Family loses appeal in lawsuit over Trenton teen’s killing by cop

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Trenton — The family of a Metro Detroit teenager who was fatally shot by police in May 2015 has failed to persuade a federal court to reinstate a lawsuit against officers.

Kyle Baker was days away from graduating from Trenton High School in June 2015 when he was shot at his home on Longmeadow Drive. He was experiencing aftereffects from LSD and had struck an officer with a lawnmower blade.

An appeals court last week said it has sympathy for Baker’s family in the “heart-rending” case. But the court said the officers’ entry into the home and use of force didn’t violate any constitutional rights.

Trenton officers believed Baker was armed and threatening his mother, although they later learned she wasn’t in the house. When police arrived at the home, two officers entered and saw Baker at the bottom of the basement stairs with a 2-foot-long lawn mower blade.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Baker climbed the stairs and kept advancing toward the officers despite being ordered several times to stop and drop the weapon.

Police used a Taser three times and then an officer fired once, striking Baker in the abdomen, the Prosecutor’s Office said in 2015. Baker died the next day.

No charges were filed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office against the Trenton officer. The office said at the time that evidence supported that the officer was justified in the shooting because he was acting in self-defense.