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Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Grand Rapids police were justified in shooting and killing Malik Carey, 18, who opened fired on police after engaging in an otherwise pleasant conversation.
Carey, who was seated in the back seat of a parked car, was talking to police when he suddenly reached into his waistband for a gun and fired four shots at officers. "There was no indication there was going to be trouble there ... absolutely no indication he was going to get violent," Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Tuesday, May 30.
Becker determined that Grand Rapids police were justified in shooting and killing Carey.
He said video footage from officers' body cameras played a crucial role in showing exactly what happened. The video provides a look at the "unpredictability" of encounters that police face every day, Becker said.
Police Chief David Rahinsky said: "That turned in a split second. ... I have to commend the officers for not being complacent. It just goes, in my mind, to reinforce just how dangerous this profession is." Becker also determined that police acted appropriately waiting nearly 30 minutes to provide Carey with assistance. Carey was on the ground, near his .38-caliber revolver, and, while he ignored police orders to show his hands or crawl away from the gun, he still showed movement.
Police assembled a special-response team, with an armored rescue vehicle and shields, to approach Carey, concerned he would shoot officers as they neared. As it turned out, Carey could not have survived a gunshot to his temple. His movements were involuntary.
The incident began around 12:30 p.m. May 3 in the 1300-block of Dickinson Street SE.
While helping a Grand Rapids schools officer conduct truancy checks, Officer Benjamin Hawkins happened to spot Carey in the back seat of a parked car.
A probation officer that day issued an advisory to police that Carey was a probation absconder. The probation officer included an "officer safety caution" because Carey was on probation for firing at a carload of people in 2015.