Request made for dropping charges against man shot by police outside East Lansing Meijer store

The Independent Police Commission filed a motion to consider dropping the case altogether and asked City Council members for support.
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:53 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The East Lansing City Council has requested Michigan Attorney General to drop the case against DeAnthony VanAtten.

Background: Man shot by East Lansing police at Lake Lansing Meijer charged with 7 felonies

The 20-year-old was shot by East Lansing police in a Meijer parking lot in April. According to authorities, East Lansing police responded to a weapons complaint at the Meijer on Lake Lansing Road. Police said they saw a man matching the description inside the store and pursued him outside, where he was shot.

After a review of the evidence, Attorney General Dana Nessel said her department will not seek charges against the officers involved.

VanAtten was charged with one count carrying a concealed weapon, one count receiving and concealing a firearm, one count felony firearm, four counts resisting and obstructing an officer, one count third degree retail fraud.

When East Lansing City Council members met with Nessel, they didn’t think dropping charges against VanAtten was an option. The Independent Police Commission filed a motion to consider dropping the case altogether and asked City Council members for support.

“And so it makes sense for things to work its way to East Lansing City Council and for us to weigh in on the matter and discuss whether or not we think this is the right direction or the wrong direction or what,” said Dana Watson, with the East Lansing City Council.

VanAtten’s case is being handled by Nessel instead of a county prosecutor. Council members said it’s because the case was passed to her office. Nessel looked into the actions of the involved officers and the person who was shot.

“And so keeping it within our county and asking us to be able to deal with it on that level made more sense to us,” Watson said.

The East Lansing Independent Police Oversight Commission will meet again Oct. 5.

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