East Lansing police officers involved in Meijer shooting named
EAST LANSING — Police officers involved in the shooting of a young Black man in a Meijer parking lot last month have been named in a use-of-force report.
In the April report submitted to the East Lansing Independent Police Oversight Commission, officers Jose Viera and Jim Menser were listed as discharging their weapons.
Officer Jeff Horn also was listed as displaying his weapon, according to the report, which was discussed during Monday night’s meeting of the commission.
An attorney for Viera, who joined ELPD in March 2020, said he and his client are confident the officers will be cleared of wrongdoing in the incident, although it might take a few weeks.
“This not about ‘backing the blue’ – the concerns of the community about social justice are valid and important,” attorney Mike Nichols said in a written statement.
“Jose and his family, as well as the Nichols family. continue to pray for the recovery of Mr. VanAtten – no one wanted to see him get hurt,” Nichols said.
Patrick O’Keefe, an attorney for Menser, declined to comment.
On April 25, East Lansing officers shot 20-year-old DeAnthony VanAtten twice in the Lake Lansing Road Meijer parking lot after responding to a report of a man with a gun.
The commission had a special meeting April 28 to discuss the shooting, and video of the incident was released Thursday.
VanAtten was taken into custody by the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, while he was still in Sparrow Hospital.
He was later transferred to jail while being held on a probation violation warrant, according to Michigan State Police, who are investigating the incident. He has since been released.
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Nichols said Viera spent seven months with the Lansing Police Department before joining ELPD and has participated in community events, including Shop with a Cop in December and the first annual egg hunt in the Pinecrest Neighborhood on Easter.
“The first thing that Jose said to me within about 5 seconds of meeting me within minutes of the incident was, ‘Mr. Nichols, help me with 2 things – I want to make sure that my wife is OK and that the young man who what shot is OK,'” Nichols said in the statement.
Contact Bryce Airgood at 517-267-0448 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.