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Father Killed in CPS Raid

February 14, 2012 permalink

Police shot and killed Will Reddie in his home in Michigan. They were escorting two social workers serving a child protective services order and removing his son.



Crawford Co. police shooting draws protest, parent outrage

Man killed by deputy in early February, reportedly after lunging at the officer with a knife

Will Reddie
Will Reddie was shot and killed by a Crawford County Sheriff's Deputy on February 3rd

GRAYLING, MI -- Monday, several Grayling residents held a protest to show their concern over a police shooting earlier this month that left one man dead.

Will Reddie was killed on February 3rd at his home when a Crawford County Deputy, a Grayling City Police Officer, and two social workers showed up to serve a child protective services order

Authorities say Reddie came at an officer with a pocket-knife and that's when the deputy fired.

Outraged community members made it clear today they are angry over the death of 32 year old-old Will Reddie, who was shot and killed at his Grayling apartment

“It's such an emotionally charged situation it should be handled in a different manner," said protester Janet Ledger.

Reddie was killed by a Crawford County Deputy when he reportedly lunged at an officer with a pocket knife. The deputy, city officer, and child protective services were at the apartment to take Reddie's son from the home.

“I think that the police should apprehend and restrain the parents before they allow any state workers or public people to be allowed on the scene," says Ledger.

"To me, he was murdered, for no reason, that they shot him for no reason," said Reddie’s mother, Michelle VanBuren.

But Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield says his deputy acted as trained to protect his life and others.

“You are taught to shoot until the threat has stopped, end of story," says Wakefield.

The parents claim there are discrepancies between the sheriff’s office and state police that are investigating the shooting, particularly how far Reddie was from the officer and deputy when the shot was fired.

“If it's all said and done, and all the facts are gathered up and something was done wrong, then I’ll deal with it, I always have and always will, as long as I’m sitting at this desk. I don't see he did anything wrong right out of the gate, he did what he had to do," says Wakefield, who stands behind his officer.

“They've got so many policies they can stand behind, I don't know what will happen. I’m so ashamed of our own police officers," says VanBuren.

The men and women who came out to Monday’s protest tell me they just want to see procedures change so this never happens again. As far as the little boy, right now, he's in protective custody at a foster home.

The VanBuren's tell us they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Crawford County Sheriff's Office once they know more about what happened.

Michigan State Police in Houghton Lake continue to investigate and hope to have their report complete soon.

Source: UpNorthLive (Barrington Broadcasting)

Addendum: Two more articles give the details. The Gaylord Herald Times got a copy of the court order for child removal. In the second article, the district attorney has ruled that the policeman who killed Reddie did nothing wrong.



Friends of Reddie: 'They didn't have to kill him'

William Reddie
William Reddie
(Courtesy photo)

GRAYLNG — The fatal shooting of William Reddie, 32, by a Crawford County Sheriff’s Department deputy during the “emergency removal” of his 2-year-old son from an apartment they shared has many of his friends crying foul.

A Michigan State Police probe has concluded the shooting was justified because Reddie had a pocketknife and lunged at police.

“I can’t believe they (police) could not subdue Will without killing him, and over what, marijuana,” said Joanne Michal, who knew Reddie for half of his life. “Why didn’t police just arrest him or cite him for marijuana instead of removing his child?”

Workers from the Department of Human Services along with the sheriff’s deputy and an officer from the Grayling City Police went to Reddie’s apartment with a court order to remove the minor child because Reddie had allegedly smoked marijuana in the presence of his son. Reddie was agitated and had allegedly threatened police when confronted with the marijuana accusation earlier in the day on Feb. 3.

The court order of Feb. 3, obtained by the Herald Times pursuant to a Freedom of Information request, indicated the minor child’s removal from Reddie’s custody for the following reason: “There are reasonable grounds for this court to remove the child(ren) from the parent ... because conditions or surroundings of the child(ren), and is contrary to the welfare of the child(ren) to remain in the home because: It is alleged that the father used marijuana in the home in the presence of the child. In addition, there is concern for the safety of the child due to a domestic disturbance and threats made toward law enforcement by the father.”

