NewsLocal NewsLakeshore


Benton Harbor Public Safety director gives update on injured officers, talks transparency

Officer-Involved Shooting
Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 11:28:16-04

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — An officer-involved shooting took place in Benton Harbor last week.

Police released that video a day later, stating they wanted to ensure transparency in the community.

The Director for the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety said his decision to quickly release the body-worn camera footage and a timeline were based off past incidents like Ferguson.

He said the longer you wait, the more time there is for the public to form an opinion.

"It was important to get the information out there for people to be informed as far as what happened. We respect everyone’s right to form their own opinions as long as you have the information out there," said Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety Director Daniel McGinnis.

Not even 24 hours later, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety held a press conference releasing the video of the shooting that killed one man and injured two officers the night of April 7, 2022.

"People in Benton Harbor know if there is a situation that arises as far as when it comes to watching the video. We watch it together for the first time right there. We don’t say ‘Hey give us a couple of days. We are going to go through edit it, redact it, whatever. What we see is what we see. My philosophy is we look at it together and if we are right, we are right, and if we are wrong, we are wrong," said Director McGinnis.

The department released a two-minute, 58-second video showing the situation unfold on two officers' body cameras.

Benton Harbor police hold press conference after deadly officer-involved shooting

When police said officers tried to make contact with the suspect, who was wanted on several felony warrants, he shot 15 rounds in their direction hitting both of their legs.

The officers fired back.

In addition, they released the timeline. Director McGinnis said that is a key part to the video.

"Why is that timeline important? Because it puts everything in context. It makes it difficult, again, was presented with facts to take those and twist those and make them something that they’re not," said McGinnis.

Director McGinnis added there are a lot of factors that go into the decision of releasing information right away.

"I believe that almost every chief does what they feel was right as the particular circumstances for the department, but again, it's all fluid, not so it's all different," said Director McGinnis.

Director McGinnis also provided an update on the two officers involved.

Sergeant Kinzler has been home and recovering.

Sergeant Gee remains in the hospital in stable condition. He is expected to be released later this week or early next week.