Michigan State Police release video of an unmarked unit hitting, killing suspect wanted for warrants

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Michigan State Police (MSP) released video footage of a man being hit and killed by an unmarked MSP police vehicle Friday.

Samuel Sterling, 25, was putting air in his tires near 52nd Street and Eastern Avenue in Kentwood on the morning of April 17 when he was found by multiple agencies looking for him on felony warrants, troopers said.

When officers approached Sterling, he ran away, police said. It led to a chase.

The release includes footage from two officer-worn body cameras and one MSP cruiser's dash cam.

The Michigan State Police member who was driving the vehicle that struck Sterling wasn't wearing a body camera because of his assignment to a federal task force, MSP said. His unmarked vehicle was also not equipped with an in-car camera.

The different cameras show Sterling running from police into a Burger King parking in Kentwood, where he was then struck by the unmarked police vehicle.

When officers arrived on foot, you can hear Sterling consistently moaning in pain.

"Where are you hurt?" officers can be heard saying. "My whole body," Sterling can be heard saying through groans.

Multiple officers can be seen putting their hands on him, and he says through moans, "I got no gun, bro...why you hitting me like this?" Officers then handcuffed Sterling.

Officers gathered around Sterling while he was laboring to breathe, searched his pockets and confiscated several items while trying to coach him into breathing consistently.

An officer talking to two firefighters responding to the scene told them to keep the cuffs on Sterling because he "is a wanted, violent felon." The officer on the scene told firefighters Sterling got pinned into the wall by a car.

Sterling was taken to a hospital, where he died later that same day.

The cause of death for Sterling was ruled "accidental," county officials told 13 ON YOUR SIDE.

While the cause of death is accidental, this does not mean charges cannot be filed in the case, Kent County's Assistant County Administrator Lori Latham said.

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