- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) - An officer has been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a man who confronted police with a knife after stabbing his wife to death in western Michigan.

No charges were planned against the Kentwood officer, Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth announced Tuesday after reviewing the case.

Lamont Gulley, 43, had threatened police with a knife and tried to stab a police dog when he was shot twice on April 8 in the community immediately south of Grand Rapids. Gulley later died at an area hospital.

Officers had followed Gulley’s footprints in the snow from an apartment complex where Casey Kempker, 41, was found bleeding. Kempker later died. Her 7-year-old son was found unharmed in an apartment at the complex.

The shooting was captured on a squad car dashboard camera. As officers circled Gulley, one can be heard saying, “He’s got a knife. He’s got a knife.” Another appears to yell, “Drop the knife!”

The video shows Gulley falling to the ground and apparently stabbing at the police dog when he’s shot twice.

Media reports have identified the officer firing the shots as Darrin Cline.

Forsyth met with black community leaders in the Grand Rapids area before his office released the video Tuesday, MLive.com reported.

Gulley was black. Cline is white.

Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley said in a release Tuesday that he was pleased with the results of Forsyth’s investigation.

“As we all know, there is evil in this world,” Kepley said. “Individuals open themselves up to evil and perform evil acts. It is the duty of our police officers to protect the innocent from these individuals, which they did so bravely the night of April 8, 2016.”

“I wish that Mr. Gulley, who was so broken and filled with anger, had not stabbed his wife 15 times,” Kepley added. “I wish that a 7-year-old boy would still have his mom. Lastly, I wish that Mr. Gulley, in the end, would have simply dropped the knife.”

Police-involved shootings have faced increasing scrutiny across the United States since 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot in 2014 during a street confrontation with a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014.

Gulley was given “multiple options to drop his knife and turn himself in,” Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen said in a statement.

“Using lethal force is never an easy option for a police officer, nor is it an option to be taken lightly,” Hillen said. “In this case, though, it was the only option left to prevent further violence and protect our community.”


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

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