EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The State of Michigan has filed eight charges against Deanthony Vanatten, a Black man who was shot by East Lansing Police in a Meijer parking lot.

“We know that Mr. Vanatten has been charged with eight felonies and that’s a tell for me that this is where it’s going. That he’s going to be charged, as it should be, and the other officers will be exonerated,” said Attorney Mike Nichols.

Nichols is representing East Lansing police officer Jose Viera, one of the officers involved in the shooting of Vanatten outside of a Meijer in April.

Court documents show that Vanatten was charged with:

  • One count of carrying a concealed weapon,
  • One count of receiving and concealing a weapon,
  • One felony firearms charge,
  • Four counts of obstructing an officer,
  • One third-degree retail fraud charge.

The charges were filed the same day Attorney General Dana Nessel stated she will announce the findings in two cases from the Department’s Public Integrity Unit regarding the shooting.

The cases involve the Ogemaw County Sheriff`s Office and the East Lansing Police Department.

Nichols says he’s optimistic that Officer Viera will not face charges.

“In this climate that we’re in right now, post, George Floyd, post many other cases, to have this attorney general who’s very aggressive, say ‘look, the officers were justified, this young man was committing dangerous felonies and posed a danger to the public,’ that’s pretty telling. And hopefully, the community of East Lansing stands behind their excellent law enforcement officers,” Nichols said.

6 News did reach out to the Vanatten family for comment. Family members said they were shocked to hear about the charges as well as the expected announcement from Nessel’s office.

Nessel’s announcement is expected to take place on August 24 at 10:30 a.m. 6 News will be at the event and will update you on-air and online.