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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
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Southgate, Michigan 48195
The Voice of Downriver

Police officers cleared in Walmart shooting
Prosecutor’s office says duo acted in self-defense
By Jackie Harrison-Martin
The News-Herald

WOODHAVEN — It’s news they have been waiting to hear for weeks. Two police officers involved in a fatal shooting at Walmart at West and Allen roads have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Word of their clearance came Friday, according to Sgt. Gary McSweeney. The officers, who never have been identified, were placed on paid leave imme-

diately after Charles David Brown, 39, of Lincoln Park was shot and killed in the store’s parking lot June 10. They returned to work in July after being cleared to perform their duties following a psychological evaluation, which is routine procedure following a fatal shooting. The officers also were able to return because no police procedures were violated, according to the department’s internal investigation. According to the prosecutor’s office, the shooting by both officers was in self-

defense. Police Chief Gordon Chretien said all indications the department had was that the officers did nothing wrong and is glad to have this case “100-percent done with.” “This (clearance) took a little longer than we expected, but we didn’t have anything to compare it to since this has never happened here before,” the chief said. “We’re just glad for the end result.” McSweeney said, “Our officers have been vindicated.”

The officers were first cleared of any wrongdoing in an internal investigation launched by Woodhaven police. An internal investigation is standard procedure in fatal shootings. Police originally were called to the store on a shoplifting complaint involving Brown and a woman later identified as Rachelle Marie Sizemore, 25, of Lincoln Park. She fled the store after allegedly carrying out a bag of Walmart merchandise, according to police. Sizemore was gone by

the time the confrontation in the parking lot between Brown and police. She was caught a short time later. Police said she would only face charges pertaining to the shoplifting complaint. She was not involved in the shooting. At the time, Chretien said that when police arrived Brown already was in the parking lot and was ordered outside the vehicle, but he came out with a screwdriver in his hand. He said Brown refused to drop the screwdriver, but then jumped inside his vehicle and put it in reverse, nearly running one of the officers over.

Brown missed the officer, but hit his patrol car. Chretien said Brown put the vehicle in drive and drove forward in what police believe was an attempt to run another officer over with his car. “At that point, that’s when the officers fired at the vehicle to stop the assault,” Chretien said. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene. A good deal of the confrontation was captured on video surveillance. The footage has never been released to the media. Lt. Michael Graham said just about every witness to
PLEASE SEE SHOOTING/2-A
DOWNRIVER’S#1 CHEVY DEALER

Fall plant exchange is Saturday
By Andrea Blum
The News-Herald

RODGERS CHEVROLET
RODGERS CHEVROLET
Chevy Runs Deep

Usher in autumn at The News-Herald’s “Dig It” Fall Plant Exchange. The eighth annual swap runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, rain or shine, at the newspaper’s office, One Heritage Drive in Southgate. Gardeners can meet to trade plants, swap success stories and share tales of woe about the past season’s unsuccessful gardening gambles. Traders can set up their wares in the backs of cars and trucks or use wagons, coolers and other modes of transport to haul around their goodies. Coffee and doughnuts courtesy of The NewsHerald will warm up the crowd. Advanced master gardener Paul Rodman, who writes the News-Herald’s “Dig it!” column, will be on hand with other master gardeners to answer questions. Door prizes will be awarded. The event is free of charge. Pick up something new in the free area where traders drop off their leftover plant material for new owners. Selling of plants is not allowed. Everyone from new to experienced gardeners is welcome. After all the trading is done, gardeners can head home to plant their new treasures and look forward to the next plant exchange in May.

BEATS ALL DEALS
on Allen Rd. at West Rd. Woodhaven 1-734-676-9600

Photo by Dave Chapman

The redesigned Ford Fusion midsize sedan soon will be rolling off the assembly line at the renamed Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The former AutoAlliance International facility will be home to the Fusion and the Ford Mustang.

www.rodgerschevrolet.com

Ford changes name of Flat Rock plant
Fusion production to begin soon
By Scott Held
The News-Herald

FLAT ROCK — The former AutoAlliance International facility has a new name and soon will be producing a new nameplate. Ford Motor Co. announced Monday the 2.7 million square-foot plant will be known as the Ford

Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The plant will undergo retooling to produce the redesigned Fusion sedan, which hits showrooms later this month. The automaker will spend $550 million to upgrade the facility and add 1,200 new jobs in a second shift as it begins work on the Fusion.

The plant, which currently assembles the Mustang, employs about 1,700 workers. “We’re definitely excited that Ford has chosen to stay in Flat Rock and grow,” Mayor Jonathan Dropiewski said. The improvements include a flexible body shop

that will cut down conversion time during a model changeover. That was good news for workers at the plant. “If we need to build a new vehicle, you’ll be in the running for it,” Ford vice president of North American manufacturing Jim Teterault told workers Monday. The facility was a Ford casting plant but was closed in the early 1980s.

Mazda began operations there in the late 1980s and AutoAlliance, a joint venture between Ford and Mazda, opened in 1992 and produced vehicles for both companies, including the Ford Probe and Mazda6. The Japanese automaker announced earlier this year that it will cease production here -- the last Mazda vehicle rolled off the assemPLEASE SEE FORD/2-A

Investigators believe body found DEAR OBESITY, in pond is missing teenager
By J. Patrick Pepper and Ben Baird
The News-Herald

PITTSFIELD TWP. — Investigators believe theyve found the body of 19-year-old Trenton resident Alan Tracy, who was last seen as week ago after a hit-and-run crash. Township police sent out a notice Friday that his family has not heard from him since before the crash and reported him missing.

A maintenance worker found the body at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday in a retention pond near the entrance of a condominium complex. Initial efforts to positively identify the body were unsuccessful, according to police, although it is believed to be Tracy. A cause of death has not yet been made public. The crash Tracy was involved in
PLEASE SEE TEEN/2-A

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