AG's office reopens investigation of police-involved shooting that killed a Sikh man in Shelby Township

Attorney General Dana Nessel. - Michigan Attorney General's Office
Michigan Attorney General's Office
Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel pledged Thursday to conduct an “exhaustive review” of a 2018 case in which Shelby Township police fatally shot an unarmed Sikh man.

The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office chose not to file charges against the officer in February 2019.

Kanwarbir Malhi, 25, was shot in the parking lot of an apartment complex where he lived in Shelby Township in November 2018 after police say he ignored officers’ orders and appeared to reach for his jacket pocket. An officer fired one shot at Malhi, who was taken to Troy Beaumont hospital and pronounced dead.

Malhi was accused of stealing his mother’s car.

“As Attorney General I have consistently advocated for a thorough, comprehensive and objective review of all officer-involved shootings, particularly those which result in fatalities,” Nessel says in a news release Thursday. “This matter will receive an exhaustive review and analysis with an impartial lens and, when completed, our department is committed to transparency in our decision-making process, irrespective of the outcome. Justice demands nothing less.”

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, whose office investigated the shooting, said he supports the attorney general’s review.

“In light of recent inquiries into our investigation, we welcome the Attorney General’s office to review our investigation, facts and findings that were presented to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said. “We will provide the Attorney General’s office anything they need as we remain open and transparent.”

Shelby Township Police Chief Robert J. Shelide was behind a Twitter account that gloried police brutality and espoused right-wing rhetoric. The Shelby Township Board of Trustees on June 16 chose not to fire the chief, drawing criticism from community members, but did suspend him for 30 days without pay.

Shelide returned to work on Monday.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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