Battle Creek Police Justified In Officer-Related Shooting
Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney David Gilbert has determined that the use of deadly force, by two Battle Creek Police officers, was justified in an officer-involved shooting on December, 15th of 2021.
Sgt. Chad Fickle and Detective Brandin Huggett responded to Summit Pointe First Step, a crisis center located in the 100-block of College Street in Battle Creek, to assist in taking Sareedi Harris into custody on a mental commitment order. She had failed to abide by the commitment order, locking herself in her vehicle, along with her 9 and 10-year-old children.
As a crisis worker attempted to help one of the children leave the backseat of the vehicle, Harris fired a handgun at the worker and then turned the gun on Sgt. Fickle and others who were on the driver's side of the SUV. The officers returned fire as Harris attempted to flee the scene, striking a police cruiser and another vehicle in the parking lot. One of the children escaped from the vehicle, with the help of the staff member from the facility, but both were nearly wedged in between two vehicles when the woman drove off. She was later located, wounded in the shoulder, in the 200-block of Garfield, with her other child, and taken to a local hospital. She was arraigned on eight counts, including three counts of assault with intent to murder.
An investigation of the officer-involved shooting was conducted by the Michigan State Police because it is the policy in Calhoun County for officer use of force cases to be investigated by an outside agency, to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and to ensure a fair investigation. The report was completed and then passed on to Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney David E. Gilbert. After reviewing the report, Prosecutor Gilbert concluded that,
Based on the foregoing, it is my opinion these officers violated no criminal law. They acted in lawful self-defense of themselves and others after being put in a deadly situation solely by the actions of Ms. Harris. It Appears Ms. Harris had mental issues at the time, was very paranoid, and a danger to those around her.
The officers involved in the shooting were put on paid administrative leave while the Michigan State Police conducted their investigation. The two children involved in the incident were put into protective custody. Harris is currently awaiting trial.