ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Calls for Federal Probe Into Shooting Death of Detroit Man, Closer Scrutiny of Immigration Agents' Roles in Task Forces

April 28, 2015

Kary Moss, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, gave the following statement in reaction to the shooting death of 20-year-old Terrance Kellom by a federal immigration agent in Detroit yesterday:

"The death of Terrance Kellom is tragic and should be immediately investigated by federal authorities. The use of excessive force by police—and the resulting tragedies that citizens experience, especially in communities of color, as a result of their interactions with law enforcement—are endemic across this country and must stop. The first step in interrupting this cycle must be urgent reforms in how police and communities interact and the de-militarization of police departments across the state. Federal authorities also need to begin questioning the role of ICE in routine criminal investigations and whether these agents are properly trained to fill this role without unnecessarily endangering the public."

The death of Kellom comes amid rising tensions locally and nationwide over violent, often deadly, police mistreatment of blacks and Latinos. In the Detroit suburb of Inkster, for instance, a black motorist named Floyd Dent recently had criminal charges against him dropped after video surfaced of police officers brutalizing Dent during a routine traffic stop.

In Ann Arbor, an African-American woman named Aura Rosser was shot and killed by police called to her home about a domestic dispute, prompting the ACLU of Michigan to suggest reforms to ensure the integrity of investigations into police shootings.

Last fall, the ACLU of Michigan testified before the Organization of American States and raised questions about the police killing of Milton Hall, a black man slain by a phalanx of Saginaw police officers in a hail of bullets during a standoff outside a conveniece store. Though Hall was armed with only a small knife and didn't appear to threaten the officers, police fired nearly 50 bullets at Hall, hitting him more than a dozen times.

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