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AG announces 2 ELPD officers will not face charges after Meijer shooting

August 24, 2022
<p>The East Lansing Police Department is pictured on July 6, 2017.</p>

The East Lansing Police Department is pictured on July 6, 2017.

Photo by Jon Famurewa | The State News

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced East Lansing police officers Jose Viera and Jim Menser will not face charges after shooting at 21-year-old Black male DeAnthony VanAtten on April 25 in a Wednesday morning press conference,

The department’s Public Integrity Unit investigation found the officers used acceptable force, and that their actions were justified during the incident in the parking lot of a Meijer on Lake Lansing Road.

“It is clear that Officer Viera and Officer Menser were of the reasonable belief that Mr. VanAtten presented an extreme danger and it is, therefore, my conclusion that the use of force by these two officers was justified,” Nessel said. “They took the measures necessary to eliminate an immediate and extreme threat.”

According to ELPD’s Use of Force Policy, police officers are authorized to use deadly force if there is an "honest and reasonable belief that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.”

Menser fired two shots and Viera fired six, resulting in VanAtten being shot twice.

VanAtten was charged yesterday with seven felony counts and one count of third-degree retail fraud.

“I understand that there are those who might disagree with my decision to charge certain individuals and not others, but I’m doing to evaluate the evidence on a piece-by-piece basis and to pursue appropriate charges where they are warranted,” Nessel said.

The Public Integrity Unit did not release additional footage or evidence related to the investigation as there are pending cases against VanAtten and it will be the court’s decision on what to release to the public.

Currently, VanAtten is in custody at Ingham County Jail and will be formally arraigned at 2:30 p.m. today. 

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