Last month, David Ried, the Ann Arbor police officer who shot and killed 40-year-old Aura Rosser was cleared of criminal charges.
“The law is clear and the evidence established that this tragic death was the result of lawful self-defense,” prosecutor Brian Mackie said in the release.
After news broke that criminal charges wouldn’t be filed against Reid, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor released a public statement calling Rosser’s death a ‘tragedy of mental illness untreated and drug use unabated.’
“The events of that night, of course, were a tragedy, but not a tragedy of racism, which is loathsome and unacceptable and contrary to everything Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Police Department stands for,” Taylor said. “The events of Nov. 9 were a tragedy of mental illness untreated and drug use unabated. They were a tragedy of a society that does not devote the resources necessary to give help to those who require it.”
Many are still outraged that no charges will be brought against the Ann Arbor police officer. Last week, more than 100 people marched through downtown Ann Arbor protest the decision to not to charge Ried for Rosser’s death.
Facing backlash on how his department handled the Rosser shooting, Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto is now reviewing officer training programs and has added both “diversity awareness” and “autism awareness” to the training calendar for 2015.
Below is the full text of Seto’s prepared remarks from Monday night, as provided by Seto to The Ann Arbor News:
Now that the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office has concluded that there will be no criminal charges filed in the shooting death of Ms. Rosser, I am able to make some additional comments regarding this unfortunate incident.
I would like to begin by expressing my condolences once again to the family and friends of Ms. Rosser. Although the officer’s response was justified, it had a tragic outcome nonetheless. This has been a very difficult time for our community and the entire Ann Arbor Police Department, specifically Officers Ried and Raab, who responded to this incident.
I have previously stated that Officer Ried has been an excellent officer who has earned my confidence by routinely demonstrating sound judgment and professionalism. His actions during this incident are consistent with my prior assessment.
The community expects its officers to resolve a wide range of conflicts. When doing so, they have a duty to protect citizens who are in danger and they have a right to protect themselves. Both were required of Officers Ried and Raab on Nov. 9.
In the weeks following the incident, I have witnessed a great deal of patience and restraint shown through many peaceful demonstrations that have occurred. I am grateful to be the police chief in a community where its citizens can express their opinions in a peaceful and respectful manner.
While we all waited for the completion of the Michigan State Police investigation and subsequent decision by the prosecutor’s office, I have continued to move forward with several initiatives. With council’s authorization for the appropriation of funds, the Ann Arbor Police Department has placed an order for 86 body-worn cameras. While we await delivery, we have continued the process of developing the policy and training associated with the deployment of this technology.
I have also been reviewing our current training topics to identify any additional needs. For the 2015 training calendar, I have added modules to include diversity awareness conducted by the Anti-Defamation League of Michigan, as well as autism awareness. These are in line with previous training programs which have exposed officers to other specific population groups.
Some examples include response to incidents involving citizens with alzheimer’s or dementia, as well as those who are deaf or hearing impaired. Annually, all officers are also trained in both less lethal and lethal force tactics and techniques. I will continue to explore and evaluate any other relevant training opportunities for our officers.
Prior to this incident, I met regularly with the chairperson of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission. As the commission began to hear more questions from the community, these meetings have increased in frequency and have included additional commission members as well as new topics of discussion. I will continue to work with the commission members to answer any questions they identify.
I plan to continue with all of these efforts and initiatives going forward.
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