It has now been over one month since 18-year-old Ty’ Rese West was killed by a Mount Pleasant police officer and too many questions remain unanswered.
The most basic questions that remain are if the officer was wearing a body camera and is there any footage?
The Journal Times has made an open records request for this information, but we have not received even this basic information.
That should be easy enough to answer. It’s a yes or no answer.
Unfortunately, when even basic information is withheld, it adds a cloud of doubt over the entire investigation.
Authorities have released information saying that in the early-morning hours of June 15 a Mount Pleasant officer attempted to stop West, who was riding a bicycle in the 2500 block of Racine Street, when West fled.
After a short foot pursuit, the officer saw that West was armed with a gun, the reports said. The officer then used verbal commands and deployed electronic control devices unsuccessfully before shooting West, according to the DOJ. A handgun was recovered from the scene.
In addition, the family has released a photo of West showing two bullet holes in the front of his head.
However, information has not yet been released saying if West pointed a gun at the officer.
West’s family and friends deserve to know what happened. Any parent deserves that.
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It’s more than family who needs answers. The entire community deserves to know what happened.
The public depends on police officers for protection. And when an officer shoots someone, the public should get answers.
There should also be a speedy resolution for the officer himself and the department.
While the investigation is ongoing the officer remains on leave – stressing staffing levels and leaving his integrity in question.
The last police-involved shooting in Racine County before West was killed, was Donte Shannon. He was killed by two Racine police officers on Jan. 17, 2018. On Feb. 23, 2018 — 37 days after the shooting — the Wisconsin Department of Justice turned over its investigative file on Shannon’s death to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.
On March 20 — 62 days after the shooting — the Department of Justice report was released, and Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson announced that her office would not press charges against the two Racine Police Department officers involved in Shannon’s death.
It has now been 36 days since West was killed. The public deserves a timeline to know when answers will be coming and answers to basic questions such as if body camera footage exists.