Detective charged with crime after what he did to fleeing suspect

Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged a veteran state trooper with murder after he used his unmarked police cruiser to stop a fleeing fugitive during a chase earlier this month.

The car eventually struck Samuel Sterling, a suspect who fled on foot, who was later killed in what Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Brian Keely called an accident.

Police were looking for Sterling when he was at a gas station in the city of Kentwood on the morning of April 17.

When officers tried to arrest him, he fled and was chased by members of a fugitive task force, WOOD-TV reported.

Keely chased Sterling, 25, and eventually struck him with the vehicle.


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The aspiring rapper, who was black, died shortly afterwards from traumatic injuries. Keely, 50, immediately faced criticism and even scorn from Michigan’s Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer called for Keely to be fired if charges were brought by her state’s attorney general’s office.

During a press conference on Tuesday announcing the charges, Nessel accused Keely, who is white, of behaving in a way she described as “gross negligence.”

“My office reviewed multiple police reports from other officers at the scene, read the accident reconstruction report and autopsy, and reviewed bodycam footage and surveillance video from neighboring businesses before concluding our investigation,” Nessel said.

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“We discovered that Detective Sgt. Keely’s actions that day were legally grossly negligent and created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm that could otherwise have been avoided,” the AG added.

Body camera footage of the attempted arrest shows the moment Keely’s cruiser struck Sterling in front of a Burger King restaurant.

WARNING: The following video contains images that some may find disturbing.


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Keely, who has been with the Michigan State Police since 1998, is charged with manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge, while the manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

An attorney for Keely went on the attack in a statement to WOOD on Tuesday, calling out both Nessel and Whitmer and arguing that the officer’s prosecution is politically motivated.

“It is unfortunate that in this day and age of political correctness, Michigan’s attorney general has chosen to ignore the facts of this incident and rely on political pressure,” attorney Marc Curtis told the news station.

Curtis added, “It is also unfortunate that our governor, without seeing or hearing all of the evidence in the case, has chosen to express her opinion and side against law enforcement in this case.”

Curtis said his client was not only “heartbroken” over the incident that killed Sterling, but also said the veteran law enforcement officer is a “man of faith.”

The attorney offered his condolences to those mourning the loss of Sterling.

But he concluded that the events leading to the man’s death were an accident that “could have been avoided had Mr. Sterling simply followed the detectives’ orders.”

“Mr. Sterling’s actions endangered not only himself, but also the citizens who were in the area at the time,” the attorney said.

Curtis also stated that even though Keely was driving an unmarked car, his lights and sirens were on before he hit Sterling.

He said his client had no intention of harming anyone.

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