Mid-Michigan sees 2 deadly police shootings in 4 days

Police trained to de-escalate
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Five police officers across Mid-Michigan are on paid leave after two separate deadly shootings.

The latest happened Thursday night in Lansing. The other took place Monday in Bath Township.

The victim’s mother in the Bath Township shooting told officers she wanted her son to get mental health treatment. The body camera footage captured an officer trying to calm the man down before shooting him.

Police killed Nicolas Micko when he reportedly approached officers with a gun Thursday. Lansing police said they plan to release body camera video from the shooting once state police approve.

Every situation is unique and police officers across the state are trained to handle different types of situations with the goal of keeping everyone safe.

Lewis Lengham is a retired Michigan State Police detective. He said officers often only shoot when it is a last resort to solving a problem.

“There comes a moment in time when all negotiations have failed,” Lengham said.

“It’s really important for officers to assess the situation and their safety,” said Teresa Ritsema. “The safety of the other people in the community has to be at the forefront.”

Ritsema is on the crisis intervention team at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The group helps train officers in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties on ways to de-escalate situations.

“This training is trying to say ‘Take a step back, see if you can wait and use skills of communication,’” Ritsema said.

“No police officer really wants to be put in that situation where they have to take someone’s life,” Lengham said.

One Bath Township officer, one Lansing officer and three state troopers are on paid leave until the investigations in the two shootings are done. Prosecutors will decide at that time if any are charged with a crime.

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