Two officers with the Ann Arbor Police Department have been placed on paid administrative leave after they shot 40-year-old Aura Rosser to death while responding to a domestic violence incident on Sunday, November 9, reports MLive.com.
Officers claim that Rosser was coming at them with a knife so they were forced to use deadly force. Family of the victim, however, don’t believe that’s possible.
“She would have fainted at the sight of the gun being drawn on her,” said Shae Ward, 38, about her sister. “She would have been extremely docile, no aggression whatsoever towards police.”
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The Michigan State Police are still investigating exactly what happened when two officers were called to the 2000 block of Winewood of Ann Arbor around 11:45 p.m. Sunday for a domestic disturbance. Police say Rosser “confronted” the officer with a knife, prompting him to use deadly force to stop her.
First Lt. Sean Furlong, who is in charge of the investigation, said on Wednesday that there was no new information to release.
“We’re still waiting on the reports from the medical examiner,” he said, referring to the autopsy and toxicology reports.
In the meantime, Ward and the rest of Rosser’s family are mourning a woman best remembered for her love of art and cooking.
Rosser was born in the Lansing area, but graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit in 1992, Ward said.
She subsequently worked as a restaurant business manager in Detroit, Lansing and Okemos.
Ward admitted her sister fell into a trap of drug addiction starting in the 2000s, specifically cocaine, and had run-ins with the law as a result of it, including convictions for shoplifting and using a stolen credit card. Ward also said Rosser, who is survived by two sons and one daughter, made some bad decisions when it came to boyfriends.
Rosser, who allegedly moved to Ann Arbor to be closer to rehab facilities, was living with boyfriend Victor Stephens, 54. Stephens admits they were fighting and that he called police to remove her from the home, but he also says that lethal force was not justified, reports Detroit Free Press.
“Why would you kill her?” Stephens said on Monday. “It was a woman with a knife. It doesn’t make any sense…Me and her, we had an argument. Glass was being broke, so I called the police to escort her out,” Stephens said.
“The police said ‘police,’ so I stopped. She walked towards them,” Stephens said. “They said ‘freeze’ and the next thing I know I heard [gunshots].”
Stephens says that he believes Rosser suffered with mental illness but would not elaborate.
According to reports, police were often called to the home for domestic disturbances.
Rosser’s death is the first police shooting death in Ann Arbor since the 1980s.