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Michigan police officer faces second-degree murder charges for fatally striking Samuel Sterling, an unarmed Black man. Community demands justice and police accountability. SEE THE FULL STORY IN THE VIDEO ABOVE

NEWS BRIEF: Michigan State Police Detective Charged with Murder in Death of Unarmed Black Man

By Darius Spearman (africanelements) | May 30, 2024

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged Detective Sergeant Brian Keely with second-degree murder for hitting and killing Samuel Sterling, an unarmed Black man, with his police vehicle. The incident occurred on April 17 in Kentwood, Michigan, and has sparked renewed calls for police accountability. Video footage shows Sterling running from officers before Keely’s SUV struck him, leading to his death. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Sterling’s family, condemned the act as inexcusable. Keely, currently suspended, faces up to life in prison if convicted. The case has intensified scrutiny of police use of force in Michigan.

About the author

Darius Spearman has been a professor of Black Studies at San Diego City College since 2007. He has authored several books, including Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890. You can visit Darius online at