Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Michigan State Police shooting

    And believe it or not Jeffrey Fieger is representing the family here and suing the state police. Who could have imagined that!?


    Driver killed by cop didn't have license
    It had been suspended after many violations
    August 18, 2001


    The Detroit man shot and killed by a Michigan State Police trooper Thursday night had his driver's license suspended 22 months ago and was ticketed 14 times in three years, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

    Virgil Sneed, 38, lost his license in October 1999 when he didn't pay six tickets from a traffic stop two months earlier. It had not been reinstated at the time of his death.

    Detroit police are investigating what happened about 8:20 p.m. on I-94 near Chene that led troopers to shoot Sneed as motorists drove by. Sneed's 15-year-old son was in the car at the time of the shooting.

    It started as a routine traffic stop for speeding, Detroit police said Friday.

    The trooper who fired the fatal shot told police that Sneed's black Mercedes backed up quickly as the trooper and his partner stood next to it, causing him to shoot out of fear for his life and that of his partner.

    Sneed's relatives said they believe he mistakenly put the car in neutral, causing it to roll backward toward the trooper. But a witness to the shooting said it appeared to her that Sneed's car was moving in reverse too quickly to be in neutral.

    "We're putting the facts together," said Detroit Police Lt. Roy McCalister. "It's not really clear what happened."

    Nathan Clayton, 77, a minister whose church is in Highland Park, said his son was "shot down like an animal."

    "I feel bad, really hurt," Clayton said. "I'm just wondering why. What happened?"

    Sneed's sister wondered why troopers didn't just shoot out her brother's tires.

    "They shot him in front of his 15-year-old. Where's the respect?" Karen Besant said.

    Sneed's family has seen tragedy before. In 1997, two of Virgil Sneed's nephews were stabbed to death by Reco Jones, who also tortured and killed his own girlfriend and two other children. It was one of Detroit's most notorious slaying cases.

    Sneed's license was suspended the first time in May 1999 when he failed to pay three tickets from a March 1999 traffic stop. It was reinstated a week later when he paid the fines.

    His license was suspended a second time in October 1999. From May 1996 to October 1999 records show 14 tickets issued to Sneed for traffic violations. The tickets ranged from driving 100 m.p.h. in a 55-m.p.h. zone and running red lights to not having proof of insurance and not wearing his seat belt.

    Sneed, a father of three, also was imprisoned twice, according to prison records. He served 2 1/2 years for two counts of unarmed robbery and one count of larceny from a person. He was released in September 1990. In 1993, he was sentenced to two years in prison for firing a gun in a building and felony firearm possession. He was paroled in May 1995.

    On Thursday night, Sneed was pulled over on I-94 near Chene for speeding, according to Detroit police investigators. Troopers approached Sneed's car and opened the driver's door.

    According to the troopers, Sneed's car then backed up quickly, hitting Trooper Phil Deplessis. His partner, Jonathon Henry, shot into the car, hitting Sneed.

    Deplessis and Sneed were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where Sneed later died. Deplessis had a broken wrist and abrasions to his head. He has been with Michigan State Police for six years and was awarded a meritorious commendation in 1997 for rescuing a woman from a house with a gas leak after a tornado.

    Henry, 29, has been a trooper for seven years and has no disciplinary action in his file, according to Michigan State Police officials. He will be on leave until the investigation is completed.

    Martha Thierry, an assistant graphics editor at the Free Press, witnessed the shooting as she drove home from work. Thierry's car was stopped in traffic in the middle lane of I-94, even with Sneed's Mercedes. She said one trooper was positioned on the driver's side of the car by the hood and the other was near the rear door.

    When Sneed's car began to move, she said troopers yelled and she heard five or six shots.

    "The car kind of quickly backed up," Thierry said. "I thought to myself, 'Man, he's trying to get out of there.' "

    Contact DAN SHINE at 313-223-4554 or [email protected].

  2. #2
    TTRAIN222 Guest
    Sneed's sister wondered why troopers didn't just shoot out her brother's tires.

    Why didn't he shoot out the tires? Obviously if the car was put in reverse with a trooper standing right at the rear of the car, shooting the tires is not going to stop the car from hitting the trooper. Don't mean to be so non-sympathetic, but since we are second guessing people, why didn't she talk to her brother about following motor vehicle laws so he wouldn't get pulled over.

    "They shot him in front of his 15-year-old. Where's the respect?" Karen Besant said.

    Exactly. Where is the respect that her brother should have had for the troopers? Obviously if his car didn't move to endanger the trooper's lives, there would not have been any shots fired. Whether or not "the car was in neutral" and began rolling backwards, would be easy to disprove (reverse lights, % grade of the road). And also if he wasn't trying to roll backwards, as soon as the car moved wouldn't anyone's reaction would be to hit the brake pedal? Oh...wait it seems like this guy only knew where the gas pedal was.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001


    Very well put TTRAIN222.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Everett, Wa USA


    Did anyone else notice how it's not until 3/4 way through the article that you hear that the guy actually struck one of the officers causing a broken wrist & abraisions to his head? Talk about burying the details....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    The first article that came out about this did mention the troopers injuries much sooner than this article did. I think the author here was just recapping what happened.

    And the comment about shooting out the tires is something I've heard several times from the public and the media in the last few months. Or at least comments that were very similar (i.e. why not just shit him in the leg, or why not mace him even though he's coming at you with a heavy metal rake, ect). Media members and a lot of the general public simply don't understand use of force. They seem to think that an officer, even when being assaulted or when an assault with a weapon (heavy metal rake, knife, car, gun, ect.) seems imminent, that the officer has to allow things to get to a point where somebody is hurt before he does something to try and stop it. It's drives me nuts!

    When will people get it through their heads that you cannot assault somebody with a weapon or even attempt to assault anyone with a weapon in the presence of a police officer, without bad things happening to you. It really is that simple. Don't do it any you probably won't get shot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Baltimore Maryland

    Expect anything less out of Detroit.. I read the same article from a newspaper from the Lansing area, you can see the difference just a few hours North or west and what they will write in reguards to LE in Detroit.
    "Last week I stated that this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister and now wish to withdraw that statement. "
    -Mark Twain-

  7. #7
    Gar Guest
    It started as a routine traffic stop for speeding, Detroit police said Friday.

    “Sneed's sister wondered why troopers didn't just shoot out her brother's tires.”

    I’m will do her one better

    Maybe the trooper whose wrist WASN’T broken could have dived John Woo style and angled his shot though the window and shot the driver in the knee disabling his leg, thus stopping the car and sparing the man’s life. DaDAAA

    I guess people watch too much TV

    A flat tire doesn’t equal a stopped car. However, an incapacitated driver does.

    Eh, not necessarily but I rather take my chances with option two



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts