Officer cleared! DA rules Wisconsin cop justified for shooting knife-wielding criminal

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EAU CLAIRE, WI – The Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the use of deadly force by an officer against LeKenneth Miller last year was justified, and no charges will be filed.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a 911 hang-up call on Nov. 3, 2021, at approximately 2:39 p.m.

The caller, who was hiding in the bedroom of a Selma Street home with another female. said that the female’s ex-boyfriend LeKenneth Miller had broken into the home and was trying to get into the locked bedroom they were hiding in.

They also said he had gone to the kitchen and retrieved a knife.

The caller said Miller had strangled his ex-girlfriend a week prior.

The dispatcher tried to have the two women escape through a window, but they could not do so.

Responding officers reported hearing screaming inside the home as they arrived at the scene. The 911 dispatcher also heard screaming over the telephone.

City of Eau Claire Police Officers Kristopher O’Neill and Jason Kaveney drew their service weapons, ran toward the house, and attempted to access the locked front door by kicking it in.

Unsuccessful, they ran to a side door where they were met by the caller, who was running out of the house and hysterically screaming that Miller had stabbed her friend.

Police entered the home and heard the female screaming. Police encountered Miller holding a knife in the kitchen and ordered him to drop the weapon.

He refused and moved toward officers. At that point, according to police, Officer O’Neill shot Miller multiple times.

Officer cleared! DA rules Wisconsin cop justified for shooting knife-wielding criminal

Police quickly searched the home and found the female victim in the bathroom suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was airlifted to Mayo Hospital in Rochester for treatment.

Miller, 30,  was pronounced dead at the scene.

No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. The female victim has not been identified by police.

The Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office concluded:

“The Eau Claire Country District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of City of Eau Claire Police Officer Kristopher O’Neil on November 3, 2021, in the course of his law enforcement duties in the city and county of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, were reasonable acts of self-defense and defense of others.”

The officers were also praised by their police department, who called them heroes:

“Officers Kris O’Neill and Jason Kaveney took decisive and necessary action to protect members of our community.

“When doing so, they put themselves in harm’s way. Once LeKenneth Miller’s violent behavior was stopped, officers immediately began administering life-saving measures to both Miller and the person he was attacking with a knife. The actions of these officers were heroic.”

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Judge tosses charges against officer, rules that shooting at suspect trying to run him over was justified

December 11, 2021

 

LOWELL, MI- Back in March, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges against a Lowell police officer who shot a teenager in an officer-involved shooting and who was cleared of any wrongdoing by the police department after an investigation was completed.

Nine months later, on December 9th, an Ionia County circuit judge dismissed those charges brought against Lowell Police Officer Jason Diaz, stating that the officer was justified when he fired his duty-weapon at a car driving at him. 

The incident occurred on August 29, 2020 when now-former Lowell Police Officer Diaz was involved in a chase with a fleeing suspect. After the high-speed chase through Kent and Ionia Counties, Diaz allegedly fired eight shots at the suspect’s car.

One of the shot’s grazed a teenager passenger’s head, but he was not seriously injured and another passenger was shot in the arm. After the incident, as per protocol while an officer-involved shooting is under investigation, Diaz was placed on paid administrative leave.

The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting and the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) said that Diaz was cleared of any wrongdoing and put back on patrol.

However, none of that seemed to stop the Michigan attorney general from pushing to have the officer punished for protecting himself.

The day before the charges against him were publicly announced, Diaz submitted his resignation. On March 9th, Nessel said that Diaz broke the law and violated the Lowell Police Department’s use-of-force policy when he fired his duty-weapon.

Reportedly, Nessel announced that Diaz had been charged with felony assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a count of misconduct of office by a public official, and a count of weapons, careless discharge of causing injury. 

If the former police officer were to be convicted, the first two charges carried a 10-year sentence and a 5-year sentence. Former Officer Diaz was arraigned in Ionia County Court before Magistrate David Wirth and released on a $5,000 bond later that same day.

