New developments emerged on Thursday in the police shooting of Alger County resident, Timothy Mitchell.
The Michigan Attorney Generalâ??s office assigned the case to Marquette County Prosecutor, Matt Wiese. Alger County Prosecutor, Karen Bahrman, recused herself, turning it over to the Attorney Generalâ??s office. The death of 47-year old Timothy Mitchell happened more than three weeks ago. The shooting came after a high-speed chase with Mitchell, when a Munising City police officer shot and killed him.
Officials are not saying much. The officerâ??s name or how the shooting happened is not being released.
Police were notified July 14 of an altercation in Christmas. The Munising City Police officer took the 911 call, looking for a vehicle that had left the scene. The officer spotted the vehicle and tried to make a traffic stop as they headed east. But the driver, Timothy Mitchell, did not stop. The high-speed chase lasted for about 14 miles, racing through Munising, ending with Mitchell crashing into a ditch on Buckhorn Road.
Police are saying the incident start to finish lasted less than 20 minutes. The Michigan State Police has been handling the investigation. Their findings are sealed.
A week ago, those reports were turned over to Alger County Prosecutor, Karen Bahrman. Bahrman says she sent the case to the Stateâ??s Attorney Generalâ??s office on August 1st. Bahrman is removing herself from the case since it involves law enforcement within her jurisdiction. Marquette County Prosecutor, Matt Wiese, was assigned to the case on Thursday.
There have been a number of questions raised by law enforcement and those on social media about officers being assigned to road patrols. Lieutenant Robert Pernaski of the Michigan State Police says when the chase started with Mitchell, there was just the City of Munising car on patrol.
"We do our very best to provide a coverage in our post areaâ?? said Pernaski. â??Unfortunately there are times where we do not have personnel to patrol the roads. During the past few years we fell to historic lows in our staffing statewide with the Michigan State Police."
The number of road patrols on duty at any one time, according to Pernaski and other law enforcement officials, does not mean the outcome of incidents, like Mitchellâ??s, would have ended any differently.
"There's no guarantee that an officer would have been near the city of Munising at that time to provide immediate backup anywayâ?? said Pernaski. â??We cover 3,000 square miles in this area; that officer could have been anywhere at that time. So to speculate that this occurred as a result of us not having any car on for backup, there's no way to justify that."
TV6 News tried numerous times to contact the Mitchell family, but they did not want to comment on the story. The Munising City Police also declined comment.
TV6 News talked with Wiese Thursday afternoon. He says he got the investigation materials and has looked through it. He says he'll meet with the police officers next week and will likely make a decision shortly after that. Wiese says one of three things will happen. He'll bring charges or he won't or he'll ask for more follow up from authorities.