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Lansing mother relaunches the clothing business of her son, who died in 2014

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 19:47:01-05

LANSING, Mich. — Shirley Mitchner decided to relaunch her son Brandon Mitchner's urban fashion line in October. She wanted to honor her son, who died in 2014.

"My trademark is the lion," Mitchner said. "But I kept his words. MIYM. Make it your mission."

His dream was to be a fashion designer and he launched Make It Your Mission two years before his death.

Brandon was 22 when he died. He'd gone out with a group of friends to celebrate a birthday. According to the incident report from the Lansing Police Department, Brandon wandered off on his own. He reportedly fell into the Grand River near South Street and drowned.

No one has been arrested for Brandon's death and the case has been closed. But Mitchner thinks something else could've happened that night.

"How did he get in the river? How did he get in there," she said. "Did he fall? Was he pushed?"

State Rep. Cynthia Johnson of Detroit has joined forces with Mitchner to get Brandon's case reopened.

"They did not stay on top of this case for this mother and this son who would be 29, 30 by now," Johnson said.

Police have not reopened the case.

Mitchner is also working to get bill HB4507 Duty to Act reintroduced in the state legislature.

"It's simply, you and I are together and you know I'm sick, I've been shot, I've been stabbed. Don't leave me," she said. "Call 9-1-1."

Ken Levy, a law professor at Louisiana State University, says similar laws have already passed in a few states.

"They're watching a crime unfold before them and they're on the fence about whether to report, the idea is that the law will put a little more pressure on them to report," Levy said.

Levy supports such laws but sees why others might oppose them.

"The other side would say that this is an infringement on our liberty," he said. "As long as I'm not committing the crime, I'm not a part of the crime, I just happened upon the crime, I should not be legally obligated to report it."

Mitchner is determined to get a law passed for Brandon's honor.

"If HB4507 Duty to Act saves one life, then he didn't die in vain," she said.

Mitchner already fought to get a guard rail and danger sign put up around the Grand River area where Brandon fell in and she's determined to keep fighting for justice in her son's honor.

"I'm proud of all my children," she said, "and so proud of Brandon."

Mitchner is not selling clothing out of stores, yet. Purchases can be made online at

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1:07 PM, Jun 15, 2022

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