- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) - A western Michigan mother whose daughter was killed by her husband before he was fatally shot by police wants more officers to wear body cameras to boost accountability.

Katie Jackson said she has forgiven 43-year-old Lamont Gulley for fatally stabbing her daughter, Casey Kempker, The Grand Rapids Press (https://bit.ly/29S8Z1t ) reported Wednesday. Gulley threatened police with a knife and tried to stab a police dog when he was shot twice April 8 in Kentwood.

Jackson said police played the roles of “judge, jury and executioner” in shooting Gulley, who suffered from mental illness and needed treatment, she said. She described the footage of his shooting from a Grand Rapids officers’ body camera as “horrifying.”

“If anybody should be prejudicial of what they saw, it should be me,” she said.

Jackson said she’s concerned there wouldn’t be video evidence had Grand Rapids officers not assisted Kentwood police, a department that has only four body cameras for officers who patrol on motorcycles and on foot at a mall.

Kent County prosecutors reviewed the case, found that Gulley refused to comply with officers’ demands to drop his knife and cleared an officer of wrongdoing. Prosecutor William Forsyth’s legal opinion also said that Gulley told officers he had a gun and yelled at officers to shoot him.

Kentwood police Chief Tom Hillen said he welcomed Jackson’s comments but can’t discount that Gulley refused to drop his weapon.

“He controlled, quite frankly, his own destiny,” Hillen said. “He put everybody else at harm’s risk. I just don’t think that this case is one you want to say that, ‘Oh, a body cam would have made a difference.’”

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids


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