Kent County Prosecutor says the shooting of unarmed suspect was justified

GRPD shooting ruling

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker announced Wednesday, Dec. 5, that he will not be filing charges against the deputy involved in the shooting of an unarmed suspect back in September.

The incident occurred on Sept. 3, on Whispering Way Drive SE. A suspected drug trafficker, Yusef Phillips, was shot in the chest by a Kent County deputy. 

Phillips was one of more than a dozen people charged in a cross-country drug operation that shipped narcotics from California to Michigan. 

The investigation prompted pre-dawn raids in 18 different Grand Rapids area locations, including the complex where Phillips was shot. 

Deputy Andrew Hinds said Phillips was crouched down behind a car in the parking lot as though he was reaching for a gun. 

Becker said Hinds was in fear for his safety when he opened fire, so while it was wrong to fire at Phillips -- what Hinds did was not illegal.

"Clearly this was a mistake. This was a mistake by the officer, " Becker said. He felt he was in fear.'' 

"But the law allows for that error to be made. And therefore we cannot overcome the burden of proving he did not, he fired in other than something in self-defense. And so that is why I will not be filing charges in this matter."

Phillips, who survived the gunshot, was indicted on numerous federal charges that could put him in prison for decades. He is currently in jail. 

The investigation netted more than a million dollars in cash and 185 pounds of marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

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