Oct. 9, 2019
A Jackson County sheriff’s deputy faces felony assault and another charge after she shot a woman in the back in Midtown Kansas City in August 2019 following the deputy’s attempt to arrest her, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
Lauren N. Michael, dob: 3/24/1990, faces Assault 1st Degree, a Class B felony, and Armed Criminal Action charges.*
“Laws that protect law enforcement’s actions are a high hurdle for prosecutors to overcome. We believe, however, this case will meet that high bar,” Prosecutor Baker stated. “Each case stands on its own fact pattern. In this case, we do not find the actions of this officer to be reasonable or lawful. The actions of the deputy were not lawful to effect this arrest of this civilian, and we do not find the officer’s actions to be reasonable to protect against a perceived physical threat against the officer.
“We are grateful the victim is recovering from her injuries.” Baker added.
According to court records filed today, on Aug. 8, 2019, the defendant was a sheriff’s deputy working traffic in the Westport area with other sheriff’s deputies. Deputies observed two individuals on a Bird scooter, travelling southbound on Main Street in the northbound lanes of traffic. One deputy gave a verbal order for the driver to stop. But the two persons on the scooter continued on.
Deputies activated emergency lights and caught up to the pair on the scooter near 37th and Main Street. A deputy took the driver into custody and attempted to detain the second person on the scooter, a 25-year-old woman. She ran southbound and a deputy pursued her on foot.
A deputy informed units of her description. But the deputy also told his sergeant over the radio that the only charge he had on her was failure to obey a lawful order by running from him.
Deputy Michael continued to canvas the area in search of the young woman. She located her sitting on concrete steps close to the street in the 4000 block of Oak Street.
According to her dash camera video, the woman stood up and walked toward the deputy. They then moved out of view of the dash camera until Michael is seen attempting to detain her. The deputy grabbed her hair and pulled her to the ground, and a drink the woman is holding spills on the deputy. The video then only shows the woman’s legs and a small portion of Michael’s left side. Shortly, the video shows the woman’s legs twitch and she suddenly gets up and runs away. Seconds later, smoke is seen blowing into the video’s view, presumably the result of the Michael’s discharge of her weapon. Michael advised dispatch that shots were fired and she had been tased.
According to court records, Michael stated that the woman resisted her attempts to put her in handcuffs. Nothing she had done was stopping the woman, she stated, and she feared the woman would take her firearm and use it against her so she drew her weapon and fired three to four shots. The woman stated that Michael took her to the ground, then tased her.
She reacted to being tased, she said, by pushing the Taser away and getting up and running. While she was running, she was shot in the back.
Crime scene personnel from the Kansas City Police Department located five spent .40 caliber casings and Michael’s Taser. Analysis of the Taser revealed both of its cartridges were deployed within 3 seconds, which did not support Michael’s statement that after she tased the woman, the woman fought her for the Taser, then the woman used it on the deputy. Crime scene personnel also identified damage from a bullet to a vehicle some distance away from where the woman struggled with Michael. The damaged vehicle was in the direction that the woman ran from Michael.
Prosecutors requested a bond of $30,000/10 percent.
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.