EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce the findings of the investigation into the shooting at a Meijer parking lot in East Lansing.
The East Lansing shooting is one of two cases recently taken on by her department’s Public Integrity Unit. The other case involves the Ogemaw County Sheriff’s Office.
The attorney general began the conference by discussing the logistics of the public integrity unit and how cases are referred.
Nessel said that officers are called to some of the most dangerous situations and said officers can use a reasonable degree of force if the circumstance calls for it.
Of the two cases being highlighted, Nessel started with the case in Ogemaw. She went over some of the details in the case, and said that ultimately it was decided to pursue charges against a deputy who used force.
Then Nessel switched gears to the East Lansing incident.
Nessel went over the details from the shooting, including Deanthony Vanatten running away from the officers and eventually being hit with shots.
The East Lansing Police Department has a use of force policy Nessel said. The legal decision at question is whether the officers followed the policy.
Nessel said they reviewed body camera footage, surveillance footage, reports from multiple different departments and much more.
Based on the review, Nessel said the officers were of the belief that Vanatten showed a reasonable threat and no charges will be sought against the East Lansing police officers.
It was also decided that Vanatten violated numerous laws and is now facing multiple charges related to the incident.
Vanatten is in custody at the Ingham County Jail and will be formerly arraigned at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
He is facing eight charges, according to court documents.
- 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.
We got a sneak preview of what to expect from Nessel regarding the East Lansing shooting.
On Tuesday, 6 News learned that Vanatten, the Black man who was shot by police in the Meijer parking lot, is facing eight charges from the State of Michigan.
Attorney Mike Nichols, who is representing Jose Viera, one of the East Lansing police officer involved in the shooting of Vanatten, said Tuesday he was optimistic that Viera won’t 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.