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US authorities charge Michigan police member over fatal fugitive arrest operation – JURIST

Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Brian Keeley was charged on Tuesday with second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter of Samuel Sterling by Michigan Attorney General. 

Keeley has been charged with second degree murder, which is a life offense. Alternatively, Keeley has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is a felony with a fifteen-year sentence. Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel, stated that Keeley’s actions were “legally, grossly negligent” and “created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm, which could have otherwise been prevented.” Nessel added that “public integrity is a top priority and my department remains dedicated to providing a through and just review and resolution of each issue that comes before us.” Nessel said no further comment or information will be provided regarding the case.

Michigan State Police Sixth District Fugitive Task Force, including Keeley, attempted to bring Sterling into custody on April 17, both by car and on foot. Sterling fled the officers on foot before stopping in a parking lot, where Keeley struck Sterling with his car, fatally injuring him. The Task Force was performing a fugitive arrest operation because Sterling was wanted on multiple warrants. 

Fifth District Investigative Response Team (IRT), a team of specially trained detectives from a district other than Keeley’s, previously investigated the “critical incident” and suspended Keeley pending the results. Thereafter, they handed the case to Michigan attorney general for further review. 

The arraignment date has not been set for Keeley.

Anna Harden

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