A Feb. 3 press release from the sheriff’s department alleged that Reddie had lunged at police and social workers with a knife and the deputy “contained” the situation by shooting Reddie with a revolver.

Reddie died within seconds in his apartment around 4:41 p.m. Feb. 3 after being shot in the chest at close range, according to his death certificate obtained by the Herald Times.

Reddie, who had physical custody of his son, had petitioned the court for permanent custody and a hearing on that petition was scheduled for Monday, Feb. 6.

A resident of the apartment complex, who lived across the parking lot from Reddie, said he saw police go into the apartment and within a few minutes he heard gun shots.

“I heard two shots,” said Brian Jackson. “A friend who lives in the building heard the shots and ran into the hall to see two young children run out. He said Reddie was face down on the floor.”

A state police report said only one shot was fired.

While Michal doesn’t know exactly what happened inside Reddie’s apartment during the shooting, it should have ended differently, she said.

“It is particularly sad that Will was shot to death right in front of his son,” she said. “I was married to a 30-year infantry man and my son is a sharpshooter in the Army. You never take your gun out of the holster unless you’re ready to use it. Why not use a Taser? Even if he (Will) had a knife and lunged at police, they didn’t have to kill him. Instead of using a Taser, you shoot him in front of his child. It is just totally unjustified. They didn’t have to kill him. I think it’s very sad that his life was taken during the removal of his son. And the smell of marijuana shouldn’t have been a reason for an emergency order.

“Just a few days before he was killed, Will was visiting, and he was so excited because a hearing was coming up for custody (of his son),” Michal continued. “And it seemed to give him hope of getting permanent custody. His son was everything to him.”

Michal said she often saw Reddie with his son, although he didn’t like working while he had his son.

Michal had known Reddie since he was a teenager.

“My husband (now deceased) had known Will, and he introduced me to him. Since he was a teenager he’s always done odd jobs around the house and yard.”

Balkis Shippy, another friend of Reddie’s who knew him since he was a teenager, said she still can’t believe it. Shippy, who has lived in Grayling since the early 1970s, said she first knew Reddie’s mother from working with her at the Grayling Big Boy.

Later, Reddie would become friends with Balkis and her husband, Fred.

“He would do odd jobs for us from time to time, and he was always helpful,” she said. “I can’t believe this kid is gone. He was very nice and he was always polite.”

She said Reddie’s son is “just a beautiful little boy. I would see him (Reddie) with his son going back and forth, and he always talked about his son and how some day he would be getting full custody.”

Crawford County Clerk Sandra Moore said she also knew Reddie.

“It’s truly a shame,”Moore said. “He was a good guy and very fond of his son. He had been very excited just days before” about the possibility of getting permanent custody on Feb. 6.

According to court records, the child is now in a foster care home and his future remains uncertain.

Source: Gaylord Herald Times

Deputy cleared in Grayling man's fatal shooting

Grayling apartments
The apartment complex is situated the Kmart store and the I-75 freeway.
(HT - Frank Michels)

GRAYLING — Investigation into the Feb. 3 shooting death of Grayling resident William Reddie said the 32-year-old appeared agitated and uncooperative with police officers when a deputy from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department shot Reddie once in the chest, killing him at his Grayling Pines apartment.

In a Thursday news release, Roscommon County prosecuting attorney Mark Jernigan, who reviewed the report of the fatal shooting from the Michigan State Police, “determined the use of deadly force by Deputy (John) Klepadlo was justified and therefore, the homicide was justified.”

The deadly shooting occurred when Klepadlo and a Grayling City Police officer accompanied Children’s Protective Services workers to Reddie’s apartment the afternoon of Feb. 3 to assist with the court-ordered removal of Reddie’s 2-year-old son, who Reddie was in the process of attempting to gain permanent custody.

Lead MSP investigator Detective Sgt. Rick Sekely said events leading up to the shooting and attempts to remove the son from the residence began earlier in the day when officers went to Reddie’s apartment in response to a possible domestic disturbance.

