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Man shot by ELPD officers charged with 7 felony counts

August 24, 2022
<p>East Lansing, Michigan State University and Lansing Township Police Departments block entrance to the Lake Lansing Meijer after a shooting occurred on Monday night. - April 25, 2022</p>

East Lansing, Michigan State University and Lansing Township Police Departments block entrance to the Lake Lansing Meijer after a shooting occurred on Monday night. - April 25, 2022

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

DeAnthony VanAtten, a Black man shot by East Lansing police officers at a Meijer on April 25, has been charged with seven felony counts, including four counts of assault and three weapons charges.

He is also charged with one count of third-degree retail fraud – a misdemeanor.

The felony charges include four counts of assaulting or obstructing police and one count each of carrying a concealed weapon, receiving and concealing a firearm and felony firearm possession.

VanAtten was taken into custody after a warrant was issued in April. A 54B District Court record filed Aug. 23 did not list a lawyer.

The charges come as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office announced late Tuesday afternoon that a Wednesday morning press conference in Detroit would discuss her department’s Public Integrity Unit investigation into the use-of-force incident by ELPD. 

In May, the department released interior Meijer video footage of the shooting, showing VanAtten buying groceries at a self-checkout counter, which went against the department’s previous claims that said VanAtten had not bought any items from the store. 

Previously released videos also showed VanAtten running out of the store with a white grocery bag.

The videos from the April incident can be found here. Some videos depict graphic images of violence.

It is not yet clear why the officers were in pursuit of VanAtten. ELPD declined to specify the crime VanAtten was being investigated for due to the ongoing investigation when asked in April.

On May 13, the Michigan State Police announced it had completed its investigation of the shooting. The investigation was then turned over to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office for review.

Capitol Region social justice groups have scrutinized the actions of the ELPD officers involved in the incident.

“The old ‘he's got a gun’ when clearly there is no gun in his hand. East Lansing Police Department immediately reported a gun found at the scene,” Black Lives Matter Lansing said in a Tweet in May. “Wherever it was ‘found,’ we know where it wasn't and that's in DeAnthony's hand when he was gunned down.”

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