BLM: East Lansing Police must release 911 call that led to shooting

(Jace Harper)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:40 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The shooting happened at a grocery store in the evening.

At 6:30 p.m. on April 25, outside the Meijer store located near the intersection of Lake Lansing and Coolidge roads, DeAnthony VanAtten was shot by East Lansing police, as he was unarmed and running away.

Background: Police shooting outside East Lansing grocery store injures 1

Now, community activists say they believe a crime happened at Meijer, but not on VanAtten’s part.

Domnique Stepp is Director of Communications for One Love Global, a racial equity advocacy group.

Stepp asked, “Why is everyone allowed to fear for their life except for Black people running away from the cops?”

VanAtten, 20, may have had a gun with him in the store, but he did not when he was shot while attempting to flee in the parking lot.

“DeAnthony VanAtten did not commit a crime. He is a survivor of a crime committed by East Lansing Police,” Stepp wrote News 10 in an email. “We will not let the East Lansing Police push the false narrative that DeAnthony committed a crime or that he was a threat when he was shot, unarmed.”

Police say they were called to the scene on a report of a man with a gun at the grocery store. Officers attempted to stop VanAtten as he was leaving the store, but VanAtten ran.

As he was running through the parking lot, he was shot.

East Lansing police provided medical aid immediately following the shooting. VanAtten was then taken to a nearby hospital, where he was arrested on an unrelated warrant tied to an outstanding Ingham County criminal case.

County prosecutors said the State Police decided to detain VanAtten while he was still in the hospital.

Background: ‘How dare you’ -- Tempers rise in East Lansing over police shooting of 20-year-old

Black Live Matter Lansing held a press conference in front of the East Lansing Police Department headquarters Thursday evening. They say the public should be able to hear the recording of the 911 call that began the incident, because they believe it’s crucial to understanding the shooting.

There is an ordinance in East Lansing (embedded below) that makes biased calls to police against the law.

“The community needs to know if this was a biased call,” Stepp wrote. “If this was not an instance of biased calling then we need to address what was it about the call that caused ELPD to react so violently without the indication of imminent danger.”

The East Lansing Police Department has released footage of the incident, as well as the call between dispatch and the officers sent to respond.


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