Upon arriving at the scene and making contact with Reddie, officers indicated Reddie was on the phone in what seemed to be a heated argument with a woman. Reports indicate Reddie appeared agitated, and when officers stated they could smell the odor of marijuana in the apartment, Sekely said Reddie admitted to having smoked marijuana that morning. While at the residence, officers indicated they observed a minor child at the apartment.

Sekely said officers, following protocol, contacted protective services to report Reddie had been smoking marijuana in the presence of his son.

Child services workers then went to the apartment, and Sekely said they confronted Reddie about consuming marijuana in the home and asked him to take a drug test. Sekely said workers indicated Reddie was agitated, and they felt uncomfortable while at the residence.

An emergency court order to remove the child from the care of Reddie was obtained by Child Protective Services, and they requested assistance from the sheriff’s department and city police.

Sekely said officers entered the apartment with weapons holstered and served in a backup capacity while child services workers informed Reddie of the court order. Sekely said Reddie, who continued to appear agitated, immediately responded by stating that no one was going to take his child.

As Reddie became more agitated and uncooperative, Sekely said, both officers took out their Tasers in an attempt to gain control of the situation. He said police are taught not to depend on the use a Taser in a deadly force situation, and when Reddie allegedly removed a 4-inch pocketknife from his pocket and put it behind his back, the Tasers were replaced by the officers’ duty weapons.

“It’s at this time that weapons come into play,” Sekely said of the officers’ decision to unholster their duty weapons. “It became a split-second decision. All they saw was a knife go behind his back, and then he (Reddie) assumed an aggressive stance.”

Officers then requested Reddie drop the knife, a command Sekely said was allegedly ignored.

Sekely then stated that within the confines of the small living area of the apartment, Reddie lunged, with knife in hand, at officers and the two Children’s Protective Services workers. Klepadlo, using deadly force, then discharged his weapon once, striking Reddie in the chest, killing him.

Sekely said according to toxicology reports there were no traces of alcohol or marijuana in Reddie’s system at the time of his death. He said there were indications of controlled substances in the man’s system, which may or may not have been prescribed to Reddie. Sekely said he was not qualified to comment on whether the drugs, or the amounts in Reddie’s system, could have contributed to his agitated demeanor during his confrontations with police and child services workers.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” Sheriff Kirk Wakefield said of the shooting. “I feel bad for the family and my officer. It’s unfortunate my officer had to be placed in that position. We’re police officers who put our lives on the line every day. It’s very rare when a situation escalates to the scale of what happened here.”

Wakefield said it is an extremely rare occurrence for an officer to discharge his weapon while on duty.

He said to his knowledge the last time one of his deputies discharged his weapon during an altercation was sometime in the mid-1980s.

According to Wakefield, Klepadlo, who had been on administrative leave, was scheduled to return to work this weekend.

The deputy has worked with the sheriff’s department for four years.

DHS Criteria for the removal of a child from a home

The following information is an excerpt from the Department of Human Services’ “Field Guide” for Children’s Protective Services Investigations.

Removing/Placing Children

Prior to making the decision to request the court authorize the removal of a child, assess the following:

  • Is the child at imminent risk of harm and therefore unsafe?
  • How does the caretaker view the situation?
  • Are they cooperative?
  • Are they asking for help?
  • Are they willing and capable of change?
  • Is the family a flight risk?
  • Are there alternatives to removal?
  • Are there immediate services that can be put in place to keep the child safe in the home? Can arrangements be made for the child until those services can be put in place?
  • Will the offending parent leave the home?
  • Can court orders be put in place that would keep the child safe in the home?
  • Will the parents agree to allow the child to stay with appropriate friends and/or relatives?
  • Convene Team Decision Making meeting. Never remove a child without a written court order. Never transport a child without a written court order.

Best Practices When Removing Children

  • Take a few minutes to make a plan before removing the children when possible.
  • Try to obtain physical help when needed to move and supervise the children.
  • Get information from the parents about the child’s allergies, medications, medical needs, routines, food, like, dislikes, when they ate last, what soothes the child. Remember reasonable efforts must be made to keep children safely in their homes.
  • Get information from the parents about relatives and family support.
  • Encourage parents to be calm for their child’s sake.

Source: Petoskey News