Late one evening in November 2014, Ann Arbor police officers were summoned to the home of Aura Rosser, a 40-year-old African American woman.  According to police, she had been engaged in a protracted argument with her boyfriend, and when two officers entered the house, Ms. Rosser approached them with a knife.  One of the officers fired a taser, but the other officer confronting the same threat fired his gun, killing Ms. Rosser.

After reviewing the results of a state police investigation, the county prosecutor announced that no charges would be brought against the officer who shot Ms. Rosser, concluding that he fired his gun in self-defense.  After conducting our own analysis of the incident based on the available facts and documents, the ACLU of Michigan issued a report in March 2015 that sets forth concerns about the prosecutor’s analysis and how the police officers responded.  The report includes recommendations for reform, including review by independent prosecutors who do not work closely with the local police whose conduct they are investigating, and new training protocols for police officers on the use of force and dealing with citizens who suffer from mental illness. 

(ACLU Attorneys Mark Fancher and Michael J. Steinberg.)

To view the full 2014-2015 Legal Docket, click here.