Family, friends mourn man killed by ICE agent

Holly Fournier, George Hunter and Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — About 200 mourners packed a northwest side funeral home Wednesday to say goodbye to Terrance Kellom, the Detroit man killed last week by a federal agent on a fugitive apprehension team.

The services at Trinity Chapel Funeral Home near West McNichols and Evergreen were private and the media was not allowed inside. About two hours after the funeral began, Kellom's casket was carried out and dozens raised their hands and chanted "Tee Tee," Kellom's nickname.

Many mourners wore shirts bearing Kellom's picture and the message "RIH," which stands for "rest in heaven." Some shirts had the message, "Everybody will respect the shooter," and one man wore a shirt with Kellom's picture on the front and "I will respect the gun before I respect the badge" written on the back.

Family attorney Karri Mitchell said Kellom's relatives declined to comment after the services.

Mourners raised their hands in the "Hands up don't shoot" gesture as the casket of Terrance Kellom leaves the Trinity Chapel Funeral Home in Detroit on Wednesday.

"They just want to have this time to grieve," Mitchell said. "There's nothing really to add that hasn't been said before about the case. We just want justice.

"Kym Worthy has done a good job in the past of (investigating) these cases. There's a 19-year-old in there that's deceased. I'm just telling (the family) to be patient. It's tough but they have no choice but to be patient."

Ron Scott, director of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said: "I feel sad. All of us standing here have lost loved ones. It hurts."

Family friend Michelle Hutchins said Kellom "died way too young. Too many black men are dying out here."

Kellom was fatally shot April 27 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Mitchell Quinn during a multi-juristrictional Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team operation. Kellom was a suspect in an armed robbery of a pizza delivery man March 31 on the city's east side, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office.

He was wielding a hammer when officers arrived at his house on the 9500 block of Evergreen, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. The agent fired his weapon while retreating, Craig added.

Kellom's father has said his son did not have a hammer when he was shot.

Later Wednesday, about 20 protesters with the Coalition for Black Struggle marched along Jefferson to call for Quinn's immediate dismissal.

The group marched from a gas station at Jefferson and Chene to the Rosa Parks Federal Building at Mount Elliott, where they called for a public town hall meeting with ICE Detroit director Rebecca Aducci.

"This is where Rebecca Aducci works and she has the unilateral authority to fire Quinn and meet our demands," Coalition for Black Struggle spokesman Dennis Black said.

When asked if Aducci could overrule any union protections in place for Quinn, Black said Aducci "can at least begin the process" of firing the officer.

Protesters called their movement "Black Spring," a reference to Arab Spring revolutions. The crowd chanted "I'm sick and tired of black genocide" and "Fists up, fight back."

Some drew a connection between Kellom's death and recent local outrage over water shut-offs and gentrification.

"They all result in the same thing," Adrienne Ayers, 22, said. "Essentially it's a genocide; you're taking away people's right to life."

The group's other demands included an end to multi-jurisdictional task forces like the one involved in Kellom's death and for charges to be brought against Quinn.

"I don't think it takes this long to investigate when you know what happened," marcher Sarah Johnson, 23, said. "To me, it seems like a cover-up. It's a crime. Murder is a crime."

Quinn was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting and went into hiding with his wife and three children when his address was publicly disclosed, his attorney said Tuesday.

Before joining the task force in late 2008, Quinn was charged with assault and felony firearm for allegedly pointing his department-issued weapon at his ex-wife, according to minutes of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. Charges were dismissed in March 2008.

(313) 223-4616