Protesters demand apology over ICE shooting
Detroit — More than a dozen people protested Friday and a few attempted to enter a federal building to demand answers in the fatal shooting of a Detroit man last week by a federal agent on a fugitive apprehension team.
The group, organized by the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, gathered in front of the Rosa Parks Federal Building at Mount Elliot and East Jefferson, calling for charges against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Mitchell Quinn in the fatal shooting April 27 of Terrance Kellom at his home on the city's northwest side.
"That's one of our demands. (Quinn) needs to go. Period," coalition spokesman Ron Scott said. "Because if he's working, we don't know where he is and if other people are in danger."
Quinn was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting last week and went into hiding with his wife and three children when his address was publicly disclosed, his attorney said Tuesday.
Protesters on Friday also marched to the door of an ICE passport office across Mount Elliot from the Rosa Parks building to request a meeting with Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Adducci. The group wants ICE to issue a formal apology to Kellom's family and cease funding to multi-jurisdictional task forces like the one involved in the shooting.
"We're looking for a meeting with Ms. Adducci, we want this officer charged, and we want federal oversight on multi-juristictional task forces," Scott said before the group marched. "We want to suspend funds for these task forces until this heinous situation is resolved."
The group was blocked at the door by a security guard, who said she did not know where Adducci was working Friday. Scott joined a handful of protesters waiting outside the door as the rest of the group chanted slogans in the street, like "Fists up, fight back" and "Hands up, don't shoot."
Several Detroit police and border patrol vehicles gathered near the protest, as the office's security guard requested protesters and media move away from the door and stop filming on federal property. The guard eventually locked the door to the ICE office and Scott left a list of demands wedged near the handle.
Department of Homeland Security Inspector Kerwin Smith briefly spoke with Scott before heading into the Rosa Parks Building. He emerged about 10 minutes later and told Scott that Adducci was out of town Friday, along with the office's public relations officer.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group previously sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, outlining their demands.
"We're calling on the justice department to investigate this case more rigorously and be transparent in the process," Walid said. "Too many times when officers fatally shoot citizens there is a curtain of covering-up what took place, which can (cause) mistrust between the community and law enforcement."
Walid also took issue with Detroit Police Chief James Craig's statements after Kellom's death.
"Chief Craig was at the scene explaining what happened, yet the Detroit police had nothing to do with (the raid)," Walid said. "It appeared as if the Detroit police were acting as advocates of the task force and the actual perpetrator of the homicide."
Kellom was fatally shot by Quinn during a multi-jurisdictional 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, 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; the autopsy report has not been released because police say their investigation is ongoing.
At the protest Friday, Scott said the pasts of both Kellom and Quinn are irrelevant to the demonstration.
"We're not here to evaluate Mr. Kellom just like we're not here to evaluate the officer who shot him," Scott said. "We're here for the action that happened that day. It could have been you or me."
Quinn was charged in 2008 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.
Scott admitted he was concerned about Quinn's past.
"Even though he was acquitted, I'm concerned about a person involved in domestic violence situation being anywhere in law enforcement."
Scott said more protests were to come.
"We're going to keep protesting until we have more accountability in law enforcement," he said. "Not only in Detroit, but across the country."