At the time, Mary Ann Sabo, a spokeswoman for the city of Lowell, said in a statement:

“In our judicial system, everyone enters with the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a court of law. Although this individual is not currently employed by the city, pending the outcome of the case, he could reapply for a position in the department or with the city.”

Months after the charges were announced, a motion to dismiss the case was heard by Hon. Suzanne Hoseth-Kreeger. She determined that former Officer Diaz’ actions were justified under the facts and circumstances of the case and ultimately dismissed the charges. 

Throughout the entire process, the FOP stood behind the officer, even providing his criminal defense because the charges arose from the “lawful performance of the officer’s duties.” At the time, a press release from the FOP said:

“Officer Jason Diaz, like thousands of other officers go to work everyday in Michigan to protect the public and stop crime. The work they do is hard and requires them to make split second decisions, whereas others get the luxury to second guess them for months and even years.”

The FOP added:

“In this time of intense law enforcement scrutiny, the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council will ensure that the true facts of this incident become fully known and understood by both the public and the courts.”

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Michigan Democrat Attorney General gets so drunk at college football game, she has to be taken out in a wheelchair

November 12th, 2021

LANSING, MI- According to reports, on Wednesday, November 10th, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) issued an apology laced with sarcasm for being incapacitated at a college football game after consuming entirely too much alcohol at a tailgate.

In her statement, Nessel detailed that she had to leave the game early because she fell ill, saying people helped her up the stairs as she exited and that someone provided her with a wheelchair to prevent her from “stumbling into the parking lot.”

She added that a designated driver brought her home, where she fell asleep and woke up the next day to a “skull-crushing hangover.” Nessel described the chain of events, which occurred at the state’s annual rivalry football game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University on October 30th, as “tailgate-gate.” 

It it still unclear where that term originated from or what prompted the state’s top legal officer to give a public apology nearly 11 days after the initial incident. In a Facebook post, she wrote:

“Before the big game, I attended a tailgate on an empty stomach. Much to my surprise, MSU tailgate’s tend to have more alcohol than food, so I thought it seemed like a good idea to eat 2 Bloody Mary’s, since as long as you put enough vegetables in them, it’s practically a salad.”

The University of Michigan alum added:

“As it turned out, this was not a brilliant idea. Also, I might be a terrible bartender. I proceeded to go to the game (which I’m told Michigan definitely won!) and started to feel ill.

I laid low for a while, but my friends recommended that I leave so as to prevent me from vomiting on any of my constituents (polling consistently shows ‘Roman showers’ to be unpopular among most demographics).”

The attorney general then attached a photo of herself to the Facebook post, adding:

“Just so one doesn’t have to imagine what this scene might have looked like.”

Nessel noted in the statement:

“Normally, I would ask my trusted friend and communications savant Kelly Rossman-McKinney for advice on how to best handle this crisis, but she died last night, so I can’t.”

According to reports, Rossman-McKinney died Thursday, November 9th after a battle with cancer. Her career spanned four decades. Concluding her statement with an apology, Nessel wrote:

“I am human. Sometimes I screw up. This was definitely one of those times. My apologies to the entire state of Michigan for this mishap, but especially that Michigan fan sitting behind me. Some things you can’t unsee. Sorry to all the people who have supported me for letting you down. I will try to do better.”

Tori Sachs, executive director for the conservative Michigan Freedom Fund, condemned Nessel for “being out of control for years,” writing:

“The issue isn’t that she got embarrassingly drunk at our state’s most-watched public event, it’s that she is completely erratic, irrational, and lacks judgment.”

Michigan Rising Action, another conservative group, criticized Nessel for her judgment calls at the game and assessed that her actions are a “strain on Michigan’s reputation.” The group said that the delay of Nessel’s apology suggests she is not “genuinely sorry,” but rather “just sorry she got caught.”

Eric Ventimiglia, the group’s executive director, said in a statement:

“When you are elected to be the top law enforcement official in the state, you are held to a higher standard. People drunk at tailgates, and that is perfectly acceptable behavior. It is an embarrassment to the State of Michigan for our top prosecutor to have been drunkenly carted out of a stadium. It is unbecoming of her office.”

Nessel’s full statement is below:

 
 

 

 

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