MOUNT PLEASANT -- The family of 18-year-old Ty'Rese West on Monday, Sept. 16 demanded action from the Racine County district attorney -- seeking charges against the officer who shot and killed West in June, and calling for his termination.
West's parents took part in a peaceful demonstration Monday, and asked for all evidence in the case, including police reports and body camera video. They said three months without answers is long enough -- and demanded action. On Monday evening, more than 50 people were on the steps of the Racine County Courthouse, calling for that number to double Wednesday, Sept. 18, with an announcement expected from the district attorney.
"Hopefully, they're the right answers that we want to hear," said Monique West, mother of Ty'Rese.
"We've been suffering long enough," said Barbara West, grandmother of Ty'Rese. "We want justice."
On June 15, just after 1:30 a.m., near 24th Street and Racine Street, West was shot and killed by Mount Pleasant Police Sergeant Eric Giese.
"I'd like to see him fired and charged," said Dwight Person, father of Ty'Rese.
The family demanded action from Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson, starting with charges filed against Sgt. Giese, adding that they want him fired, too.
"The last three months have been miserable," said Person.
Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Giese was attempting to stop West, who was on a bicycle. Giese pursued West on foot, and observed he was armed with a gun. The DOJ said various non-lethal methods were used unsuccessfully by Sgt. Giese in “an attempt to address the threat,” including verbal commands and the deployment of electronic control devices. Lethal force was subsequently deployed. Life-saving measures were rendered, but were unsuccessful. A handgun was recovered at the scene, the DOJ said.
On Monday morning, the family met briefly with the district attorney.
"We couldn't ask her any questions," said West. "She suggested that our attorney's be there, which we agreed."
In a previous interview, family members spoke with FOX6 News about the lethal force used against West.
"Two shots to the head," said Monique West. "Three to the back. Two to the shoulder. One in the leg. How? My son was running from y'all."
Family members said they do not believe West had a gun, and his mother questioned whether race played a role in the initial police interaction. She said West was originally stopped over a bicycle headlight.
24th and Racine Streets, Mount Pleasant
Giese, a 12-year veteran of the force, was placed on administrative leave.
At the rally Monday evening, community members called for changes at the ballot box, if need be.
"Voting locally is what will make our city a better place," said Cornelius Simmons of Racine.
Immediate family members were set to meet with the district attorney again on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The district attorney told FOX6 she would be releasing a written statement on how the case would be handled moving forward following the meeting.
"I want this whole area full," said Monique West. "I want everybody out here. I want everybody to show their support."
"When Wednesday comes, at 6:00, it ain't going to have to be nothing said, because what's understood don't have to be spoke," said Tory Lowe, community activist.