- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) - Family members of a driver who was fatally shot last month by suburban Detroit police want more information from authorities to help them understand why she was killed.

According to state police, 31-year-old Janet Wilson of Detroit died after she was shot multiple times in her car during the Jan. 27 afternoon rush hour, after fleeing from the Fairlane shopping mall in Dearborn.

“She just was a family person - she just was a loving person,” a niece, Talia Bass, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday. “It shouldn’t have happened like that.”

State police said Wilson tried to drive away as officers approached her car on a busy road. Lt. Mike Shaw has said shots were fired because officers feared they would be run over, describing her car, a Chevrolet HHR, as a “weapon.” The investigation is ongoing.

Witnesses have told investigators that Wilson had seemed distraught while at the mall, but relatives on Wednesday questioned those accounts.

It’s the second fatal shooting of a black person by a Dearborn officer since late December. In a statement released after the second shooting, the department said it was “deeply saddened” by both incidents but that it was proud of its history of appropriate use of force. Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad also said the department respects civil rights and is examining its procedures.

“I don’t want you to turn a blind eye to this,” said Cassie Bass, another niece. “This should not happen. This cannot keep going on. An injustice for one is an injustice for all. Who’s policing the police?”

An attorney for the family, Vince Colella, said he’s trying to gather evidence, including possible video footage from area businesses and police cars.

“If there were shots fired into this vehicle before it started to advance towards this officer … that would be excessive force,” he said.

On Dec. 23, police said 35-year-old Kevin Matthews of Detroit was shot multiple times in Detroit during a struggle with a Dearborn officer. Police said Matthews, who was unarmed, was suspected in a theft in Dearborn and was wanted by another police department.

State police also are investigating the shooting. Matthews’ mother, Valarie Johnson, has said he had mental and emotional problems.

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