The Wayne County Attorney’s Office said the Detroit police officer involved in the October shooting of a 20-year-old man who had a mental health crisis acted in self-defense and will not be charged.
According to reports from the Attorney General’s Office, officers spoke to Porter Burks using his first name, asked open-ended questions, asked what he wanted, and then where he wanted to go if he said his name. Knife down.
Officers repeatedly told Burks to drop his weapon. The action can also be seen in a body camera video released by the police. According to the prosecutor’s statement, Burks repeatedly refused to drop the knife and officers “did not use threatening or hostile remarks or tone.”
Prosecutor Kim Worthy called the shooting “a truly tragic incident.”
“Mr Burks had a long history of mental illness and violent behavior, and a tendency to carry knives, which was communicated by his family to officers who responded,” Worthy said in a statement. He is said to have previously slashed two people and a 7-year-old girl in 2020. Police spent considerable time trying to get him to drop his weapon, and he suddenly ran towards them with a knife. , bridged the distance between the two.Interviews with witnesses to the shooting indicated that police did everything they could to defuse the situation before Burks filed a complaint with them. ”
“Unfortunately, Mr. Burks was fatally shot by a police officer in self-defense and in the defense of others,” she added.
According to his family, Burks had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. According to police, his brother Damond Anderson said in October that he was “worried about people” because his brother was walking around the neighborhood with a knife and had a “really bad episode.” It was the person who asked the authorities for help on the 1st. Anderson also told officers that his brother, who could be seen on body camera footage, cut his tire in desperation.
Detroit police said they fired 38 shots at Burks in three seconds. A prosecutor’s investigation found that Burks ran about 40 feet toward the officer within three seconds. The prosecutor’s investigation also showed that a taser was deployed, but there is no evidence that the taser had an effect on Burks.
The report follows the Porter family’s announcement earlier this month that it plans to sue four unnamed police officers for wrongful death for $50 million, said Jeffrey Feiger, the family’s attorney. Says.
Fieger alleges that Detroit Police Chief James White “failed to provide the name of the officer involved in the execution-style murder of Porter Burks.”
Detroit police did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment regarding Fieger’s comments.
At a press conference on November 1, Feiger said, “Despite direct requests from the Chief to provide everything, video and everything to do with this incident, it has been two weeks today and I have not received anything. No,” he announced. litigation. “They haven’t provided any information.”
in white statement Nov. 23 called the shooting a “tragic event” and called for additional resources for those suffering from mental illness. He thanked Worthy’s office for its “objective review.”
“Their independent review confirms that our officers’ actions were justified under the circumstances,” the statement said.
According to Feiger, Burks’ autopsy report reveals that no police shots were fired in the vicinity, and that Burks was shot at least 19 times in the head, face, chest, arms, and legs.
Feiger did not immediately respond to prosecutors’ requests for comment on the findings.