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West case remains at DA's office, no new information released

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Fatal shooting

Racine Street was cordoned off at 23rd Street with police tape for nearly 9 hours after a fatal, officer-involved shooting early on the morning of June 15. Ty' Rese West, 18, died in the incident. Last week, Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson announced that she had decided not to charge Mount Pleasant Police Sgt. Eric Giese, the officer who fired the fatal shots.

RACINE — After two weeks at the Racine County District Attorney’s Office, no decision has been made as to the outcome of the investigation into the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Ty’ Rese West by Mount Pleasant Police Sgt. Eric Giese.

On Aug. 6, Racine District Attorney Tricia Hanson confirmed that the Racine Police Department delivered a preliminary set of investigative reports to the District Attorney’s Office on Aug. 2.

Hanson said that some items were missing from the file that would need to be received by her office before a final decision in the case could be made.

The National Police Foundation, “an independent, nonpartisan and nonmembership organization dedicated to policing through innovation and science,” said the guideline completion date for lead agencies investigating officer-involved shootings is typically 30 days. Racine Police handed over the case to the DA 48 days after West was shot.

“Based on the known length of time toxicology reports take to secure (6 to 8 weeks), the reported 30-day timeline was not attainable in this case,” Racine Police Chief Art Howell said earlier this month. “In order to promote organizational transparency and to keep the public informed, the investigative packet was forwarded to the DA’s Office (minus the crime lab reports which have yet to be completed).”

The Journal Times asked Hanson Friday if the crime lab reports Howell mentioned earlier this month have since been turned into her office. Once Hanson has all necessary documents, she will determine whether Giese will be charged.

“I can’t comment on the status of the case at this time,” Hanson said Friday in an email to The Journal Times.

West was fatally shot at about 1:30 a.m. on June 15 while riding his bike in the 2500 block of Racine Street (Highway 32).

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Matt Soens issued a news release later that afternoon stating that the officer — identified by the state Department of Justice on June 23 as Giese — was forced to discharge a service weapon at West, whom Racine Police said was being “uncooperative.”

Police said “less lethal” attempts were used, but fatal force was ultimately used. Racine Police have said that West was armed and that a gun was recovered at the scene.

West’s family has spoken out, requesting audio and video evidence of West’s shooting.

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Footage?

Two months after West has been shot, many questions remain, including whether or not video footage exists of West’s interaction with police that night.

The Monday after the shooting, The Journal Times went to three area businesses near the site of the incident — the U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer, Los Cantaritos Mexican Restaurant and the gas station and the Hometown Gas Station — to inquire as to whether they had footage of the shooting.

None of the three businesses said they had surveillance footage of the incident.

The Journal Times has also made formal open records requests for body camera footage of the shooting and other investigation details to the Mount Pleasant and Racine police departments and the Department of Justice.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department and Department of Justice have denied the requests due to the case being ongoing.

The requests made with the Racine Police Department, which were made on June 21 and transferred to the Racine City Attorney’s Office last month, are still pending.

Hanson said she could not comment when asked whether body-cam footage is part of the investigative file her office has received.

“I can’t comment on the status of the case at this time.” Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson, regarding the Ty’Rese West case

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Alyssa Mauk covers breaking news and courts. She enjoys spending time with her family, video games, heavy metal music, watching YouTube videos, comic books and movies.

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