D E T R O I T, Sept. 28 -- A police officer lacked “legal excuse orjustification” to fatally shoot a garden rake-wielding man whocould not hear or speak, prosecutors said Wednesday in charging theofficer with manslaughter.
Officer David Krupinski, 23, was arraigned Wednesday afternoonin 36th District Court on the felony charge, punishable uponconviction by up to 15 years in prison.
Krupinski is charged in the Aug. 29 death of Errol Shaw, whosedeath contributed to Mayor Dennis Archer’s request for federalscrutiny of police use of deadly force since 1995.
In a letter Monday to the Justice Department, Archer wrote of“an immediate need for a fresh [government] review” of theshootings and the Detroit Police Department’s procedures. Archersaid the step was to “preserve and enhance [Detroit citizens’]confidence” in their police.
Krupinski, a 3½-year veteran of the force, was released on a$100,000 personal bond, court officials said. A hearing todetermine whether there was sufficient evidence for him to standtrial was set for Nov. 1.
‘A Sad Day’
“This is a sad day for all police officers all around,” saidKrupinski’s mother, Ellen Holmes. “They have a young man who wasout there risking his life, doing his job … and they call him acriminal? That is a shame. …”
“I’ve lost my faith in the system, that’s for sure.”
Over the years, according to newspaper and city reports, Detroithas emerged as the nation’s leader among the largest cities in thenumber of deadly police shootings, costing taxpayers $124 millionin lawsuit settlements and judgments from January 1987 through lastDecember.
But in recent months, a number of high-profile, fatal shootingsby local police — one case has prompted an FBI civil rightsinvestigation — has unnerved city and community leaders.
Wayne County prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday thatKrupinski and three other officers responded Aug. 29 to a reporteddomestic disturbance and were approached by Shaw, who was carryinga wooden-handled garden rake.