Southfield, Mich. – – July 12, 2016 – – While the family of Janet Wilson, fatally shot on Jan. 27, 2016 by a Dearborn police officer as she sat unarmed in her car, has been patiently waiting for answers, the City of Dearborn and Wayne County Prosecutor’s office continue to deny access to video footage of the shooting which would move the investigation forward, according to A. Vince Colella, of Southfield, Mich.-based law firm, Moss & Colella, P.C., who has been retained by the Wilson family to pursue a wrongful death claim arising out of the unlawful use of deadly force.
“It is my understanding that the Michigan State Police has completed its investigation into this matter, including a comprehensive review of the ‘dash cam’ video of the shooting; however, Dearborn and the County simply refuse to release the video,” Colella said. “Nearly six months after the incident, there is no resolution, just silence or stonewalling.”
Colella says the criminal investigation of the Dearborn police officer who shot Wilson in her car near Fairlane Mall has been troubled from the start. The City of Dearborn denied the initial FOIA request by Colella’s firm under a Michigan criminal procedural statute, MCL 767A.8 (materials obtained pursuant to an investigative subpoena). Colella, who has handled other excess and deadly force cases against Michigan police officers, noted at the time that none of the materials subject to the request were obtained by the City of Dearborn pursuant to any investigative subpoenas. Following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Colella on March 24, the City turned over some of the materials from the investigation file but has been stalling on releasing the video.
“The Wilson family lost a daughter, a sister – they are distraught and want answers,” Colella said. “With no justice forthcoming to ease their pain, they feel forgotten.”
About Moss & Colella
Established in 1997, Moss & Colella represents the victims of personal injury, civil rights violations, discrimination and wrongful death. The firm is recognized as a leader in complex tort litigation, including excess and deadly force, jail death, sexual abuse and harassment, auto and truck accidents, and other serious injury and wrongful death claims. To learn more about the firm and its diverse areas of practice, visit the Moss & Colella website.