By Jack Mayne
The King County Sheriff’s office announced on Monday (May 4, 2020) that it had reached a lawsuit settlement agreement in the Jan. 27, 2017 shooting death of MiChance Dunlap-Gittens in Des Moines.
The agreement specifies the move toward body worn and car dashboard cameras for police.
The Dunlap-Gittens’ family and Sheriff’s deputies worked together to reach the agreement that will resolve a lawsuit regarding MiChance’s death. Both the family and the Sheriff’s office are said to be committed “to moving forward in a way that will focus on opportunities for improvement in police practices that will protect the safety of citizens and officers alike.”
At the time of the shooting, King County Sheriff’s detectives had received information that a man believed to be connected to a homicide in Sammamish was in an apartment in the 21600 block of 29th Avenue South in Des Moines.
Officers were outside of the apartment when the suspect and another man left, saw deputies and both pulled handguns. Three deputies fired striking one of the men. The other man fled the area on foot and discarded his gun as he ran. Officers say it is unclear if either of the men fired their weapons. The injured man was taken to Harborview in critical condition.
Police dogs attempted a track for the outstanding suspect but failed but they learned thesuspect was hiding in a nearby apartment. Officers said the suspect came out of the apartment just after 5 a.m. He was a 16-year old youth from Kent.
Body, car cameras specified
In the settlement just completed, the sheriff and the Dunlap-Gittens family have agreed to explore a partnership in advocating for the adoption of body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by KCSO officers.
Sheriff’s officers say the family and their office have worked together for three years to reach a settlement that will resolve the lawsuits regarding MiChance’s shooting death in Des Moines.
Both sides said they were looking for a way to focus on opportunities for improvement in police practices that will protect the safety of citizens and officers alike. In particular, the Sheriff and the Dunlap-Gittens’ family have agreed to explore a partnership in advocating for the adoption of body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by KCSO officers.
Earlier event started chain
The chain of incidents that led to King County Sheriff’s Office detectives shooting and killing Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, started two days before. On Jan. 25, 2017, Moises Radcliffe, the son of a Seattle police officer, was run down by a person trying to break into his car.
Radcliffe confronted the suspect, who jumped into another SUV and drove toward him. Radcliffe had a gun and fired at the car-prowler before he was struck and killed. Deputies and detectives from KCSO responded to the event, including one detective who was involved in the Dunlap-Gittens shooting two days later.
A King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight report released Feb. 11, deputies hatched an undercover sting to detain one of Dunlap-Gittens’ friends in conjunction with the homicide investigation. Deputies posed as underage females wanting to buy alcohol.
It was later found that the original suspect wasn’t involved in the homicide, nor was he involved in the other forgery and possession of stolen goods charges that detectives had suspected.