- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan joined several other social justice groups Thursday and called for the suspension of a multi-jurisdictional police task force involved in the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old Detroit man.

The groups are demanding that the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team be disbanded and its funding to cease until investigations prove the task force poses no threat to neighborhoods its members go into, according to a release from ACLU.

They sent a letter to new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney in Detroit Barbara McQuade and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, the ACLU said.

The action comes after Terrance Kellom, 20, was shot multiple times in his father’s west side Detroit home on April 27 by ICE agent Mitchell Quinn. Quinn is on the task force.

ICE has said Kellom was wanted on armed robbery and weapons charges.

Police have said Kellom lunged with a hammer before he was shot. His father, Kevin Kellom, has disputed the police account.

Kellom’s death comes amid a national debate over police conduct, particularly toward black men, since black 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri last August. Violence erupted in Baltimore this week over a black man who died there in police custody. Kellom was black, as is the ICE agent who shot him.

“This collective statement was critical because the killing of Terrance Kellom - not unlike the police slaying of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and the deaths of black men nationwide at the hands of law enforcement - cannot be looked at in isolation,” said Mark Fancher, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan Racial Justice Project.

“Instead, we’re seeing a lethal pattern that demands a much broader look at the systemic factors involved, from the training methods employed to the standards for determining the fitness of these officers to serve. Above all, we need transparency and accountability.”

Detroit police are investigating the shooting. McQuade said her office will closely monitor that probe.

Other groups calling for the task force’s suspension and listed on the letter to Lynch include the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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