LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In the first week of 2023, the Michigan State Police is investigating two officer-involved shootings.
This includes one from Jan. 2, involving Bath Township Police, and the other, on Jan. 5, involving the Lansing Police Department.
MSP Public Affairs Lieutenant Rene Gonzalez said before anything, it’s imperative to check on the health and safety of all parties involved.
“When we have an officer-involved shooting, our first priority is to get people on scene, and we want to check the safety of our officers, the safety of any victims, and also the safety of the person or the suspect that was involved in the shooting,” he said.
This all follows with an investigation, commonly conducted by the state police. They’ll then look at the body cam video, talk to witnesses, and get all sides before taking the next steps.
“When there is an officer-involved shooting dealing with another agency, they typically will bring in the Michigan State Police to investigate that shooting and that shows that they’re being transparent, showing that they can be impartial, and there’s not going to be any bias toward the agency,” he added.
Michigan State University Criminal Justice Professor David Carter said investigations like these will take time.
“Unlike what we see on television in a show that’s wrapped up in an hour,” Carter said.
The expert continued that officer cameras don’t paint the entire picture.
“When you look at a camera, body cam, remember you’re only seeing a portion of time. You’re not seeing the entire circumstances, what led up to it, what are the other factors in the background,” the professor said.
Lieutenant Gonzalez said, while investigations are still ongoing, he’s encouraging patience among the public.
“The main thing we ask is, don’t rush to judgment, let us complete our investigation and we want to be transparent as well and we will get that information out to the public once we have it,” Gonzalez said.
Regarding the event with Lansing police, three MSP officers were also placed on administrative leave. Gonzalez said to avoid a conflict of interest, they’re bringing in detectives from the 3rd District, meaning they won’t know who they’re investigating.