science and Justice .

Community activists said more can be done to “reimagine” community safety.

“We can have all the policies that we want. If there is no measure to hold police and elected officials accountable. We will continue to have these conversations,” said Pastor Sean Holland with BLM Michigan.

East Lansing police chief Kim Johnson said the hearing was enlightening.

“We serve the community. So for us to serve the community, we have to know what the community wants. So we have been doing that for the past two and a half years. Much more of a robust endeavor and it comes along slowly but surely,” he said.

East Lansing city officials said they’ll be hosting another hearing in the future and hope to carve out more time for public comment.