EAST LANSING, Mich. — Black Lives Matter of Lansing and other community members gathered outside of the Ingham County Jail to demand action and responsibility from the East Lansing Police Department after the shooting outside the Lake Lansing Road Meijer store last week.
"He went into that store to buy corn and macaroni for a cookout," said Black Lives Matter of Lansing Co-Leader Sean Holland. "He left his girlfriend and her eight-month-old baby in the car and said, 'I'll be right back' and, somewhere between that conversation and walking into Meijer, going and getting those items and checking out, he never made it home.”
According to Michigan State Police, the 21-year-old man who was shot by police was released from the hospital and is currently being held at the Ingham County Jail for allegedly violating a probation warrant.
On Tuesday, family, friends and Black Lives Matter of Lansing stood outside of the jail demanding transparency.
“This is the reason why we're here today to lift up our demands with the family," Holland said. "This is a tragedy and we are fortunate that DeAnthony is still alive, he shouldn't be alive, but he is still alive. And again, the community needs to know that he still has two bullets in his body.”
Holland said they want the names of the police officers who shot the man, who protesters identified as DeAnthony VanAtten, to be released and want them held accountable.
“We need accountability. We need real systemic transformation," Holland said. "You can't reform evil. What happened in that parking lot, was racial profiling at its height and we see where it ended? It ended with a young black man hanging on to his life and his whole life has been changed. All he wanted to do was go to a cookout and spend time with his family.”
At the Independent Police Oversight Commission on Thursday, East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson said the department will not be releasing the names until after Michigan State Police finish their investigation.
The commission passed a motion asking the East Lansing Police Department to release video footage by this coming Thursday or provide a written statement on why they couldn't do so. Holland said they want to see the unedited version of the video from that night
“We need the unedited version of that video, not the edited version, or a version with major redactions," Holland said. "I think it is a sign that they're not willing to be transparent with this with this community around this incident and where there were clear, clear violations of, of policy and police procedures.”
Holland said Black Lives Matter of Lansing is going to keep pressing on this issue.
“We don't feel safe. We don't call the police when we have an issue in our community. We don't do that," Holland said. "We don't feel safe, and we don't feel heard. So we have to continue to lift our voices, we have to continue to organize, and we have to continue to call this community to action.”
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