Michigan State Police trooper won’t face charges for shooting man in Flint

Prosecutor David Leyton ruled the shooting justified and won’t take criminal action against the trooper
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 12:18 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A Michigan State Police trooper will not face charges for shooting a man allegedly armed with a gun on Flint’s north side nearly 10 days ago.

“We think he acted reasonably, we think he acted in self defense and, we think that his actions were appropriate under the circumstances,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.

He issued a ruling on Tuesday, saying the trooper’s actions were justified and his Office was declining to issue any criminal charges. The 28-year-old Burton man who was shot during the incident is facing weapons and drug charges.

The trooper was responding to the area of Pasadena and Martin Luther King Jr. avenues on the afternoon of Oct. 4 to investigate reports of a man with a gun, who turned out to be Jabriel Hicks. Investigators say Hicks was involved in a domestic disturbance nearby and fired a gun into the air.

The trooper encountered Hicks a few blocks from the domestic violence report.

“Our review of the matter is that he properly identified what looked like a suspect in a domestic violence case, along the street, he asked that individual to come over to him, he asked that individual to raise his hands and then get down on the ground,” Leyton said.

He explained the trooper had probable cause to approach Hicks and order him to place his hands in the air and get on the ground. The trooper could be heard on the dash camera video yelling commands at Hicks several times to put his hands up and walk toward the patrol car.

As Hicks started walking toward the trooper, Leyton said the dash camera video shows a handgun visible through a hole in Hicks' pants. The trooper then drew his weapon and ordered Hicks to get on the ground.

Leyton said the video shows Hicks starting to get on the ground after ignoring the trooper’s first few commands. While midway down, Leyton said the video shows Hicks start to reach toward the handgun in his pants.

“He starts to go down, the Trooper sees the gun in his right knee and his right hand is going down; and, his right hand is going to be right where the gun is, that’s when the Trooper pulls of the shot,” Leyton said.

The trooper fired one shot at Hicks, Leyton said. The trooper called for backup, notified dispatchers that he had fired a shot and immediately began rendering medical aid to Hicks until an ambulance arrived.

Hicks was hospitalized for two days before he was transferred to the Genesee County Jail. He was arraigned on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felony, using a firearm while committing a felony and possession of less than 25 grams of cocaine.

Hicks was released from custody on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond while awaiting further court proceedings.

The trooper, who is not being identified, was placed on paid administrative leave while investigators from a different Michigan State Police district looked into his actions. With Leyton’s order on Tuesday, the trooper will be allowed to return to work.

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