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Judge rules in favor of man shot by East Lansing Police outside a Meijer store

East Lansing police blocked entrances to the Lake Lansing Road Meijer store following an officer-involved shooting Monday evening.
Sarah Lehr
/
WKAR-MSU
Officers with the East Lansing Police Department shot at DeAnthony VanAtten last year after he allegedly ran into a Meijer store with a gun.

An Ingham County Judge has ruled in favor of a man who was shot by East Lansing police last year.

Officers with the East Lansing Police Department shot at DeAnthony VanAtten last year after he allegedly ran into a Meijer store with a gun. As part of a Michigan State Police investigation, Attorney General Dana Nessel cleared the officers who fired at him of any wrongdoing and charged VanAtten with seven felonies, including police obstruction.

The ELPD has published an extensive report about the incident. While the report concluded some officers on the scene at the time who didn't shoot at VanAtten violated minor policies—such as failing to wear a a body camera or a seatbelt while driving or riding in a vehicle—it also found officers were justified when they shot at and attempted to apprehend him.

But Judge Rosemarie Aquilina recently ruled officers lacked sufficient grounds to search him because they didn’t have evidence that he committed or was going to commit a crime. That would be a violation of the right against illegal search and seizure.

The judge issued a motion to suppress evidence in the case. Nessel’s office could appeal the case or ask Aquilina to reconsider.

East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson declined to comment on the ruling. The Ingham County Public Defender's office, which represented VanAtten, and the Attorney General’s office did not return requests for comment.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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